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Must Knows Before Remodeling

What You Should Know Before Remodeling Your Home

Remodeling a home can be a long process when done incorrectly. There are many things you should not take lightly when beginning to think about a home remodel. It is very easy to slap a coat of paint onto a wall with very little thought, but when you are planning on remodeling your entire home there are many things that you should consider. Below are seven things that you should deeply contemplate before starting your project.

What are the main goals of your remodeling project and what do you want out of it?

The first thing you should do before starting your project is create a check list. Creating this list will allow you to remember everything you want to accomplish throughout the project. Going into each room and developing a wish list will also be beneficial for your remodel. The checklist will give you an idea throughout the project of things you need to get done. While the wish list does not need to be completed right away and can be the fluff to the project.

Try to look beyond the visual appearance and structural elements. For example if you are remodeling the bathroom and want to replace the floor, find out if the subflooring will need to be replaced. Think about the layout, and if you need more space/if the walls need to be removed.

When developing a check list and wish list it is a good idea to prioritize your tasks that need to be completed. Before you begin making a budget, understand which tasks are absolutely important to complete. As well as which tasks are more desirable and can be excluded from the project in case funds run short. Finding out there is an unexpected costly problem that was not part of the original plan will throw a major wrench into any remodeling plan. In some cases, this cannot be avoided. However, more often than not, the unexpected costs are a result of poor planning. Developing a timeline and budget in advance on a remodeling project will be extremely helpful down the road.

Having a mental imagine of your remodeling project before beginning is very important. This will help when developing a budget, timeline, selecting materials, and figuring out the layout. A great tool to use is Houzz.com. You can create an idea-book with pictures of other’s remodeling project to help you create a vision of what it is you want for your remodel.

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Do You Have a 5-Year Plan?

There are numerous reasons to remodel a home. Whether you are doing a remodel to sell your home, or want to improve the living conditions for upcoming years, understanding the mindset for the remodel is imperative. If you plan on selling your home, tackling the obvious cosmetic repairs rather than remodeling the entire house may be more logical. It is said that ‘Clean and Green’ sells house (green referring to the landscape).

If there are structural damages, remodeling your home may make more sense and can save you money down the road. When remodeling an area to bring it up to date, try and think of something you would like for a while. Or if you only plan on staying in the home for five more years, think about a design that has resale value/what other would like.

What Should You Look For In A Remodeling Company? Often times people will go into a remodeling project more concerned about the project than the company doing the work. There are a few things you should consider about the company before the project begins;

  • Is there a design team in house?
  • Do they hire a subcontractor to do the design plans?
  • Does the company call themselves a design-build firm? Build-design? Or solely a construction firm?
  • Does the company have good reputation?
  • Make sure the remodeling company has a valid license and is insured
  • How does the company handle unexpected changes?
  • Don’t let a low price lure you into hiring a company. It often said that you get what you pay for, and it is no different in remodeling. Know what you are paying for and the value of the company rather than the price.
  • Has the company performed what was promised in the past?
  • Always GET IT IN WRITING. Never assume a remodeling company is going to do something. Make sure you get a legal agreement and it is signed by both you and the company.
  • Understand what you are getting. Ask as many questions as you can come up with and if you are unclear about something, get it in writing.

Do You Have Enough Time to Complete the Project?

It is very easy to underestimate the time needed for the completion of a remodel. A lot of different factors can go into a project that can delay the project. A remodel that was supposed to be completed in a month can often get stretched out a month or two due to unplanned problems. Make sure you are not pressed for time when you begin a project in case a potential problem arises.

  • Weather Related Issues- Luckily enough we do not experience much of this in sunny Southern California. However, in the event of heavy rain or winds, prepare and plan accordingly.
  • Delivery Issues- Usually a specific date is given when the supplies are ordered. Although sometimes there is a delay in the order or the delivery can never show up. Ideally this will not happen, but in the event that it does, contractors are left waiting for the items in order to complete the next phase.
  • Unexpected Items- During a remodeling project sometimes when tearing down walls or floors, you can run into underlying issues. Depending on the severity, it can cause a delay in the project and be more expensive.

Can You Live In Your Home During the Remodel?

This question needs to be considered before you begin on any home remodeling project. Depending on the type of work that needs to be done to the home, the living conditions may not be suitable. If the roofing needs to be replaced, walls need to be taken out, or electrical wiring needs to be replaced you may need to relocate to a different area for a certain period of time during the project. If you do indeed need to leave your home during the remodel, be sure to make the arrangements in advance. Additional costs can occur if you need to rent an apartment or hotel room during the construction. Factor those additional costs into your budget. In case there is an unexpected delay in the project, think about the extra living expense in advance. That way if something does happen, you do not have to dabble into the funds set aside for your home improvement project.

Often times your home may be livable, but the areas that are getting remodel are not useable. If your kitchen is being remodeled and you cook a lot, think about the daily arrangements needed for meal preparation. Or if your bathroom is getting remodeled, and it is the only one in the house- have a backup plan for showering and other needs. You do not want yourself or your family to be uncomfortable during your remodel.

Do You Have A Budget?

Creating a budget for your remodeling project is essential for a successful remodeling experience. Remodeling projects can be extremely costly. Setting a budget and sticking to it throughout the entire project is important so you do not have a financial burden during your experience. Stick to your original budget so you can ensure your project is fully completed. Sometimes this may mean you will have to scale back the scope of the project.

What Types of Permits Do You Need?

Obtaining certain permits is standard during most home remodels. Unless you are doing general cosmetic repairs (i.e.; paint, new doors) to your home, thinking about getting a permit is necessary. If you are performing any major type of construction, you will need to speak with your local building department and obtain a permit. The type of permit will depend on the work that is being done. Building, mechanical, structural, electrical, and plumbing are five common permits needed during a home remodel. Inspections are also necessary during many remodels. Most of the time when using a contractor or design-build firm the inspection will be included in the price.

If you decide to sell your home, a Real-Estate agent or potential buyer will often ask if improvements have been made and if you can provide proof. Doing so with permits of the construction is a great. It is also the law to obtain these permits during construction. So do not let any remodeling contractor talk you out of obtaining any of the above listed building permits. Completing a home remodeling project can take a lot of time and planning, but the rewards are exceptional. Be sure to give each step listed above solid thought and pay attention to little details throughout the project and it should be successful! Good luck!

About Custom Design & Construction

Custom Design & Construction's Design-Build philosophy encompasses every aspect of a home remodeling project. We combine architecture, engineering, interior design, project management and financing into a coherent whole. Because we design what we build and build what we design, Custom Design & Construction delivers unsurpassed value, job after job, time after time. We take ownership of every detail of the project, from orchestrating dozens of trades people to dealing with zoning issues. Through our 25 years in business, we've faced just about every possible home remodeling challenge. This experience allows us to assure a seamless integration of planning and execution.


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