So you’ve decided to make the change and finally knock out that eye-sore of a wall you’ve put up with for years—good for you! Careful though, residential remodeling can be a daunting process, filled with questions you might not even know to ask. Luckily, this article was written to point out common issues, address the biggest concerns and prepare you with the knowledge to take on your remodel with confidence.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent questions that come to mind before starting any remodeling project.
Do I Need to Hire a Contractor or Can I Do it Myself?
If not done properly, a remodel can cause far more harm than good in the long run. Obstacles like load bearing walls, underlying structural issues and property limitations are just some examples of matters best left to professional engineers and contracting teams.
How Do I Decide on a Contractor?
Like all complicated projects, the cheapest option is rarely the best option and often results in a negative experience. One of the most important factors when deciding on a contractor is how they handle communicating with you. With so many steps involved in the residential remodeling process, it’s important to take the time and find a contractor willing to sit down and understand the project and your needs fully.
How Long Does it Take to Remodel?
Although HGTV manages to fit an entire house transformation into 40 minutes, the actual process can take much longer. Depending on the size of the project, it is not uncommon for some jobs to require a four month process to be professionally completed.
Do I Need to Check The Foundation Before Remodeling?
It is strongly recommended to have an engineer investigate any underlying problems in your home’s structure before deciding to begin any remodeling project. Professional contractors won’t even begin a project until it has been approved by an engineer as safe to proceed. Although fixing foundational issues will undoubtedly increase the overall cost of the project, it is always a better decision in the long run.
Could the Supporting Soil be an Issue When Remodeling?
If the project is strictly a room remodel, the supporting soil should already have been inspected and therefore should not be an issue. If you want to add an addition on to your home however, you’ll need to perform a property survey and have the soil stability tested before proceeding.
What About Regulations?
If the remodel changes the use of the space, a building permit and professional designs are required. For example, say an existing exercise room is remodeled to a rentable unit. This would require the permit authority’s approval and architect’s design documents. It is always best to hire an architect to ensure your remodel is lawful and compliant.
Am I Going to Get Exactly What I Want?
Before remodeling, create a list of priorities separated into three categories and thoroughly discuss it with your contractor. The three categories are your needs, a wish list and can’t haves.
Your needs are what have to happen to consider the project a success and worth the effort.
Your wish list is composed of things you’d like to have happen, but may not be in the budget or possible right now. These should be discussed with the contractor in order to prepare for future remodels.
Your can’t haves are sometimes the most valuable things to include when discussing your remodel. These are usually influenced by previous experiences, and can be as simple as not wanting the dishwasher on the left side of the sink, or as complex as removing a load bearing wall.
How Much is This All Going to Cost Me?
Costs are always going to vary depending on the size and scope of the project needs. More often than not, potential renovators underestimate the total price of a remodel and are unpleasantly surprised when handed the bill. Generally, kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to remodel because of higher quality finishes, fixtures, appliances, tile work and any electrical and plumbing changes required.
Undergoing a remodel is not a process to take lightly and any hesitation you may feel is certainly understandable. Arming yourself with a better understanding of the elements and procedure involved is the best way to get yourself ready to take the leap and enjoy your new custom space.
Want to get started right away? Learn more about having one of our engineers check out your homes foundation and determine if you’re ready to make the change and start your remodel.