Someone said the home is where the heart is. Many homeowners, who have gotten used to staying in the same place for a long time, would not like to budge from their comfort zone. That’s because it is where their heart resides! A smart option is to give the home a new lease of life by remodeling it. The pluses? Same place with the same neighbors, but a whole new world in the same old home. If that rings a bell, and you have been planning to renovate your home for a while, here’s some help. Featured below are some general pointers you could consider, before taking your first step.
Every remodeling plan is dependent on the allocated budget, and the time it takes for completion. The homeowner should be able to decide this in consultation with family members and financial advisors. An experienced design and engineering team will be able to foresee future challenges/requirements of a proposed custom remodeling initiative. They should also be able to estimate the timeline after factoring in all the complexities of the project. Longer duration doesn’t necessarily mean higher costs and vice versa. But it is critical to know if a delay in the completion of a remodeling job has any cost implications. At the end of the day, nobody expects surprises that could have been averted with thoughtful planning at the outset.
This is the stage where you can also think about the finance options – home equity loan, refinancing, etc. But a contractor is the best person to give you the final estimate of the total expenses.
After discussing with your near and dear ones (family members, relatives and friends), you need to home in on the exact requirement – a bigger kitchen, better bathroom, open living/dining space, additional bedroom, etc.). The points you jot down form the basis for putting together the scope of work for further action. Some remodeling jobs could be done for very specific requirements – terrace expansion to suffice the future needs of an expected child or a senior citizen for example. This is a critical phase since it could even determine the very necessity/redundancy of such an initiative.
Friends, who have been there, done that, might be able to suggest some workarounds they learnt through their experience They can also recommend licensed and experienced professionals who have garnered a reputation for maintaining high standards of execution.
You may have cracked the idea based on your whims and fancies, but only an engineer can figure out the feasibility of execution. You could speak to a pre-construction service provider to know the next best course of action. They can provide realistic advice on what is possible and how it will be done. They will also help you with drawings required for a contractor’s review.
It is advisable to choose an expert who is willing to work on a fixed-fee basis so you won’t have any surprises after the consultation is over. Even a small remodeling job might have several considerations related to civil engineering, structural engineering, and energy conservation.
Once you get the necessary insights on your remodeling project, you need to share the same with trusted contractors for getting the best possible quote. You can connect with friends/colleagues who have done it before or connect with a one-stop engineering shop for this. The contractor will go over the preliminary drawings and inputs to figure out the feasibility and arrive at a ballpark figure for construction. You also need to make sure that you are employing an expert who has proven experience in building structures by optimizing the cost of materials and labor. There’s nothing wrong in asking these five questions.
The contractor, with his experience, will also be able to give you valuable inputs for special requirements. Let’s say you have added a roof-top deck remodeling plan. In this case, only an expert with extensive construction experience can accurately estimate the feasibility and cost. He also needs to take the assistance of the design team to perform a comprehensive study of factors like deck access and load-bearing capacity. Once that’s done, he knows he needs to factor in 10–20%2 (or more) of the contracted budget for unforeseen expenses.
After getting the complete picture from the contractor, the final drawings have to be created for execution. The plan has to be submitted to the authorities for approval. Once you get the go-ahead, the next task is execution. But this stage is of utmost importance. The experts you have hired should be able to handle everything smoothly for the successful completion of the project. The appointed contractor usually comprehends everything from design to materials and construction process to worker capabilities.
When you have chosen the right team to execute the remodeling job, you can be rest assured that you have taken the first confident step. Seasoned construction experts usually follow an iterative approach to project management, so you can even make minor changes, without major cost implications, if required. Also, don’t forget to talk to your insurance company to know if there’s a need to reconsider the coverage. Some prudent homeowners execute such projects in a phased manner. This is just to make sure that their family members are able to use the house even when the work is underway. You also need to have an answer to your family members’ expected question: Can we continue to stay here when it’s being renovated?
The job of making an aging home appear new is a skill that’s expected from a professional remodeler. But the feat of turning an average home into an irresistible haven is a dream for a homeowner, and a challenge for the remodeler! Once accomplished, both can heave a sigh of relief with one thought in mind – In between the roof and the floor, there lies a place called home. Qualified, licensed, and experienced remodelers would concur if we say that a smart homeowner makes the best use of the available space. We also can’t forget the fact that real beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, what matters more is what the homeowner had visualized before giving the home a makeover.
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