Planning a Remodeling Project or Room Addition? Here’s Some Advice
New Castle Remodeling
Home Builder, Building Construction, Home Improvement & Remodeling Services
You’d like to sell your home, but you decide maybe this isn’t a good time. However, maybe it is a good time to make some home improvements you have been thinking about. Whether it’s a small remodeling project, room addition or a larger scale renovation, it helps you to know there’s a sequence of events -- from planning to completion -- that will guide you to success.
First: Your initial ideas. Prepare a written description. Be as specific as you can, but keep an open mind. When you begin talking with professionals (contractors, etc.), they may suggest some additional ideas or options you haven’t thought of.
Second: Your budget. Obviously, the scope of your project will determine its cost, so be realistic about how much you can invest. My advice is to set a range, with at least 10 percent for contingencies that may occur during the project.
Once you’ve decided on your initial ideas and budget, the next step is selecting a contractor. Make certain the contractor is licensed. There’s a website where you can check: www.cslb.gov. Since most of my business comes by referrals, I recommend that you ask friends, neighbors, colleagues at work, etc., who’ve had similar work done in their homes, who they hired as a contractor – and would they hire that contractor again?
Interview more than one contractor before making your selection. Consider the contractor’s quality of work and experience, estimated timeline and cost. There’s also a good “chemistry” that should exist between you and the contractor. During the interview is time to ask lots of questions – and don’t hesitate to ask for and check references, assurance of proper bonding, and even visit projects that the contractor has completed.
Next steps in the sequencing usually are:
n Acquire financing based on the initial estimate.
n Project design.
n Soil testing and report (if needed).
n Architectural and engineering services (if needed).
n Plans submitted to and approval by the city.
n Written contract to exact dollar amounts, build time and payment schedule.
n Project permits “pulled.”
n Start the build!!
REDUCING HOME CONSTRUCTION COSTS
Home improvements involve making choices, many of which involve money. You may need to strike a balance between your dreams and what it’s actually going to cost. One very important point: There’s no “golden rule” to reducing costs. Homes consist of thousands of parts and may involve as many as 20 to 30 different construction trades.
However, based on my years of experience, here are some pointers to help harness costs:
-- If adding a room, keep it rectangular. Maintain a simple roof line.
-- Stay away from highly advertised "decorator" items. You can buy good appliances for under $400.
-- Spend on those things you see and use every day.
-- Have everything worked out before you break ground. If you want to see your budget blown to bits, start making changes after the work has begun.
-- Don't be a trail-blazer. There are products more suited to making a company rich than giving you a good house. Those that have been around a while are usually best.
-- Make a list of "optional" items and what they cost. This is helpful in deciding which gives more value for your buck. Examples of "optional" items: granite countertops, home theatre, lighting and plumbing fixtures, etc.
-- Add later those things you can't afford today; you can build them in at a future time.
WHY DO AN ADDITION AND/OR REMODEL NOW?
-- Due to a slowdown in the construction business, now is the time to get the best dollar value from your project. Many contractors are offering discounts.
-- Many high quality craftsmen are willing to lower their prices to get work, but not lower their quality. In the past 10 years we'd get craftsmen calling us, asking for work one or two times a month; now we get this many calls a DAY!
-- With today’s low interest rates, it’s a major advantage.
Contact: Randy Mate, New Castle Remodeling (License #978915). Phone: 818-548-8760.
, Home Builder
, Home Improvement & Remodeling Services