Local Experts Share Advice on Remodeling Your Home
Are you looking to refresh your home? A remodel can not only bring new life to a space, it can also increase your property value. So, when it comes time to tackle a new project, there are some things that experts want you to know.
How I view remodeling is different now than it was just a few short months ago. What we have all recently experienced is going to have a profound shift in how we are going to be living in the future. Just as hurricanes and tornadoes spur requests for storm shelters, this pandemic will bring a host of architectural changes. Will we incorporate sanitation stations into our floor plans? Will we design ways for touchless deliveries to be made? Will there be a shift in the open concept floor plans we currently are drawn to? The home, the late architect Le Corbusier said, is a machine for living. It reflects how we live, and we sculpt our spaces to enhance our lives. And when we have changes in the way we live, the spaces we crave to be in change also. I do not know exactly what the future will bring in how we live, but I look forward to continue creating solutions in our ever-changing lifestyles.
Jay Caughman, Caughman + Caughman Architects
One area that really needs a heightened level of communication between a builder and the client is the kitchen and the master suite. Both of these areas bring together so many elements, whether it be all the different levels of lighting or technology-enabled appliances. There is so much planning that goes into these rooms, and it really helps when clients are thinking ahead and not making changes or additions after all of the sheetrock has been put up. It’s also useful when there is an architect or interior designer involved. A lot of the times, these individuals do a great job at helping communicate with the client and making sure the builder has all the information they need to construct a stunning, functional home up front.
Steve Ward, Sun Construction
My best advice is to take some time to research and review images to create a wish list for your home. I ask all of my residential clients to do this because it quickly allows me to get a sense of their style and goals. Then, we can work together to create a scope of work that fits their existing house and budget. If you choose not to work with an architect, be as specific as possible and use drawings and images to communicate to your contractor. Also, what appears to be a straightforward update can require some unforeseen steps. I recently noticed that my own house, a 120-year-old wood building, needed some paint touchups. No problem, right? Upon closer inspection with my painter, we realized that there were several areas that needed some carpentry repairs. Developing a sequence for a project is an area that architects and contractors can work closely together on to improve the chances that your project comes in on time and on budget.
Thomas Palmer, Tinker Ma, Inc.
Most often our clients are looking to replace their existing cabinetry with new custom cabinetry or maybe install new windows and doors. My advice would be to talk to local cabinet shops and window suppliers to see what their lead times are once products are ordered. Lead times can vary from several weeks to several months depending on the product and vendor, so if you are planning for a remodel to be completed for a special family occasion or by a certain date, it’s important to take this into consideration. You can only progress so far without windows and doors and certainly cabinets as well. Don’t wait too late to start your planning!
Larry Waldrep, Waldrep Construction, LLC
Renovations are a great way to keep things looking fresh around your home and increase property value. With proper planning and a good team in place, the process can be as smooth as possible. That said, the one bit of advice I always give is to “expect the unexpected,” especially on older homes. Every home is built differently, so sometimes the exploration through demolition reveals a more involved or different project than originally intended. As you would imagine, the kitchen and bathrooms require more planning and cost compared with other areas of the home because there is more coordination needed with plumbing, electrical, cabinets, appliances, and fixtures. While these areas can sometimes cause headaches during construction, they also provide the greatest reward in terms of instant impact and increased value of the home.
Michael Bridges, Surface Architecture & Design
When it comes to remodeling, a contractor’s biggest challenge is HGTV. Everyone thinks you can create a new kitchen or bathroom between commercials. Remodeling is typically much trickier than new construction, especially when it comes to bedrooms, kitchens, and family rooms. It takes time, money, and patience. Homeowners first need to find a contractor who will help them establish a realistic budget and schedule. If your contractor can’t openly communicate on these two topics up front, find someone else.
Matt Brown, BP Construction, Inc.
When it comes to remodeling a home, research is so important. Knowing what style you’re drawn to, any must-have customizations, pricing, energy efficiency, and durability will all help any project run much more smoothly. Thinking about these things in advance will save you time, money, and probably a few headaches. It’s also important to examine the pros and cons of materials when you start making selections. What might cost more upfront often times is more durable, energy-efficient, and maintenance-free, likely costing you less in the long run.
Dexter White, Dexter W. White Construction