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Things to Consider Before You Remodel

What will give you the biggest bang for your buck?


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If you’re seriously considering remodeling your home, you’ve likely already come to the conclusion that there isn’t another place you’d rather be. Your home might not be perfect, but your neighborhood is, and you can’t imagine living elsewhere. Maybe you’ve spent months looking for other options, and just haven’t found anything that excites you. Or maybe you haven’t bothered looking at all – considering the tight housing market, good options aren’t easy to come by, especially if you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood.

As you begin the remodeling process, there are several things to take into consideration.  Some are more apparent than others, but all of the questions you ask and decisions you make will help you to achieve your vision.

How do I decide the size and scale of my remodel?

Many people begin a remodeling project with just a few changes in mind, but come to realize that much of their house is dated and needs upgrading.  Working with an architect at the outset can be very beneficial in the long run, especially if you decide to change your home’s floorplan and make additions to the structure.  An architect can also identify ways to add value and find creative design solutions that will greatly enhance the look and feel of your home.

How do I select the right team?

If you decide to proceed with a large scale remodel of your home, part of your research and interview process with designers, architects and contractors should involve how well they work together as a team.  Ask them about their experience working together and make sure that they will collaborate to find the best value and solutions for you.  References and referrals should of course be available, but it’s up to you to dig a little deeper and get to know and trust the team you’ll be working with. Personality fits are just as important as price fits.

What should the process look like?

The team you select should gain a complete understanding of how you live and what changes you want to make.  They should be willing to be honest and realistic with you, and make sure that you don’t get carried away with your goals, so that you’re not disappointed with the reality of what can be done.  Everyone should be watching costs as plans are drawn-up and provide firm prices so that you’re not exceeding your budget.  By working together and managing costs and expectations, you can proceed with confidence.

I want to remodel my whole house, what are some things I should consider?

Once you’ve decided to remodel your whole house, consider the aspects of it that you like the least. If rooms are small and chopped up, consider removing walls and opening up the floor plan. If your home has low ceilings and lacks natural light, you could raise the ceiling heights and add larger windows. Maybe you dislike the exterior style and want to add curb appeal – a whole house remodel is a great opportunity to transform your home’s exterior elevation. Whatever it is, the most important thing to remember is your over-all goal for why you want to remodel your home, and prioritize everything accordingly.

A whole house remodel is too much. What are smaller things I can do?

There are certain elements that will give you the “best bang for your buck” and will hold their value the most after a remodel.  In most every instance, this includes kitchens and bathrooms.  The curb appeal of a home is also a place where you can find added value.  Replacing your roof and siding, improving your windows, replacing wood doors with fiberglass doors, replacing old walkways and entries and even going to the extent of replacing an old garage door with something more elegant will beautify your home and provide it with more staying power.

What are some of the more recent trends in home design?

Some of the additions you may want to consider during the remodel of you home include “healthy design” solutions, such as high efficiency air and water filters, zero-threshold entrances, wider hallways, taller plug-ins and other quality-of-life options that will be in place as you age in your beloved home.  New technologies are always available, including devices that serve as command centers for your entire home, touch screens on refrigerators and stoves and new ideas designed to make your life easier.

Once you’ve made the decision to stay-in-place and invest your money into the home you love, be sure to take the time to make sure you’re doing things right.  The time you spend upfront to find the best team and make plans based on a firm budget will save you time, money and frustration once the project is complete.

About Paul Mahony

Paul Mahony is with KGA Studio Architects. For more information, go to www.KGArch.com.

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