From Concept to Construction ™

Is It Worth Remodeling An Old Home?

August 14, 2021

If you have or looking to buy an old house, you must be wondering, is it worth remodeling an old home? After all, you don’t want to waste money on a dodo. According to home remodeling architects, remodeling an older house can be worth it, when done right. To help you out, here are the tips to consider: Know the house’s history If you are looking to buy the house, don’t go at it blindly—ensure that you know its history. After all, you don’t want to buy a house, then find out it’s constructed on riparian land. Since nature never forgets, this can be catastrophic. A good way to understand the house better is to look at the old maps from your local historical society. You can also look back at the real estate listings of the older properties in the area. If there are older occupants in the neighborhood, ask them about the house. Even if the house is selling dirt-cheap and you are sure that you can turn it around, don’t make the purchase if you don’t know its back story. Avoid adding another room. It can be tempting when you are renovating the house to add another room. While it can be a good move, it often interferes with the look of the main house. The reason for this is you will be building a new house next to an old one. While you might ensure that the details and finishes match the rest of the house, it will always stick out, and if it doesn’t look good, it will always be a bother to you. You should always avoid adding another room to the house unless it’s necessary. Always prioritize working with what you already have, then look outside if the space isn’t enough for you. Don’t renovate the house by yourself. With everyone recommending DIY projects and with the never-ending supply of YouTube tutorials, it’s easy to try and handle the house renovation project yourself. While you will learn a thing or two from the project, chances are you will make mistakes that will be costlier than hiring a contractor. Obviously, when you are handling a complex project such as bringing down a wall, it’s recommended that you hire a professional, but when you are dealing with older houses, even the simple projects can end up being catastrophic. For example, it’s easy to replace a faulty faucet in a new, modern house but a completely different game when dealing with an older house. With an older house, the faucet and knob cutouts are of different dimensions from the modern faucet assemblies, so you would have to find salvage pieces or custom make the faucets. And you can’t do all of these as a DIY, can you? Even a simple task such as removing the old paint can be an issue as the paint can be containing lead, which increases your chances of suffering from cancer. To be on the safe side, regardless of how minor the task looks, let it be handled by experienced architect builders Washington DC. When hiring professionals, don’t simply look at […]

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What Should You Know When Working With Home Remodeling Contractors?

August 8, 2021

Home remodeling is one of the largest projects you can undertake and unless you have the skills, you should avoid doing the remodeling by yourself—let experienced home remodeling architects do it. If this the first time you are working with the contractors, ensure that you go about it right so you get the most out of it. To help you out, here are some of the tips you should consider when working with the contractors: Interview three or more contractors What do most homeowners do when they are looking to undertake a home remodeling project? They go online and on searching on the search engine, they contact the first technician they come across. This is wrong as ranking high in the search results doesn’t mean that the contractor is good at their work. What should you do instead? The right thing to do is to get in touch with three or more contractors and schedule interviews with them. During the interview, ask as many questions as possible from the contractor. You should know the experience of the contractor, other projects the contractor has handled before, and any other important information. The essence of doing the interviews is to find out whether the contractor is experienced enough to professionally handle your project. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive remodeling materials then an inexperienced contractor botches it up, do you? The other reason you should do the interviews is to find out whether you are at the same energy as the contractor. If you have a sizable remodeling project chances are you will spend weeks or even months with the contractor. Do you want to spend all of this time with a boring, horrible contractor? I thought so. So, during the interview, engage in simple talk and gauge the contractor’s personality. As a rule of thumb, go with an experienced contractor with an upbeat, positive personality. Don’t be stuck with a boring, negative technician. Get estimates in writing After you have settled on the contractor you want to work with, explain to them what you want done and get an estimate for the home remodeling project. Most homeowner have verbal agreements with contractors, but you shouldn’t do this as the contractors can easily get out on their word. The smart way to go about it is to have the estimate in writing. While this is the case, the estimates are a guide and they shouldn’t be set in stone—they can change but the disparity with the actual figures shouldn’t be too large. Be on the same page with the contractor on what you want done To avoid problems in the future and have peace of mind your project will be a success, reiterate to the contractor what you want done to ensure you are on the same page. If you want the contractor to rip apart the floor, change the wall colors, install a new ceiling or any other thing, be clear about it and ensure that the contractor fully understands what you are after. Be clear about the fine details Any remodeling project is bound to […]

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What Do I Need To Know Before Remodeling?

July 28, 2021

A home remodeling project isn’t cheap, so you need to be cautious and ensure that you have all the details before the project commences. What do I need to know before remodeling? If you are asking this question, you should know that there are plenty of things you should know, with the common ones being: Work with an experienced contractor. This is a no-brainer as there is no way you will properly remodel your house if you are doing the work yourself or working with home remodeling architects who don’t know what they are doing. The contractor is the most crucial person in your project as they are the ones to guide you on what to do and the materials to get for the project. Remember, this is the first time you are remodeling the house, and you don’t know what to do, so the last thing you want is someone that doesn’t know what they are also doing. To be on the safe side, take your time when finding a contractor. In short, don’t be in a hurry to work with the first contractor you come across. As a rule of thumb, take time to sit with the contractor and understand them. As you are doing the interview, don’t only pay attention to the licensing, bonding, and insurance. Also, consider how the contractor conducts themselves. If you have a large project, you will spend a lot of time with the contractor, and you don’t want to be stuck with a contractor with an awful personality, do you? So ensure that the contractor is qualified to work on your project and has a beautiful personality that you will be comfortable spending long hours with them. Know what you want As much as you need a knowledgeable contractor by your side, you should remember that you are the dream carrier while the contractor is the executor. So before you even start scouting for a contractor, you need to know what you want. Walk around home improvement stores and design showrooms to see what is available. It also doesn’t hurt flipping through magazines and browsing online to see home renovation ideas available. It’s good to have your taste and preference, but it’s also good that you see what is trending and what other homeowners are doing with their houses. This will give you a sense of what is available, which gives you plenty of options to play around with. Have a budget Any home improvement project costs money, and in most cases, it isn’t small money, so you need to have a budget of the amount of money you are looking to spend on the project. Of course, your budget will be informed by the size of your project, the quality of materials you want to use, your location, among many other things. To come up with a more accurate budget, have a sitting with experienced architect builders Washington DC and draw it up. As you are putting together the budget, don’t just consider the top line renovation needs. Also, factor in the unexpected costs such as a few tiles breaking and […]

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What Should You Not Do When Remodeling A House?

July 19, 2021

When having a home remodeling project, you want the project to be a success, and part of making it a success is avoiding things that can bring it down. What should you not do when remodeling a house? Well, there are plenty of things you should stay away from. These things include: Don’t hire a cheap contractor. In the bid to save money, most homeowners hire the cheapest home remodeling architects they come across. Don’t do this. Remember, there is a good reason why the contractors are cheap, and the most likely reason is they are inexperienced and will most likely botch your project. And you don’t want this, do you? For your project to be a success, you should stay away from cheap contractors. You also should avoid hiring the first contractor that pops up in the search results. The right way to go about it is to schedule a meeting with the contractors and interview them. During the interview, ask them as many questions as possible. Some of the questions you can ask include: How long have you been providing your services? How would you recommend we go about the project? Are you insured? Are you certified to work in the region? Do you offer a warranty? For the best outcome, only work with experienced contractors that know what they are doing. While these contractors will be expensive to hire, they will be worth it. Don’t work without a budget. Even if you have unlimited resources, the last thing you want is to work without a budget, as you often waste a lot of money. The budget guides you in knowing whether you are still in the right direction. After you have settled on a contractor to work with, have a sitting with them and ask them to help you come up with a budget. You should include everything in the budget, from the countertops to the screws you need. As you are making the budget, remember to factor in surprises as they are bound to happen, and when they come, they drag your project behind and cost you extra money. A clear example of a surprise is you damaging the wall as you are installing the backsplash. When you damage a wall, even if it wasn’t part of the budget, you have to replace it. You also have to inspect the electrical lines and fix them if damaged. For peace of mind, set aside at least 15% of your total budget for unexpected expenses. Don’t be in a hurry When you have been thinking about remodeling your house for a long time, it’s tempting to start the project as soon as you get the money. Don’t do this, as it often leads to you making plenty of mistakes. For one, you end up hiring the first contractor you come across, which is often not the right one to work with. You also end up buying the remodeling materials at premium prices as you don’t have time to research and find cheaper stores to buy from. To hire the right contractor and save money on the building materials, […]

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How Can I Save Money Building An Addition To My House?

July 7, 2021

As much as homeowners love the extra space that building home addition brings, there is always the issue of cost as most of them don’t want to spend a fortune on it, so you will hear them asking, how can I save money building an addition to my house? Well, there are plenty of tricks you can use to your advantage. These tricks include: Do it yourself Do you have home-building skills? You shouldn’t waste money hiring a house remodeling professional. Instead, you should do the work yourself. Even when doing the building work yourself, ensure that you follow the right procedure and don’t cut corners. If you have the skills, you have the luxury of doing the work by yourself, but if you don’t the skills, you should hire a professional to build the house for you. When hiring the contractor, ensure that the contractor knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is hiring someone to botch up your work, and you have to redo it, which sees you wasting a lot of money. Although, you should be conscious of the price charged by the contractor, avoid an extremely cheap contractor, as the chances are high that they won’t do a good job. Source your own materials Did you know you can get the building materials at much lower prices on your own than through a contractor? The reason for this is that despite the contractor making money from the labor costs, they want to make a profit from the materials they supply you, so they mark up the prices. To save money, source the materials on your own. For example, if planning to have a kitchen addition, visit the home improvement stores and find cheaper countertops. If you don’t have a huge budget, find reclaimed materials for your project. Most contractors will do their budgeting while including the materials they will supply you, and if you decide that you will be sourcing the materials on your own in the middle of the project, the contractor may have to go back to the drawing board, and they might not be pleased about it. To avoid bad blood in your work, ensure that you let the contractor know beforehand that you will be sourcing the materials on your own. Shop around Whether you are looking for materials or a contractor, don’t work with the first company you come across—take your time, visit different companies, and see what they have. Many homeowners make the mistake of being in a hurry when doing their construction, so they rush to hire the first company they come across. Don’t do this as you end up spending a lot of money that you shouldn’t. The best way to go about it is to take your time and knock on several doors and see what is available. Sometimes you might not only find the company or supplies at a low cost, but also discover materials you have never heard about. Go the prefab way If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on new items, consider getting prefabricated materials. Some people […]

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How to Join an Addition to a House

June 28, 2021

Whether you are looking to add a pantry, a storage closet, garage, or an entire house, you should follow the right procedure to professionally join the addition to the house. Wondering how to join an addition to a house? Here are the steps to follow as given by the home addition builder: Obtain the necessary permits Most states will require you to get building permits before you begin working on your addition. To get the permits you have to visit your local county offices. To get the permit, expect to be asked to provide copies of your building plan, the exact specifications of your drainage you will be adding and the distances from the side yards, sewer lines and other amenities. Getting these permits takes time and it can be expensive so ensure you leave enough time and money. Dig the foundation Now armed with the permits you can begin your project and you should start with building the foundation. Using a backhoe, dig the extra foundation and footers starting from the existing house edge to the ends of the new structure’s plan. For the foundation to be strong and durable, ensure that its construction quality. This means that it should be made from thick concrete material poured to a precise depth. You can do the foundation work by yourself but for the best results, let a professional help out. You can build any type of foundation as long as it complies with the building codes in your area. Prepare the walls Now with the foundation in place, move to the next step—laying out the walls. You should build the wall frames according to your new structure plans, starting from your present wall and move towards the direction of the new addition. For the best outcome, build the new wall frame with 2 by 4 or 6-inch boards and cut them to the height of the house addition plan. The reason you should go for boards of this size is because they have been shown to hold adequate insulation. Screw the walls to the existing wall Using 4-inch screws, screw your wall frame to the outside of your existing wall and for the wall frame to be strongly attached to the wall, the screws should penetrate at least 2 inches of the wall frame and the wall frame of the existing house. Nail the bottom plates The wall frame is made up of the bottom plate and the top plate. So after nailing the top plate, nail the bottom plate of the wall frame to the new foundation. For a strong attachment, nail the upright studs every 16 inches. When it comes to the bottom plate choice, go with wall frames that are 10-12 feet as they stand upright and easily nail together. When nailing the bottom plate to the concrete foundation, use an action hammer for an easier time. Install the roof Once the walls are all in place, now you should install the roof at a perpendicular angle to avoid a snow or moisture problem. Ensure that the slope of the new structure roof eases into the present […]

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What to Consider When Building a Home Addition

June 22, 2021

Home additions are an excellent way to add extra space to your house, so you need to be cautious when building them, so you get ideal results. To help you out, here is what to consider when building a home addition as given by home addition builder: Your budget This is vital, and almost everything pegs on it. As you are budgeting for the project, you should know that home additions are expensive, so you need to be fully prepared for the project and ensure you have a large enough budget. Of course, your budget should match the addition you are looking to build. If you want to add a room outwards, you have to add a room at the ground level, so you will need to factor in the site work, excavation, new foundations, new exterior walls, new roofing and plenty of other things. If you want to add a second story to the house, you will need to strengthen the existing foundation or bear the walls to support the added weight of another story. You should note that the costs don’t stop after you have added the extra room. Remember that the larger the size of the house, the higher the expenses. This means that the lighting expenses will go up, heating, cooling, maintenance costs, and even sometimes, your property taxes will also shoot, so you need to budget for this too. Home addition design We all have different tastes, and for you to be proud of your new addition, the addition should match your design. When you are building a new house or remodeling the entire house, you have more freedom when it comes to styling it according to your tastes and preferences, but when you are adding a new unit, you don’t have the luxury, and you have to work with the existing style. You should work with an experienced professional to help you come up with a design that complements the already existing design and, at the same time, meets your tastes and preferences. Remember, you need to use the same materials, aesthetics, colors, and other features as the existing house for you to blend your new addition to the existing house. As you are coming up with the design and how everything comes together, pay attention to the roofing, tile, windows, flooring, doors, trim, and paint colors. If your house is old, you can have a more modern design, but you need to ensure that the above-mentioned aspects come together. The most important thing to do is ensure that the new house addition doesn’t feel like it’s tacked on. Local planning and zoning regulations The other thing you should consider is the local planning and zoning regulations. Each municipality has its regulations regarding height limitations, setback requirements, and floor area ratios that give guidelines on how high and how big the house can be. Remember, you risk a heavy fine or even the house torn down if you build your new addition without considering the regulations. To avoid this, take your time, visit your local municipal offices, and familiarize yourself with the regulations. If […]

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Do I Need An Architect For An Addition?

June 9, 2021

Most home addition projects are small that many homeowners ask themselves, do I need an architect for an addition? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Regardless of the size of your project, you should have home remodeling architects that will help you bring your dream to life. The architects you hire will be responsible for a variety of duties, including: Designing the house Regardless of the type of addition you are having, you should have a design for it. The architect will help you plan how you will execute the project and how the entire project will look once complete. Besides the architect helping you come up with the project design, he/she will also help you come up with pull permits and design changes to the house’s structure. Serve as a contract writer. If your home addition is going to be big, the architect can serve as a contract writer to pull all the pieces of the project together. This includes: The estimate House specs The scope of the job Hiring the subcontractors Hiring a contractor Since the architect always comes before the contractor, if you don’t have a contractor in mind or don’t want to get involved with the hiring process, your architect should help you identify a good contractor for your project and even hire them. The architect should also supervise the contractor and ensure that they are doing a good job. Advice on fixture and finishes The architect should also advise you on the best fixtures and finishes to install in your house. Some of the areas the contractor should advise on include: Painting and color pairing Drawers and cabinets Lighting Kitchen and countertop works Outdoor landscaping Knobs and metal accents Tiling and flooring Hiring the right architect Since we have seen the vital roles served by an architect, you should be cautious of the contractor you hire and ensure that you are hiring the right one. The cool thing is it’s easy to identify an experienced architect as all you need to do is to ask them questions. Some of the questions to ask during the hiring include: What roles and responsibilities do they think they will be handling? What is their role in choosing and handing fixtures? What strategy will they use to see through the project? Are there challenges they expect in the project? How will they go around them? How will they deal with conflicts in the project? What are their references? When it comes to references, many homeowners collect them, but they rarely follow up. You don’t want to be this way. After the architect gives you a list of customers they have worked with, take it as your initiative to get in touch with the mentioned people and ask them about their experience with the architect. Of course, you should work with an architect with a stellar record—the clients should be happy and proud to have worked with the said architect. What other things should you consider when hiring the architect? Besides asking the architect as many questions as possible that will help you nail down their experience […]

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4 Home Additions That Are Worth It

May 27, 2021

Building home addition is one way of making your home more attractive to potential buyers but like every homeowner, you want to get the highest return on your investment so you should build the right addition. If you are in this position, lucky for you as there are plenty of home additions that you can go with. Some of the best ones include: Two-story addition Have you heard the expression, “Go big or go home?” it works in home additions and if you have the money, you should build a two-story house as it will pay off in the end. According to real estate experts, building a home addition will see you increasing your return on investments by up to 65%. When you are building the home addition, ensure that you have an upstairs master suite and a downstairs living area which is what most homeowners are drawn to. You might be wondering why the two-story addition will make your house more attractive to potential buyers, right? Well, the addition increases the square footage of your house and since every homeowner is looking for a bigger house, they are bound to find your house more appealing. Kitchen expansion Another home addition project that will see you laughing all the way to the bank is a kitchen expansion project. If your current kitchen is too small or cramped, you aren’t going to sell the house at the top dollar that you are looking for. Also, refinishing the cabinets or replacing the old appliances isn’t going to cut it—you have to expand it. As you are planning the kitchen expansion project, you should note that sometimes you can go overboard hence making your house less attractive to potential buyers. For example, even if every homeowner wants a beautiful, decent-looking kitchen, none is interested in paying for the premium kitchen countertops so don’t use them on your counters. Also, no homeowner is looking to pay a premium fee for one-of-a-kind premium kitchen appliances. The most important thing when it comes to remodeling the kitchen is to expand its size. When it comes to the countertops and appliances, simply use the standard materials as using expensive unique products won’t give you the returns you are looking for. Bathroom addition Your home having not enough bathrooms can be a big turn-off to potential buyers so if you have the resources, consider adding an extra bathroom to the house. If the resources aren’t enough for a complete bathroom, add a half bath and it will still increase your home’s overall sale appeal. Real estate professionals report that adding a bathroom to your home can see you get up to a 53% return on investment. Like with the kitchen, don’t go all the way out when remodeling the bathroom as you might add some features that will make your unit less attractive to potential buyers. You might also spend too much money on a unit and fail to recoup your investment. To be on the safe side, work with experts that will help you find a balance. Adding an outdoor patio space Every homeowner wants a place […]

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How Do You Finance A Home Addition?

May 20, 2021

As much as many people want to have a home addition project, there are is always the money issue as many don’t know how to finance the project. Are you wondering how do you finance a home addition? There are plenty of options you can go with. They include: Cash-out refinance The cash-out refinance option is a highly popular financing option when you are building home addition. How it works is that you refinance a new mortgage loan with a bigger balance than the one you currently owe, then you pay off your existing mortgage and keep the remaining cash. The money you receive from the cash-out refinance comes from the home equity, and you can use it to fund your home improvement projects. This option works perfectly when you can reset your loan at a lower interest rate than your current mortgage meaning that you can easily adjust the loan term and you even complete paying your home sooner than projected. To tell whether this financing option is for you, compare the costs over the life of the loan, including the closing costs. This calls for you to look at the total costs of the new loan and compare them to the current loan costs. As you are making the comparisons, keep in mind that the cash-out refinances tend to have higher closing costs that apply to the entire loan amount—not just the cash out. Due to this, you need to take your time and find an interest rate significantly lower than the current one. Pros of this option You will continue paying one mortgage payment You can spend the cash you get on anything The cash out comes from the home equity You can lower your long term and your interest rate at any time Cons of this option The new loan tends to have a larger balance than your current mortgage When you refinance, you start the loan over The closing costs apply to a large loan amount Home equity loan Also known as a second mortgage, the home equity loan allows you to borrow against the equity you have built up in your home. When you visit the lender, he calculates the equity by assessing the value of your home and subtracting the outstanding balance due to the existing loan. You should note that unlike the cash-out refinance, the home equity doesn’t pay off your existing mortgage, so if you already have a mortgage, you will continue making the monthly payments and at the same time make the payments of the new home equity loan. This loan makes sense if you have plenty of home equity built up or need funds for a big, one-time project. After approval, the loan is dispersed as a single payment, and your home is used as collateral, and due to this, you attract lower interest rates. Home equity loan pros It’s long term where it can last for up to 30 years It has fixed interest rates You can borrow up to 100% of your equity Perfect for large projects such as remodels Home equity loan cons If you already […]

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