This is part II of my musings on when it makes sense to remodel. I left off yesterday with a list of general questions that might help to shape your thoughts on whether to engage in a remodel or not. If you’ve read the questions and you’re comfortable with your thoughts at this point and want to pursue a remodel, great! Let’s assume you’re like me and have a ceiling on your budget. Let’s also assume your homes ‘bones’ are in good order allowing us to focus on the interior rooms to be remodeled.
But first, let’s get the horse in front of the cart or rather a contractor in front of the remodel. I recommend interviewing several contractors. Trust your instincts on this part. Not all contractors are the same and there is one that is right for you, but you’ll have to spend time finding that one.
Secondly, I’d think seriously about having professional design work done. This could seem like an extra and unnecessary cost, but the resulting well-integrated space that fits your lifestyle and improves the resale of your home will likely save you money in the end. Getting the space layout just right paired with spot-on interior design is unquestionably value-added. For building design, Designers are often a better deal than architects, they charge less per hour and are equally capable. Look for a designer that is well respected and award winning, they don’t cost any more than someone who’s not.
Thirdly, consider a Design Build company. In a well-tuned, healthy company, the nature of Design Build structure is that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, which creates smooth, clear communication, higher quality work and exceptional customer care. This won’t cost more; in fact, in the long run it saves money because the process is managed from a single point, less time lost on lack of precision.
Your lifestyle and habits will dictate much of what the remodel will ultimately look like. However, resale may be a driver in the choices you make. I have not been able to find a report or study that refutes the inherent resale value of a kitchen remodel or bath remodel. A balanced design that is not overbuilt for your house will net the best return.
The other thing that’s showing up on all the real estate sites and home sales reports is the question of ‘how green is the house?’ The story goes like this, if you incorporate green building practices, sustainable materials, and energy efficient selections now, your house will be more likely to sell quicker and for a higher price than a comparable home having used inferior building methods at the time of its remodel.
There are so many layers of how green you can go with your remodel. Avoid thinking of ‘green’ as a ‘specialty’ that costs more. The market has ramped up, product competition is high and prices have come way down now that demand is way up.
It’s worth drilling down on the potential ‘green’ options with your contractor. Green design is the new standard, don’t settle for an old-school contractor; it’ll cost you in the end.
I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this topic, but we’ve hit the big bumps. I’ll call it good for today.
Thanks for reading! Zeta
Posted on December 17, 2009