Home Improvements Union is an award-winning design and build firm that specializes in kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, finished basements, attics, home additions, garages, whole house renovations, deck remodeling, siding installation, window and door replacements in Saint Louis. We are committed to developing long-term relationships with our customers. We will exceed expectations and gain your trust through superior performance by every member of our team in Saint Louis. We pride ourselves on bringing professionalism to a trade that has a well-earned, poor reputation.
Remodeling is tricky business. Some builders think it's harder than new construction! And, in some ways it is. You have to match existing conditions and sometimes this means trying to stick a square peg in a round hole! Depending on how old and what kind of shape your building is in... will determine how you remodel it. A real colonial home (I mean one built in the 1700's not a "colonial reproduction") for example has construction techniques that aren't used (or rarely) anymore like hand laid stone foundations, hand-blown glass, hand carved mouldings and clapboards and post and beam construction.
10 Step - Quick Start Check List
1 Take stock of what you GOT!!!
- What kind of shape is your home in?
- Are utilities upgraded?
- Is the structure solid?
- Do you have enough space to work within the existing walls?
- Gather your ideas - magazine articles - books - photos
- Figure out the style - color - look that you want
- Write down a half page vision statement for the look and feel of the job.
- Traditional - modern - white - eclectic - country - high tech?
- Do you need more space or can a more efficient layout do the job?
- Planning is key - who will design and specify the plans for your remodel?
- Architect? Designer? Interior Designer? Design/Builder?
- Who will process the permits? (sometimes a bigger job than you might think!)
- Who will build it? o Who will do the fine finishing's - colors - curtains - art hanging
- Line 'em all up early
- Overdo the planning! The more you figure out things on the front end the better the pricing, speed and quality of the job! o Make a simple model - use foam core board
- Draw elevations of all walls in the kitchens and bathrooms.
- Specify the flooring, the trim carpentry, the cabinets, the back splash, the ceiling detail, the windows and doors, the fixtures and appliances.
- Think about where the mechanical systems will go - heat/AC - plumbing - electric
- Don't forget about low voltage wiring - phones - computers - alarms - TV
- Review products and procedures for environmental impact
- Energy usage - use EnergyStar appliances
- Toxicity - low VOC paints o Efficiency - make it work well
- Durability - use products that last and have low maintenance
- Have your builder draw up a "Rough Budget" showing the line items.
- Things will change as you finalize your plans - but start early - and adjust your budget
- Remember - you will spend more than you think - so set a budget lower than where you want to finish up
- Don't rely on square foot cost ballparks - they don't make any sense!
- Get the architect/designer layout a schedule of the planning process - including the permit process - then check it with your city/town
- Have your builder draw up a rough schedule while you are still planning the project
- Understand the linear fashion of construction - if you make a change in the middle of the project you can ruin your schedule!
- Get your builder to finalize the costs and draw up a specific contract.
- Base the payouts on milestones of completion in the project.
- Specify products and installation procedures - oversight - clean up - security of the job - warranty of the work - follow up after completion
- Re do the schedule based on the final plans and specifications.
- Keep your eye on the project but don't interfere
- Ask your builder to provide a schedule and keep updating it
- Require weekly meetings and project memos that show work done - to be done and RFI's (request for information)
- Get all the owners manuals and warranties for all the products used
- Finalize billing o Obtain notice of completion
- Obtain "signed off" building permit
- Finalize punch list items
Remodeling Dos and Don'ts
Bathroom remodeling can be a major undertaking, especially when you have decided to replace major fixtures, such as a shower or bathtub. Taking out a shower or tub, then adding in a new shower or tub can be very difficult if the proper planning and preparation have not been conducted ahead of time. Here are 3 thoughts to take into consideration before starting any work on your bathroom remodeling project.
1. Consider your current bathtub or shower size. Accurately measure the area you have for your bathtub or shower before any bathroom remodeling begins. Measure your current tub or shower and the area that it occupies before you even begin looking at new fixtures. Although this sounds very elementary, this is a very important step and cannot be overlooked to be sure that a properly sized new shower or tub is selected. Remember to take the measurements with you when going tub or shower shopping.
2. Consider the costs of bathroom remodeling. Don't forget to include all of the costs associated with installing a new shower or tub - the materials, tools and equipment, and the price or time of installation. Paying for installation of your new shower or tub can be very expensive. Consider do-it-yourself installation only if you have experience with this type of work and others willing to help. If you don't have any experience with these types of projects, your best option is probably to turn it over to the professionals. Paying for professional installation can be well worth every penny for the time and headache that it can save you if you don't have any experience.
3. Consider the time it will take for the bathroom remodeling project to be finished. How long will you be without access to the bathroom you have chosen to remodel? Is there another bathroom in your home that you will be able to use in the meantime? If there is not another bathroom in your home, where will you stay for the duration of the remodeling project?
Bathroom Remodeling, more specifically, replacing a shower or bathtub, can be a major task. Be sure to have a clear plan before you begin any work on the bathroom so that your experience will be a positive one.
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