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 - 10 Step Quick Start Checklist
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
Home remodeling is an effective way to give your home a brand new look. If you are highly creative, you can certainly come up with a whole new atmosphere for your home. But let's face it - your ideas are only be ideas if you do not implement them. You need home remodeling to bring your ideas to life.
You are probably hesitant to do any remodeling for a very understandable reason -
Cost. Labor and materials can set you back many thousands of dollars. It would be great to have an exact budget for your home remodeling project, but you can never really determine an exact cost for your home remodeling project. The cost will depend on a lot of factors.
First, you have to think how simple or complex your home remodeling project will be. Are you just considering wallpapering or repainting your exterior? Perhaps you are thinking of replacing some of your bathroom and kitchen fixtures, or you want structural changes and elaborate reworking of current electrical and plumbing circuits.
The simplicity or complexity of the work to be done will determine the cost. If your project is complex, you will have to consider a building permit, hiring an electrician and plumber and purchasing more material. This will certainly cost you more than just repainting or adding some accessories.
The cost of home remodeling will not be as expensive as you think, if you have done some pre-planning beforehand. Remember that the cost of your home remodeling will greatly depend on how you plan and organize the things that you want done.
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