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 - 10 Step Quick Start Checklist
If you're looking to give your kitchen a full remodelling, you'll probably have to substantially dismantle your existing arrangements. While many people choose to get professional help for the dismantling and disposal of their kitchen, it can actually be a straightforward DIY task if you're merely changing the units and not moving around the major utilities. If you're inclined to see your kitchen remodel as an opportunity for a hands-on DIY project, there are a few essential things you need to remember.
Safety is an all-important concern and you'll need to make sure your work environment is as safe as possible before you start dismantling. First of all, make sure that all circuits to the kitchen area are turned off. Tape down the breakers to ensure they don't inadvertently get turned back on. If it's not clear which circuits go to which area on your fuse box, then either turn off all the power or call in a professional. It's not worth the risk! If you need to move any major utilities such as the dishwasher or cooker, it's a good idea to shut off your gas and water supplies while you're working.
Once you've prepared a safe work environment, it's important to know where you're going to put all the refuse you'll create and the old units ready for disposal. That's why it's wise to hire a skip in advance to save yourself the hassle of dumping everything around the back of your property or making multiple trips to the recycling centre. Regardless of what you plan to do with the remnants of your old kitchen, it saves a lot of time if you have a convenient place to store them while you're working.
It's also vital that you avoid some of the most common mistakes that come with a DIY kitchen remodelling. For example, some people don't allow themselves enough time to remodel and consequently haven't made arrangements for a temporary kitchen space that can be used for basic cooking and perhaps eating. It's important to hang plastic covers over doorways to stop dust and debris from making its way into your living or dining rooms. Ignoring the need to cook and keep dust to a minimum can lead to unnecessary stress that may hold up the entire project.
The worktop will be screwed onto the base units from underneath, so its removal is a simple job of unscrewing the worktop, running a knife along the join between the worktop, and the tiles/wall if it's sealed with silicon, and lifting the worktop clear.
The biggest mistake you could make, though, is to damage either your walls or units that you want to reuse. In order to avoid this, it's important to remove all doors and drawers before thinking about removing the units. Then start by dismantling the base units, because this will allow you easier access to any cabinets mounted on the wall. Units are normally either screwed or bolted into the wall. In either case you need help from someone who will hold the wall unit in place while you unscrew/unbolt them.
These are just some starting tips to help you make your DIY kitchen remodelling run smoothly. Remember, if you're at all unsure about removing appliances, flooring or units, it's a good idea to opt for professional help. A DIY project can quickly go wrong if mistakes are made, so more complex projects will benefit immeasurably from in-depth, expert advice.
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