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 Bathroom Mirrors
These versatile barriers come in a bewildering variety of shapes, sizes and materials, but can be classified generally as accordion, bifold or sliding bypass doors. The accordion and bifold types make handier room dividers than the more cumbersome sliding bypass doors, which are usually used as closet closures, but all three types can be adapted to serve as room partitions.
The accordion door looks like the bellows of an accordion and is usually made of pleated fabric or vinyl stretched over a light metal or plastic skeleton. Closing the door stretches out the pleats into a substantial-looking partition; when the door is opened, the pleats fold compactly to one side. Accordion doors, which are hung on rollers from a single overhead track and attached at one side to a wall, are the easiest of the three types of track-mounted doors to install and once in place require little or no adjustment.
Bifold doors consist of wood, plastic or metal panels up to about 2 feet wide hinged together lengthwise, usually in pairs. Pairs of panels can be linked together to form one continuous surface. A bifold door consisting of one or more pairs can be mounted at one side of an opening and closed by pulling it all the way across, or the doors can be installed at each side of an opening and pulled together in the middle. An overhead track guides the bifold door but the weight of the door rests on a pivot that is attached to the floor on the wall side. A pivot at the top of the door holds the assembly upright.
Sliding bypass doors usually consist of two large wooden panels, each hung by wheels from an overhead track. The panels overlap by about an inch and when closed are kept vertically aligned by a small floor-mounted guide. All overhead tracks - whether they support or merely guide a door - sustain considerable stress when the doors are in use and should be attached to a level, structurally supported surface.
Occasionally a track can be fastened directly to the ceiling. But since folding or sliding doors more than 6 feet 8 inches high are seldom readily available and since most ceilings are 8 feet high, installing such doors usually involves attaching the track for the door to a header suspended from the joists, the structural beams that support the ceiling and the floor above.
The location of the joists helps to determine the position of the door. After locating the joists and marking the proposed position of the door, carefully calculate the vertical space needed for the door and its track. Design and construct a header suitable for the type of ceiling involved to fit in the space between the track and the ceiling.
To calculate the height of header to be suspended from a permanently attached ceiling, measure from floor to ceiling at several points along the proposed line of the door. Subtract from the shortest of these measurements (thus allowing for any unevenness in floor or ceiling) the height of the door and its track plus the thickness of the wallboard or other covering to be applied to the bottom of the header. The result is the height of the header frame; its length is the distance from wall to wall. Attach the header to the ceiling joists, fasten the track to the header and mount the door in its track.
For a door that is hung directly from the ceiling, locate the joists and attach the track directly to them through the ceiling material.
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