Are you considering renovation of a fixer-upper for your next home? If so, there are some things to consider in advance that will save you a lot of stress and money in the process… and it starts with a quality contractor.
Our team at Right Source Roofing & Construction loves renovation and the extreme satisfaction we get seeing the transformation of before to after. There’s just no greater feeling. We have had the privilege of working with some amazing clients throughout Greater San Antonio. We know renovations are serious hard work – there can sometimes be hidden problems that we discover with the “bones” of your home, but we’ve found that with some organization and focus helps the process go smoother.
Renovations can include many late nights. It is hard work, but the reward is so incredible when we see the happy homeowner in the home of their dreams.
Do we make mistakes? Oh yes, but we get through them, learn from them, and we make a conscious effort to not repeat those mistakes. We hope these tips will help you avoid some of the same and have less stress and less surprises during your renovation.
- Do Your Homework
Whether it’s an architect, contractor or a builder you’re hiring, do your homework. Check reviews and ask for references. Ask a lot of questions: were projects completed on time and on budget? Were there any red flags? How were the subcontractors? Are your professionals knowledgeable about local permitting, rules or regulations? Is there a contract in place that spells out the nitty-gritties, like insurance, payments and how change orders are processed? How is the accounting handled?
We welcome the opportunity to visit with you and answer any questions and concerns you may have.
- Be Mindful of Change Orders
Change requests after the process has begun can be expensive – both to your budget and your timeline to completion. They also have a tendency to sneak up on you so plan, plan, plan ahead so you know exactly what your scope of construction is going to be in advance. Of course you can change your mind, but it usually comes with a price. A good motto is: be ready and be prepared to pay, if necessary.
- Expect the Unexpected
We’ve all got those bumpy-road stories: what about low ceilings and bumpy load-bearing walls that can’t be moved? Bathrooms that need to be brought up to code? Or a completely undetected utility line running right under the construction zone? Despite all the planning, renovations can bring unexpected and unwelcome surprises. Grin and bear it and plan for it – and know that your project will probably run a few dollars higher and a little bit longer than you planned. If it doesn’t: congratulations!
- Vision of Design
Start a design folder to organize and stash your design ideas and inspiration. Houzz.com is a great website to create ‘Ideabooks’ in your online profile to save photos of kitchens, bathrooms, fixtures, paint color, and every other detail you would like to see in your own home.
Really give some thought into your floor plan and yes, it’s okay to obsess a little over every detail. That’s what makes a custom job so unique and special. The hundreds of decisions required for your job will be for everything from bath and kitchen fixtures to flooring, door and cabinet hardware…and of course, paint, so really take some time to think about what you really want.
Communication with your contractor, designer, and subcontractors is crucial. While you may love texting, it’s really a better idea to have an email thread of conversation that everyone can refer to when memories get foggy. Having a written exchange of communication will keep all parties accountable.
Make sure you stay on top of upcoming deadlines. Ask your contractor and team to keep you informed. You never want to be that client who hasn’t picked out paint colors, door styles or hardware. Take care of the small decisions early on and get those little details decided on as soon as possible. That might include sampling paint colors, testing hardwood stain colors or even cutting out furniture templates to see how a room is going to lay out. Renovating has an order of sequence: the very first thing you need to pick out is your plumbing hardware!
- Think Ahead
The worst is when you move into your beautiful new renovation…and realize that there are no outlets on the wall next to where you want a lamp. Or, the switch for the cute outdoor light ended up downstairs in the basement for some reason. Or you forgot to put outlets in the kitchen island. Keep a notebook handy for all these little electrical thoughts that come to mind. And remember your dimmers!
- Bang for Your Buck
Figure out a focal point (or points!) in your home and then go for it. This could be a stunning stone fireplace or a custom designed Kitchen Island. Decide how you might take advantage of a view or add a custom feature to elevate the design. Think about what will give your home a big statement and plan for that in your budget.
- What’s Important
Not counting furnishings, figure out what’s important to you. Maybe you love solid, heavy doors and good windows; perhaps proportionate baseboards and good light fixtures. Maybe you’re into electronics: tvs, internet and security. Really think about what’s important to you and spend the money to get those things exactly how you want them.
Can’t replace all the hardwood floors? Match the existing ones and cover with a darker stain. Is the top of the line hardware out of sight, budget-wise? Splurge on your dream door handle for the front door, but go with something else on interior doors.
- Be Creative and Have Fun
We like to have fun while we’re renovating. We know that even the best laid plans can go awry, so the key to a successful renovation is being able to adapt and move forward.
Our best recommendation for you, the homeowner: plan as best as you can, make your decisions in advance as much as possible…and most of all, enjoy the transformation of your fixer-upper into your beautiful dream home.
We would appreciate the opportunity to win your business and help you transform your home into something spectacular. Contact us for a free estimate. (210) 478-0964