Home Remodeling 101:  A How-to Guide on Remodeling Your Home

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Before the Renovations Begin

This guide will give you a step-by-step plan to help navigate the renovation process and make sure the finished project is what you envisioned. Home Renovations can be as big, costly, and time-consuming as one can imagine.  The bigger the project, the more disruptive it will be to your daily home life and the more professional help you should seek.  However, there are ways to make remodeling your home a smooth and enjoyable process.

Find Inspiration

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We all have architectural styles that we feel are more appealing, products and finishes that we wish we were surrounded by every day. For a husband & wife, do not be surprised if your significant other has different styles and taste. We recommend, websites like Houzz and Pinterest because they are excellent sources of inspiration for all types of design styles.  These sites let you save pictures of the spaces you like for future reference and really give you an idea of what is possible in a renovation project.  Often, you will find that your saved images have a certain style or element in common. This research into your home remodeling and architectural styles can be done individually and then come together to narrow down what is important. This first step into your home remodeling process will guide you towards what you really want your finished space to look like.

Budget Wisely

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Houston Remodeling Services Master Bathroom Remodel-Gryphon Builders

Before any remodeling begins, it’s important to know what you can afford to spend on your renovation project. A great resource that will guide you is the annual Cost vs Value guide published annually by Remodeling Magazine. This guide has regional data for our Texas cities, expected job cost for all types of remodeling projects and resale value projections.

Examine your financial situation to determine what resources you can allocate to your project.  It is also a smart move to consult a local real estate agent to find out what renovated homes in your area are selling for so you don’t invest more in the project than you may get back.  This is especially important if you are considering selling your home within five years of completing the renovations. 

After determining what to spend on your home remodeling project. Prioritize design features into must-haves and nice-to-haves to stay on budget.  A must-have is an element that will change how you live in the space. For example, knocking down a wall to create an open living concept is a must-have.  Nice-to-have design elements are less important to how the space functions and are the area you can scale back on to save money.

Planning the Renovation Process

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Planning your Remodel project

Start with a solid plan. Now that you have your inspirations and budgets reviewed for your home remodeling project(s) It is time to start the planning process.

If you are looking at smaller remodeling projects, the planning can be easy. Clearing out the area to be remodeled and planning out the dates to have the project done that fit your schedules. For larger projects, like kitchens and master baths and whole home remodeling. Consideration will need to be given how you are going to function in your home while these projects are going on. Or do you need to find temporary living arrangements to keep your sanity? Living though a major home renovation is no fun.

Interview with some building and design professionals to get information on what the inspiration for your home remodeling projects look like in their eyes. Most professionals will interview with client’s and give them some guidance as to the typical cost and timelines for the projects you are contemplating. Now you should have enough information to start the process with a solid plan to make your home renovation come to life.

If you receive unexpectedly high estimate during this interview process, you may need to rethink your renovation project.  You can break the project down into smaller projects to tackle over time. Or you can review your list of priorities to see if you can eliminate some of the less important items.

Hire the Professionals

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Houston home remodeling professional services

Having the right professionals for your design renovation is crucial in making sure the process runs smoothly and is done correctly.  Take time to interview several building and design professionals. No bidding at this point, figure out which process you would like to take and who is on your team. Do you need an architect, interior designer and builder or will the Design/ Build process work from a single source? In the interview, learn about their backgrounds and the services they can provide.  Check their references and talk to past clients to see how the renovation process went for them. 

It is important to find a contractor you find trustworthy, punctual and responsible. Additionally, make sure your contractor is an insured professional who will provide you with a clear contract listing the details of the job, the timeline, and the payment schedule.  You want to ensure your contractor is true professional.

Who do you Hire?

This is simple, Look to the BBB and research the professional organizations like ASID (American Association of Interior Designers), the AIA (American Institute of Architects), GHBA (Greater Houston Builders Association,  and the NAHB National Association of Home Builders In Texas, there are no licensing requirements for builders or remodelers so finding someone that is part of professional organization, that has received training and is educated on the latest codes is vital to having your investment protected.

A Design-Build Company like ours is growing in popularity. Choosing a design build for any renovation means hiring a single company to design and complete the construction project rather than signing multiple contracts with an architect and a general contractor.  By nature, the design build approach is far more collaborative because designers and builders work together from the start.  Other benefits of hiring a design build firm are an upfront fixed budget (unless you make changes), efficiency, convenience, speed of the project and accountability.

Begin the Renovations

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Green Home Remodel by Gryphon Builders

Now that you have your renovation plan in place and have chosen the right professionals for the job, it’s time for the remodeling project to get underway.  While the main work is up to the pros, there are some things you can do during this time to keep the process running smoothly.

First, try not to alter the design plan after work has begun.  Doing so will add time and money to the project.  Taking the extra time before the renovations begin to nail down the details will ensure your project stays on track and on budget.

Second, you can make sure all the material selections needed for the project are done on time and before work begins. This keeps your contractor from stopping work on your project because he must wait for materials to be delivered.

Third, openly and clearly communicate with your renovation team.  Make sure they know exactly what you want the completed project to look like.  Pictures can be especially effective at explaining just what you want out of your space.

Fourth, remember that unexpected issues may pop up during the renovation process no matter how great you have planned ahead.  Handle the problems with grace and remember that every problem has a solution. Trust your team to work through the unexpected snags with you.

The Completed Renovation Project

Construction is complete and you’re ready to take photos and use your new space. But wait! Before your project is 100% finished, there is one more thing you need to do—complete the punch list.  A punch list is a list of minor items that need fixing once the main renovation is complete. A punch list includes things like chipped paint or a cracked sconce.  Your contract should have a clause noting how punch list items will be addressed and how final payments will be handled. Thoroughly review your new space to make sure every last detail is perfect.  Placing sticky notes on items is a great way to ensure all the final issues are addressed.

Although renovations can be time consuming and stressful at times, we hope that following this guide will help you through the process. Our Houston based design-build firm; Gryphon Builders excels at helping clients renovate their homes.  With over thirty years of residential building experience, Gryphon Builders has a team of true professionals who work closely with our clients during every step of the renovation process to make sure that the final result is a home our clients love.  To learn more about our design build process or if you have questions about your project?  check out www.gryphonbuilders.com or contact owner and founder Allen W. Griffin at allen@gryphonbuilders.com or (713) 939-8005 to schedule a consultation.

As a next step check out our Cost Guide!

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