Remodeling is the art and science of improving an existing, deteriorated, or broken structure. Also, remodeling can refer to bringing a structure back to life, or making something entirely new and is used in many social settings. When people think about remodeling, they often think about bringing a classic piece of furniture back into a room, where it once graced the room. They may envision tearing out a wall to create an open living space, or re-modeling an old bathroom to make it comfortable again. Regardless of the specific change, it is almost always associated with money and works; remodeling can be expensive and time-consuming.
The word remodeling can, however, refer to any changes to a structure, whether they are made to enhance the structure’s performance, extend its useful life, or add value. Also, remodeling can refer to any renovations to a home, whether they are done to add new rooms, extend a home’s use, and/or improve a home’s appearance. Whatever the scope of remodeling is, it generally involves some combination of these practices.
No matter what type of remodeling is undertaken, any change will require some preparation. This planning stage is an essential part of remodeling, and any experienced design-build contractor will agree that without careful planning, a remodeling project can be a costly and time-consuming disaster. First, it is important to outline the entire scope of the project. This includes the budget, which will dictate many of the project’s particulars, such as materials, scope, and expense. This budget should also include any contingencies, including any contingencies that may arise after the remodeling begins.
Next, the budget needs to be reviewed to ensure that it is adequate to cover the costs of the project. Any changes or decisions need to be added to this budget. A well-planned remodel means that any necessary repairs, replacements, or updates will be included. Any items left out of the budget should be itemized and included in the budget as part of the renovations.
Also, any changes to the existing structure must be planned. These could include changing a wall, replacing a floor, installing a bathroom, adding a room, or a combination of any of these items. When remodeling an existing building, it is not only important to include these changes in the budget, but it is also necessary to know what these changes mean to the function, style, and location of the space. For instance, if a room is being renovated to add living space, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the new room and what will be the effect the current occupants. Similarly, if a room is being renovated to add functionality, such as an additional toilet or bathroom, this needs to be addressed in the renovation plans.
After the budget has been prepared, the next step in remodeling is to create a floor plan. This gives the designer an accurate look at how much space can be saved through renovations. It may be necessary to rearrange furniture, change lighting and ventilation, remove carpet, and/or reconfigure windows and doors to create the ideal layout for the new room. Any interior designer worth their salt will have created floor plans at this stage. This planning stage will influence the price and timeline of the project.
Once the floor plan is complete, and it is approved by the homeowner and building permit authorities, the renovation planners can move forward with the major components of the remodeling project. This would include the removal of existing walls, windows, and doors; installing new wall coverings, floor coverings, cabinets, and utility installs; tearing down walls; and adding structural elements such as plumbing and electrical wiring. It would also involve any specialized hardware such as electrical outlets and doorknobs. There are complex design considerations when it comes to all of these components, so the renovation team should include a licensed architect or engineer to handle each element.
Renovation is an involved process and not something that can be completed quickly. While some simple steps can be taken to speed up the remodeling process, such as hiring a general contractor, the complexity of the work is greatly increased. A general contractor can help speed up the start of the project, but they are more limited in their resources and experience and may have other complicated details that are not considered during their job quote. Creating a floor plan, determining which materials will be used, determining the spacing and placement of walls, determining which fixtures and amenities will be included, and more are complex design considerations that can be easily overlooked if a homeowner does not take the time to do it themselves. For this reason, hiring a professional team that includes both an architect and an engineer ensures that the construction is done right and on schedule.