Types of home improvement
While home renovations often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, it can also include improvements to lawns, gardens, and outdoor structures; such as gazebos and garages. Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:
- Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
- Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems.
- Waterproofing basements.
- Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.
Maintenance and repair
Maintenance projects can include:
- Roof tear-off and replacement.
- Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.
- Repairing plumbing and electrical systems.
Additional living space may be added by:
- Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms, home theaters, or home offices – or attics into spare bedrooms.
- Extending one’s house with rooms added to the side of one’s home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof.
Homeowners may reduce utility costs with:
- Energy-efficient Thermal insulation, replacement windows, and lighting.
- Renewable energy with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, Programmable thermostats, and geothermal exchange heat pumps (see autonomous building)
Bathroom remodeling either fills you with thoughts of clean, gleaming white surfaces or of a half-assembled disaster. Maybe both images are true. Let’s follow the steps of a bathroom remodeling project.
1. How Far Do You Want to Go?
- Surface Alterations. At the easy end of the scale, you may like the general layout and size of the bathroom and the structure supporting the bathroom (joists, walls, etc.) are sound. The mantra of the surface-level bathroom remodeler is “cover, not replace.” There is no shame at all in wanting to do a surface-level bathroom remodel.
- Change Layout. More difficult: the structural elements are still fine and you want to make surface alterations, but you also want to change the layout around.
- Complete Tear-Out/Remodel. Now we’re at the end of the difficult scale. You want to do all of the above, but 50 years of accumulated moisture has rotted away the joists and wall studs, and the window is falling out.
At this point, too, consider the general timetable for bathroom remodeling and decide if this is something you think you want to go through.
2. Finance Your Bathroom Remodel
Bathroom remodeling is expensive. Bathroom remodeling costs typically range from $3,000 to $18,000 just for a basic, functional remodel.
Even though most bathrooms are small, the cost comes from the intensive amount of sub-contracting you may have to do (i.e., plumbers, electricians) and the expensive elements involved (fixtures, cabinetry, etc.). Of the many methods of funding your bathroom renovation, perhaps the most common way is with a home equity loan. While looking at financing, you may wish to also think about ways to save on your bathroom remodeling costs.
3. Remodel Bathroom Yourself or Hire a Contractor?
At this point, you need to talk a good hard look at the project and decide if you want to do it yourself or hire a pro. Safe to say, if you are motivated and are merely performing surface alterations, you should be able to remodel the bathroom yourself. Not all tasks are created equal. Installing a new toilet is simple; building a new tiled shower should be left to the pros. Assess which projects to do yourself and which to leave to the professionals.
4. Changing the Layout of Your Bathroom
If you’re remodeling a bedroom and wish to change the layout, it’s not so bad. You move a closet here, push back a wall there. But with bathrooms, you’re not just dealing with the visible elements, you’re dealing with the underlying structure of plumbing and electrical system. Layout changes, such as switching toilet and shower, drive up the cost of bathroom remodeling in a big hurry, so consider this carefully.
5. New Bathroom Walls, Joists, and Other Structural Elements
Since bathrooms collect moisture, there is a good chance you may have to replace drywall. In the case of bathrooms, you’ll be using special moisture-resistent drywall commonly called “green board” and in the very wet areas like showers and baths you’ll be using moisture-proof backer board. Hopefully, you don’t need to replace anything beyond the wallboard. But if you do–that is, if the wall stud and joists are bad–they may need to be sistered or completely replaced.
6. Shower and Tub Repair, Refinishing, or Replacement
The shower, tub, or shower/tub combination is the heart of the bathroom. For many people, this may be the entire reason for the bathroom remodel.
If the worst thing is a few cracks, it is possible to self-repair your acrylic or fiberglass shower/tub for very little money. For many homeowners, though, the surface might be stained and discolored, so tub refinishing would be in order.
Got problems that go beyond repair and refinishing? It is possible to install a bathtub liner – sort of like an “overcoat” for your icky tub. Should those methods prove ineffective, you will need to go all the way and build a tiled shower. Alternatively and with a bit less fuss, you can install a pre-fabricated acrylic or fiberglass shower/tub. Pre-fab shower/tubs need no on-site building, because they have been fabricated in the factory – though make sure that you do not buy any unit too big to fit through your doorways.
7. Bathroom Flooring
Moisture is the culprit in bathrooms, so you can’t just choose any kind of flooring. Carefully weigh all of your bathroom flooring options. A perennial favorite is ceramic tile, but laminate flooring and engineered flooring also do the trick. Whatever you do, avoid hardwood flooring, as it does not tolerate moisture well.
A new kitchen (followed by the bathroom) is often the 2nd most expensive purchase after the house itself and, in many cases, it is the most frequently used room in the home. Adding space to your home or improving existing living conditions can be a traumatic time. However, if you plan properly, it doesn’t have to be. This is why the Planning Phase of a remodel is so important. It is the crucial step to the success of any remodeling adventure—it sets the stage for the entire project.
Step 1: Starting The Process
- We will setup a FREE in-house consultation at your home.
- We will spend as much time as needed at your home going over your ideas for your new project.
Step 2: The Design Process
- During the in-house consultation we will do exact measurements and take pictures of your existing area.
- We will set up an appointment with you to present the design. If the design is approved, we will carefully check every aspect of your project, sign a detailed contract (at this time a deposit is required).
- You will be provided with a set of plans and a list of the appliance sizes you will need in your new kitchen. Because your project is our priority, we can meet with you at the appliance stores to help select the ideal appliances.
- Within a couple of days your designer and our in-house draftsman will visit your home to do the final measurements.
- We will finalize the plans at this time, adding any changes you have.
- The draftsman and your designer will finish putting the final touches on your project, and the office will call you with a start date and a completion date.
Step 3: The Installation Process
- A week before the start date your personal project manager will come to your home, walk you through the process and make sure nothing was overlooked. He will provide you with his personal contact information so that you can reach him at anytime. Please inform him of any special instructions you have (portable toilets needed, garage space available, special access to the project, etc.)
NOTE: Leave your refrigerator full; we will move it to a temporary location until we install your new refrigerator. You can then unload the old refrigerator and we will remove it or move it to a new location.
- Day one: demo crew arrives, first 2 to 3 hours is dedicated to floor protection, we will place plastic over any items needed and will remove all debris after demolition is complete.
- Day two: the installers assigned to your project arrive to go through the project with you and your project manager, and then the fun begins. The following four days will be based around all electrical, plumbing and framing that needs to be done.
- The next two to three weeks installation will be in progress, your designer will consistently check in on the status to make sure all plans are being followed and that you are happy with the process. If you have any concerns at any time during the process please notify your installer or project manager, we will take care of it right away.
- By the end of the last week, once your project is competed we will do a walk through with you. The site will be cleaned, if needed we will bring in a cleaning service at no additional charge.