Things to Consider Prior to Remodeling Your Home

remodel-6-3When thinking about  residential remodeling , it’s easy to think that the job will be done quickly and hassle-free.  In many cases this is true.  But before embarking on a remodeling project, you should know that it may take considerably longer than you imagined.  Unfortunately, there can be delays that your contractor has no control over, and these can turn a 6 -to 8-week project  to drag out 3 to 4 months.  Your contractor will coordinate municipal, county, and state regulators; engineers, inspectors, subcontractors and material vendors to work seamlessly and efficiently on your construction project.  Any one delay can throw off the entire schedule and prolong the project.   Some things to consider when thinking about residential remodeling are:

1.  Home Owner Associations – Many homeowners associations have rules that must be adhered to when remodeling a home.  The review board, who met once a month, had to approve the project prior to commencement.  This may mean having to wait several weeks to get approval, before even approaching the municipality for they city’s approval.
2.  Zoning – If your remodeling includes an addition, make certain that your plan is within the zoning for your neighborhood.  A detached structure may be limited in size and specific use.  Basically, a detached structure can only be used for storage, not for living.
3.  Architectural Design Requirements and Costs – Check to see if full architectural plans are required and the cost for these.  Typically these can run as much as 10% of the total cost of the project and it takes several weeks to complete.  You may discover that required changes or revisions to the initial plans can take longer.
4.  Local Government Approval Procedures – Check to see what the municipal approval process is, how long it takes and what it costs.  This can delay your schedule.
5.  City Inspections – It has been my experience that city inspectors are easy to get along with and can be helpful in your project by advising you on issues that may come in the construction process.  Of course this is another area where delays may crop up.  Your contractor may request an inspection, and you must wait for the inspector.  Normal work days are Monday through Friday, so do not anticipate an inspection on weekends even though your contractor may work at that time.  An example: if electrical wiring and plumbing is complete, and you request an inspection, insulation and sheetrock must be put on hold until the inspection is done.  If any discrepancies are found, there is further delay and a re-inspection is in order. 
6.  Third Party Inspections – Some municipalities require a third party for inspections.  These inspections are yet at an additional cost–further delaying the project.

Take into consideration these points before your residential remodeling project.