WHERE do we begin??
Dwarren'ee Hughes
July 30, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My husband originally built HIS home in 2000 and it is well past time for an upgrade. So he is willing to do some renovation. New flooring, add a laundry room, overhaul the kitchen and bathrooms. But WHERE do we begin. Should I get estimates from contractors first. I am very afraid of hiring a contractor based on horror stories I have heard about scam artists.
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Jenny Youngblood
Between here and Angie's list I would try to find three contractors and get three different bids for the scope of EVERYTHING you want done. You can always so the work in sections, but get the entire bid upfront. I would start with floors and kitchen for your first projects as that will set the tone for most everything in the house. But yes there are a ton of scam artists. Check license, do a state contractor license check to see if he has complaints, etc.
July 30, 2013 at 1:30pm        Thanked by Dwarren'ee Hughes
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It's from 2000 and already dated? Or is it you who doesn't like it?

I don't know anything about mortgages in other countries, but over here it sometimes is cheaper to move than to renovate. Especially if it was all done in 2000; there might be people who love it and willing to pay a good price on it. So you could look for a house where you can grow into together.
July 30, 2013 at 1:54pm      Thanked by Dwarren'ee Hughes
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Make a good list of all the things that you would like to accomplish. Call in three remodelers - you can use the Find Local Pros feature here on Houzz or you can use NAHB.org and find a local remodeler there. Sources like Angie's List may work as well. Look for remodelers that have advanced designations to show that they are staying abreast of the remodeling industry and new products, materials and processes.

Talk to the contractors about what you want to accomplish and ask questions about how to logically phase your project if you think the total cost may be more than you wish to jump into at one time. You can get a total bid upfront, but if you then start to phase it out, you need to understand that completing the project in phases will cost more - for many very valid reasons.

You need to select a contractor that listens well, that provides good feedback to you and answers your questions legitimately and it needs to be someone that you feel comfortable with. If someone comes in on initial meetings and spends all the time talking about themselves and not listening to you - it isn't going to change during the process.
July 30, 2013 at 2:00pm      Thanked by Dwarren'ee Hughes
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Lambright Design Group
I'm an architect, so probably biased, but when I hear you mention adding a Laundry Room, that would prompt me to suggest you talk to a couple local architects to see if you can find one that can help you with at least a simple schematic layout. WIthout at least a preliminary rough layout, and an Outline Specification, it's hard for any contractor to put together reasonably accurate pricing, since the scope/level of finish is open to interpretation. Basically, the more info you can give them on what you want, the more realistic the preliminary numbers will be. The goal is to minimize surprises as you move forward with the project.
July 30, 2013 at 3:34pm      Thanked by Dwarren'ee Hughes
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SawHorse Design + Build
I would hire an architect or designer first or interview some design/ build firms. If you prefer to manage the process yourself having a set of specifications makes it much easier to compare pricing from the various trades.
July 30, 2013 at 4:13pm      Thanked by Dwarren'ee Hughes
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Dwarren'ee Hughes
Thanks to all for the input and insight. In general I need to sit down with atleast 3 different people to get their ideas and pricing. Okay. Now I have an idea of where to start. It seems like a big task but our house is rather small. Nothing like what I am accustomed to but I am doing all I can to make it OUR home. This is the first step.
July 31, 2013 at 6:08am   
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