Questions To Ask Before Starting A Remodel

Recently we featured the questions every homeowner should ask before hiring a general contractor. But choosing the best professional for a project is just the beginning. What comes next is equally as important. You want to be sure you’re prepared for your project by following up with your contractor on the specifics. Consider consulting your contractor with these additional questions before any remodeling occurs.

1. How long will the project take? 

Not only is it important to understand when the project will start and end, but it is helpful to know if there are expected dates for material arrival. Every remodel is different, and the same goes for selections. However, no matter the selections be it flooring, cabinetry, etc, asking about anticipated dates reassures you as a client that there is structure and planning within the expected timeline. If for any reason the project extends longer, a schedule can exist as a reference for further understanding. 

2. What is the best way to communicate/What does your communication look like?

If you are living elsewhere during your remodel, knowing whether or not your contractor will update you on progress or setbacks might be of importance for you. How this communication will occur, whether over the phone (via text or call) or email will keep you on the lookout on the appropriate device. Additionally, asking how often you should expect to hear from the contractor allows you to be more flexible in your schedule if there are days/times he/she expects to provide an update.

3. Who will be on site, and how will they protect my property?

Depending on the size of your project or the scope of work, there may be a lot of people on site. If the number of people at your house is a concern, asking upfront before the remodeling begins helps you absorb the information at hand. With many people working, there are many tasks to be done. Knowing if and how someone will lock up your house at the end of each day can give you the peace of mind you deserve as a homeowner. 

This question can also pertain to how your items inside the house will be protected during renovations to prevent any damage. Will you have to temporarily move furniture out, or is it realistic to work around that which you are keeping? Understanding if there is anything you can do before the remodel to assist in the process or protection of any household items could help expedite the renovation process.   

4. Where do you store materials when they arrive?

Typically selections are chosen before the start of the renovation, making their ordering process more efficient. In the schedule, there may be dates already allotted for when materials will be ordered and how long they will take to arrive. Once they do arrive, knowing where they will be stored, if someone will be on site to confirm the order, etc helps assure the materials are protected. A contractor may confirm whether or not storing the materials on the property is acceptable or if it’s preferred they’re stored elsewhere.

5. Do you suggest finding a place to stay during the duration of the remodel?

Some homeowners prefer to live in the house during their renovations, but the task is certainly not for everyone. If you are still deciding on where to stay, consult your contractor. They know better than anyone the extent of the project and if it could affect the daily chores of your life. The primary construction that consists of loud drilling or constant movement around the space may occur during your own personal workday. So at the end of the day, even if you do come home to a renovation in progress, at least you’ll come home to quiet.

For more guides to remodeling, stay up to date on our blog, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to track our renovation projects! 

Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A General Contractor

Before remodeling your home, it’s important to understand who you’re working with. The best way to get to know the right contractor is by asking the right questions. At the end of the day, you may choose the professional with the most experience, but it is still crucial to gather as much information as you need to decide the best fit for you and your project.

#1 How long have you been in business?

Knowing how long a company has been in business can provide perspective as to how much experience the contractor has or if they need to continue to grow further. Some contractors however, have practiced technical or honed skills prior to entering a business. These qualities can be helpful in determining the type of contractor you feel most comfortable entrusting with your project’s needs. RemodelWerks CEO, Joe Kupstas has over 28 years of experience in the business. RemodelWerks launched its award-winning business in 2012.

#2 Are you a licensed contractor?

License certification requirements vary depending on the city, state, or even country in which you live. Asking about your potential contractors credentials ensures they have gone through all the necessary avenues to be certified in your region. Their license number also allows you as a homeowner to see if they have any previous information relating to their work including a history of claims.

#3 How many similar projects have you done before?

Just because a contractor is certified in the area of expertise for which you are in need of, does not mean they are the best professional for the job. By inquiring about similar projects, you can develop a sense of whether or not the contractor is highly qualified enough for your scope of work. 

#4 What does your work procedure from beginning to end of the day look like?

When the contractor or any subcontractors begin work is a useful question to have answered for the sake of knowing if and how long workers will be at your house during your congruent work day. In terms of procedures, having an idea of their process, anticipated storage for tools, and what their clean-up consists of at the end of each day allows you to envision what to expect during construction. 

#5 Is there a warranty on services/products?

A majority of contractors have a form of warranty on their work or products like a manufacturer’s guarantee. Knowing what the warranties are exactly and how long they extend can give you peace of mind if something needs replacement or repair.  RemodelWerks has a superior 5-Year Warranty.

#6 What’s the best way to get in touch with you?

Getting a contractor’s business information including a phone number, cell or business, and a business address is one of the most important details to obtain when interviewing or hiring a contractor. Asking what method of communication is preferred, the best times to contact him,  and when you should expect a response is crucial to maintaining an open and effective line of communication. 

For more of your remodeling questions answered, be sure to read our bi-weekly blogs, and don’t forget to follow our pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Ready to start your project? Contact us today.

5 Design/Build Companies To Follow on Instagram

Looking for future remodeling ideas or new accounts to follow? We took a page out of Emily’s Interiors book and are sharing our favorite design build companies Instagram pages!

Dive into the world of design build with these five accounts!

1. @Greystreetdesignllc

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Grey Street Design, LLC customizes and creates spaces that fit their clients style and function. With an attention to detail and good design, their remodels make clients feel right at home. Featuring unique takes on “his” and “hers” kitchens, Grey Street Design engages all members in an exciting design journey. We can’t wait to see where their American Classic home renovation journey will take them!

2. @Bellweatherllc

With over 25 years of dedication to the industry, Bellweather Design-Build is certainly a prevailing force in the Philadelphia area. Designing and producing kitchens galore, their feed is nothing short of refreshing. As an Instagram follower, you feel like part of the experience from start to finish. Learning about team members, staying informed with design selections, seeing renderings, and awaiting the photos of the final reveal, keeps you on your toes the whole time.

3. @Bentonhomebuildersstl

From exterior revamps to interior renovations, Benton Homebuilders offers new construction services that brighten and beautify the space you live. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Benton Homebuilders work alongside clients to design the floor plan and finishes that fit the homeowners. There is always something new to look at among their feed and could have us scrolling for days.

4. @Harthbuilders

We can’t ignore the rich wood tones in Harth Builders feed. At first glance, the designs are so lively, and upon second glance of the before picture, the after shot remains that much more stunning. Their commitment to quality and cleanliness is showcased in each one of their projects. Every bathroom, bedroom, and new build is brought to life with the help of Harth Builders. 

5. @meltondesignbuild

Clean lines and close ups describe the feed of Melton Design Build. Their projects showcase everything from modern designs to bright whites and pops of color. Having been the first remodeling firm in Boulder, Colorado to earn the Building Analyst Professional Certification, Melton Design Build displays levels of sophistication and dedication to their clients satisfaction. Their attention to detail and passion for their craft certainly can’t be denied.    

Keep an eye on our social media feeds as we continue to share company updates, finished products and more of our favorite industry follows! We are on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

MASTERING A MAJOR REMODEL

Whether renovating an ensuite bath, a kitchen, or the whole home, we’re here to help you master your remodel. From quick tips on how to spend your down time, to advice on living amid each project, by the end of this read, you’ll know exactly how to master a major remodel.

Find The Right Professional:

Before accidentally knocking down a load bearing wall yourself, connect with a trusted professional that understands your needs and provides consistent, superior customer service. Ask yourself, does the company go above and beyond to ensure the experience you deserve? With our team of designers, we digitally render a space in both existing and proposed conditions for our clients to visualize their space before the start of construction. With our process, we make the remodeling experience a breeze and even provide a five-year guarantee on all of our work. No matter the company you choose, make sure it’s a company you can trust throughout your project.

Next Steps – Prepping For Your Remodel:

After finding the right professional for you, don’t be afraid to be proactive and ask questions. When undergoing a renovation, preparation is everything. Before lifting a finger, or rather a hammer, make sure to confirm your design plans and selections to avoid any surprises. There’s no better time to double-check finishes or furnishings that are staying put than before construction begins. As soon as your design is confirmed, you’re ready to roll.

Almost There – Conquer Living With Construction:

With all remodels, there’s always an adjustment period. You’ll need to be ready to optimize the function of the spaces you have to accommodate the spaces that are under construction. This means leveraging half baths and showering at the gym – or leveraging a full bath if available. As for kitchen renovations, find a temporary outlet for a microwave and remember all good things take time. In the end, all your preparations and minor adjustments will be worth the wait of your brand-new renovated space.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy

The best part of undergoing a remodel is looking back to see how far your space has come. So take pictures, embrace the process, and indulge in your new home. You can finally sit back and relax because you will have mastered your remodel.

Continue to follow us here for more insight on how to successfully remodel your home. Also, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for tons of before and after pictures, tips and tricks, and more.

How to Know You Chose the Right Remodeling Company

Whether it be a bathroom, kitchen, or basement remodel, any home alteration is a huge undertaking. Partnering with a remodeling company is a smart choice, but how do you know the partner you chose is right for you? Here are a few signs that will assure you that you’ve made the right decision and that the remodeling process is about to be a dream come true.

Creative & Thorough

From the start, the remodeling company you have chosen should be offering you a customized experience tailored to your style and budget. The company should provide you with options as well as suggestions that match your needs. Most importantly the company should be up front about their process so that there are no surprises towards the project’s completion.

Extensive Experience

The company you have chosen should have a wide variety of experience when it comes to all aspects of Interior and Exterior Remodeling and Custom Building. A bonus: they have the awards to prove they are outstanding at what they do.

Superior Customer Service

The team you have chosen should be not only respectful but attentive. If they are the right company, they will keep you updated throughout the entire process. You will feel at ease knowing your home is in good hands. Your satisfaction is what should matter most to the company. Do they have good customer reviews? Let those speak for themselves!

Warranty or Leave

Make sure the company you have chosen is offering you a warranty. The company’s involvement shouldn’t end when they complete the job. If it’s a great company, they will stay in touch and follow up on their work for years to come.

PS: Don’t Let Price Be a Deciding Factor

Basing your decision on finding the cheapest company is one of the biggest mistakes’ customers make. The cheapest company usually won’t provide the highest quality workmanship or an enjoyable experience. In fact, the best way to price a remodel is to set your budget first and then plan your remodel based on that.

Does the company you’ve chosen check all these boxes? If yes, then you are in good shape! If not, check out RemodelWerks. RemodelWerks is a full-service Kitchen & Bath, Addition, Basement, Custom Remodeling, and Whole House Design Build Remodeling Firm servicing Shrewsbury East Massachusetts into Boston. We are a fully licensed and insured team of remodeling specialist using 3D Design Technology. Contact us for your next project today.

4 Elements of a Great Basement Entertainment Area

Design Build Home Improvement Contracting – Basement Recreation Room

 

Looking for ideas on what to include in your brand new basement entertainment area? Whether your basement is large or small, there are plenty of options on how to make it great for entertainment. When remodeling your basement for entertaining, here are four elements to include to make it a truly great retreat for your family and guests.

 

Space for Pool/Billiards, Ping Pong, and Other Tabletop Games

 

A basement entertainment area doesn’t seem complete without a pool table. Billiards are one of the most popular games played in basements, so why not have one in yours? Is pool not your thing? Having a ping pong table in the basement is another great idea. Believe it or not, basement ping pong even has its own rules!

 

Want both games but don’t have the space? You could get a convertible pool table or ping pong table. Not only could you go back and forth between pool and ping pong, but you could even have air hockey or other surfaces for other games. When designing your basement entertainment space, be sure to keep this area of flexibility in mind.

 

TV/Entertainment Center

 

Sometimes you just want to kick back and watch a movie or a favorite show. Basement home theaters are more popular than ever today. You could also build in a gaming center with consoles such as XBox and Playstation. There are many different ways to build a basement entertainment center. You can build it on a budget, or you can go all out by adding soundproofing for a true theater experience! Your contractor can provide you with all of the options.

 

Bar & Sink

 

Basement bars are one of the most sought after entertaining areas for the home. They can be big or small, with a little or a lot of seating. Any basement bar should be complete with a sink and probably at least a small fridge. You could even make space for a dishwasher if you’re planning on having lots of guests. Ask your contractor what would work best for your home.

 

Bathroom with Possible Shower Stall

 

Extra bathrooms are welcome in any house. Who wants to run upstairs for a bathroom break? If games of ping pong get particularly competitive in your home, you may want a hot shower afterward. In that case, it’s not hard to have your contractor install a shower stall. Just be sure to have the necessary plumbing!

 

While not every basement may have room for all four of these elements, a great basement remodeler will work with you to create a basement entertainment area that you won’t believe is actually inside of your own home!

Basement Home Office

Running a business out of your home? Whether it’s part-time or full-time, you’ve probably found yourself wanting for a dedicated space that won’t be invaded by other parts of your life. Sometimes, a spare bedroom or random nook in the home becomes a designated office space. But more often than not, an office is usually the dining room table or shoved off in a corner or against a wall in a bedroom or den. The best solution is often a basement home office.

basement-home-officeThere are a few ways to approach a basement home office. In some cases, you may run a business where it may be useful to have clients visit you at your home. But you want a designated space that can be made separate from the rest of your house. If you have an easily accessible outdoor entry to your basement, you may consider this as an ideal location for a home office. You can then close it off from the rest of the home except for a door that you can lock so people don’t wander around your house. You may even decide to have a small half-bath or powder room off of the office. Not only does this make for a great convenience for you, but also for potential clients.

What if you don’t have an easy outdoor access? This doesn’t really matter if you don’t care if clients are going to be visiting you. If it’s just a private office, you can really put it anywhere that makes the most sense based on the layout of your home. The primary things that you need in any home office are sufficient electrical outlets, a strong internet connection (wifi is best), and enough space to store a computer, accessories, file cabinets, and any other materials to which you need consistent access. Also, you want plenty of lighting. Natural light is always best. Try not to make it too harsh, as this isn’t good for anyone’s eyes.

Beyond the obvious usefulness of a dedicated office space, you can even get a federal income tax deduction in the United States if you use the space for business on a regular basis. It’s based on your net business income, and can greatly offset the costs of actually operating the home office. Especially if you are in business for yourself, this is a very useful way of absorbing some of your expenses. It may only be a few hundred or a couple thousand dollars, but every dollar counts. This is one major reason why having a dedicated space that you can properly measure in square footage is so helpful. Of course, you need to make sure that your space qualifies, and Investopedia has some good advice regarding the home office tax deduction qualifications.

As far as resale value, they only pay back about 50 percent of what they cost to construct. But if you make it large enough, add a closet and enough natural light, you could later market it as a spare bedroom. It all depends on the buyer and a designated office space can even be a solid selling point. Whether it’s to save a bit of money on your taxes or just to avoid the headaches of sharing house space with the rest of your life, a home office is a solid investment.

Shrewsbury Homeowner asks: Laminate, Natural, or Engineered Stone Countertops?

Granite countertops are still the most popular choice among homeowners doing kitchen remodels. Even though many other options exist on today’s market, the natural charm and uniqueness of granite slabs continue to wow homeowners and potential homebuyers alike.

Five Potential Uses for an Unfinished Basement

 

It may seem like there’s a disadvantage to a basement being unfinished when a home is purchased. However, the good thing about starting with an unfinished basement is the fact that there’s  a clean slate. This means you have more options to choose from than if your basement were already finished. Since basements can increase the value of your home, as well as be a great place for a variety of activities, the possibilities are endless. There are many directions to consider and many ways to use an unfinished basement. Here are five of them.

Recreation Area

Many people choose to remodel an unfinished basement for recreational use. This could be something like a family game room or exercise area. Some might choose a plan that’s more involved, such as a family movie theater with a built-in sound system. Yet others might be more set on a party area with a built-in wet bar for serving drinks to friends. A Shrewsbury Design Build team can help you come up with a plan that works for your personal needs.

Extra Bedroom Space

Shrewsbury basement remodels often involve adding more bedroom space to an unfinished basement. Large families may find this will give them more room to feel comfortable. Some people will use the extra bedroom space for guests. Others may choose to create this extra bedroom space to garner additional rental income. Any of these options can help increase home value.

Utility and Storage

A common use for unfinished basements is extra storage space. You can take it one step further by having a space designed specifically for tools and other household utility items. For people with a large amount of storage, utilities, and tools, this can be a lifesaver. Utility storage rooms help prevent loss of time from searching the house and digging in unorganized boxes for the things you use but only need once in a while.

Workshop

For those who do use their tools every day, a workshop might be more appropriate. While some use their garages for this purpose, others may want to save that space for their vehicles instead. Transforming an unfinished basement into a workshop can help give you a more spread out and organized space to store tools and work on DIY projects. This can be especially handy for plumbers and other professionals that may have a large amount of tools and may need an area to prep certain items, such as pipes.

Office Space

Tired of trying to cram your work area into one side of your bedroom or living room? Perhaps that unfinished basement can be used for an office space instead. Whether you run your own business out of your home, need a place to organize family bills, or you work out of your home for another company, having a separate office area can help keep things in order. A basement remodeling expert can help make sure that your new office is up to code and is designed for your exact usage.

 

Basement Remodeling For Older Homes

Many older homes have basements that have remained unfinished from the day the house was built. These were meant only as a place to keep the mechanical guts of the house, such as heating and cooling systems and other utilities. But with additional living space a priority for today’s homeowners, it’s important to get any usable square footage that you can, and the basement is usually the best place to get that. When it comes to older basements, it’s important to understand that there may be a good deal of preparation required to make the space liveable.

Moisture and Mold

One of the most common issues with basements in older homes is that they can be damp. Because of excess moisture, they can even become breeding grounds for mold. Moisture issues can occur simply due to not having the proper waterproofing material installed below ground. Older stone or brick foundations commonly have this problem. Even concrete block foundations with older waterproofing and draining systems may need to be fixed to make them functional again. Before the basement finishing even begins, make sure that water isn’t regularly entering the basement. Also, if mold has become an issue, remediation must happen before continuing any basement remodel.

Grading Issues for Water Runoff

It’s also important to note that many homes built prior to 1940 were not built to have sufficient grading for water runoff. Improper grading can lead to standing water next to your foundation, eventually leading to cracks in the foundation and other problems. Even if your home is newer than that, you still need to be wary of any signs of foundation damage. Before you go about finishing your basement, any foundation issues must be repaired. If these foundation problems do exist, you may have to look into installing foundation drain tile (a requirement in many newer building codes) or even as far as grading your yard to prevent future water drainage issues. Proper gutters and downspouts are a must, as well, as they can tend to be one of the major factors in water pooling too close to the house.

Proper Insulation and Moisture-Resistant Materials a Must

Once any existing moisture or mold issues are resolved. Any wood framing should be treated to resist moisture. Also, mold and mildew resistant drywall should be used, and vapor barriers and insulation need to be properly installed. In addition, This Old House recommends basement subflooring which creates air gaps below the floor using corrugated or cleated plastic panels that typically come in 2×2 foot interlocking panels. This plastic acts as an additional moisture barrier which will help keep the finishing flooring dry.

Health and Safety Concerns

Air quality is a main concern when remodeling an older basement. Beyond existing mold, there is the potential for radon particles in the air. Radon can be easily tested for and dealt with before any finishing work is underway, as once finishing is done, existing radon can become trapped. While it is a radioactive gas, radon typically doesn’t exist in the air in enough amount to cause any problem. But if it is allowed to build up to toxic levels, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon typically is an issue when it comes to older stone foundations and extra radon can seep in through cracks in concrete floors. This is an important consideration when finishing your basement, as it is yet another thing that must be dealt with immediately.

Other important concerns that need to be keep in mind include old or faulty electrical work, proper entrance and egress, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, and adequate ventilation. Checking local municipal building codes for any other requirements is a must, as well.

Finishing basements in older homes can do a lot for your home, not only giving you additional living space, but ensuring that your home’s foundation is protected from long-term damage. It also makes certain that your home is safe from air quality issues such as mold or radon. Not to mention, basement remodels greatly increase the value of your home.