Category: News

Finish Your Remodel Right: 10 Tasks To Check Off

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

When you are in the throes of a remodel (even a “minor” one), it can seem as if it will never end … that is, until it does. When the contractors, architects and designers who seemed to be everywhere you turned are suddenly gone, it can be surprisingly easy to forget to nail down those key last details (like making sure everything actually works) in the rush to get your house back. So grab a notepad and be sure to check off these 10 items before you close the book on your remodel. Your house will thank you.

1. Keep the old stuff. Remodeling an older home often means replacing older fixtures and finishes with new — but think twice before sending any of your home’s original details to the dump. Keeping original light fixtures, a few shingles or worn hardware can be a blessing down the road if you or a future homeowner wants to know what the original home looked like, or perhaps even wants to restore the old stuff and reinstall it.

More: Ideas for your living spaces and exterior

2. Make sure everything works. Before you send your pros home on the last day of work, be sure to carefully check that everything works as it should. Turn on appliances, faucets and lights. Check to make sure the hot and cold water work, and plug a lamp into outlets to test them.

 

3. Send in warranty cards. Those gorgeous new appliances or floors may come with a good warranty, but it’s only valid if you activate it — so be sure to send in those cards right away.

4. Update your homeowner’s insurance policy. Anytime you make a major purchase for your home, you should also contact your insurance agent to update your policy. Good record keeping is essential to protect yourself in case anything ever happens to your home and stuff.

How to Create an Inventory, Whether You’re Naturally Organized or Not

5. Open every cabinet, drawer and door. Can you fully extend every drawer and open all the cupboards and doors without knocking into anything? Are the handles affixed properly? Do they open easily? Hopefully you won’t find any problems, but if you do, it’s better to find them right away.

 

6. Learn about proper maintenance.While you still have the ear of your architect or contractor, be sure to ask about how to care for each of the materials used in your remodel. Ask for specifics — if there are brands of products they recommend or homemade cleaning formulas to whip up, write them down.

 

7. Keep all extra materials. Unless you speak up, your contractor may be planning to toss out all of the leftovers from your project … so be sure you do speak up. Having that extra tile, grout or section of countertop can be a lifesaver when you need to repair or replace something.

8. Save and label paint. Even tiny amounts of paint can be used for touch-ups, so make sure you keep it all. Dotting a small amount of paint on the lid will help remind you at a glance which color is which, and a master list of colors used in each room will help down the road if you need to repaint.

 

9. Take care of the legal stuff. Have forms that need to be filed with the city? Even if your contractor or architect told promised to take care of them, it wouldn’t hurt to double check at the end of the project. Sign whatever you need to sign and make sure the appropriate forms have been filed so your remodel is all aboveboard.

10. Keep all of your reno info in one place. Remodeling, no matter the size of the project, generates a lot of little bits of information — contact info for all the pros involved, receipts, paint color names, plans, product manuals and on and on. Dedicate a box or file to documentation from your remodeling project so it will be easier to find exactly what you need in the future.

More: What to Look for in a Contractor’s Contract

Fundraising campaign begins for remodel at Detroit’s Cody High School

WENT OFF AND THEN FIRED AT DETROIT POLICE WHO CAME TO THE SCENE. NO ONE WAS INJURED. Karen: DETROIT’S CODY HIGH SCHOOL NEEDS HELP. IT’S IN DISREPAIR. Devin: STUDENTS DESERVE A LOT MORE THAN THEY’VE BEEN GETTING AND THEY’RE ABOUT TO GET IT. CHUCK IS BACK WITH WORD ABOUT A SPECIAL PROJECT. WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS BEHIND THE SCENES FOR SOMETIME. TELL US ABOUT IT. Chuck: CODY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING 37% OF ITS STUDENTS AND NOW THEY GRADUATE OVER 80%. SO DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMING TO SCHOOLS, UNITED WAY, A LOT OF GROUPS AND STRATEGIES, HOW TO TAKE THE KIDS WITH SO MUCH NEED AND SO MUCH HOPE AND MOVE THEM TO THE NEXT LEVEL WHILE MOST HIGH SCHOOL KIDS ARE THINKING ABOUT VIDEO GAMES, THE CODY KIDS ARE BUCKLING DOWN, BUT THE PHYSICAL BUILDING AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD AROUND IT IS IN NEED. HERE’S LIFE REMODELED TO THE RESCUE TO NOT ONLY REMODEL THE SCHOOL AND 100 BLOCKS AROUND IT WITH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS, BUT HELP REMODEL LIVES. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF ANY COMMUNITY, AND NOWHERE IS THAT MORE FOCUSED THAN AT OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS. TIGHT BUDGETS HAVE CAUSED SOME SCHOOL BUILDINGS LIKE CODY HIGH SCHOOL TO FALL BEHIND IN UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE. THAT’S WHERE LIFE REMODELS STEPS IN. THIS AUGUST, THE CODY HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS, WHICH IS HOME TO THREE SMALL HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS, WILL BENEFIT FROM MAJOR RENOVATIONS THAT WE AS A DISTRICT OPERATING UNDER A FINANCIAL EMERGENCY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO UNDERTAKE OTHERWISE. Chuck: SO COMING IN AUGUST, LIFE REMODELED WILL BRING RENOVATION ARE FOR STATE-OF-THE-ART CLASSROOMS AND LABS, AND INCLUDES PAINTING, LANDSCAPING, REPLACING WINDOWS, A NEW ROOF AND REPAIRING ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING AND TRANSFORMING CODY INVOLVES MORE THAN JUST WORK ON THE BUILDING. IT INVOLVES IMPROVING THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. IT HOPES TO INSTALL A NEW TRACK AND FOOTBALL FIELD ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL, AS WELL AS RENOVATE HOMES IN THE SURROUNDING AREA AND DEMOLISH SEVERAL BURNED-OUT HOUSES. THE FOUNDER, CHRIS LAMBERT, EXPLAINS WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. THE REASON IT’S NECESSARY IS BECAUSE DETROIT HAS A LOT OF HOPE BUT THEY HAVE A LOT OF NEED. WE, AS A CITY. AND DOWNTOWN IS SEEING INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENTS, BUT THE NEIGHBORHOODS, THAT’S ANOTHER STORY. AND WE HAVE GOT TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. Chuck: YOU MAY RECALL LAST YEAR, LIFE REMODELED WAS IN DETROIT AND OTHER CITIES BUILDING HOMES, SORT OF A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EFFORT BUT WAS HELPING REMODEL THE LIVES WITH A GUARANTEE OF STAYING THREE YEARS TO HELP EVERYTHING, JOB COUNSELING AND COMING ALONGSIDE THE KIDS, ET CETERA. NOW THEY’RE GONNA ADOPT THE HIGH SCHOOL, THE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE 100 BLOCKS AROUND, TEARING DOWN, AND PAINTING UP. IT’S A COMBINATION OF GOVERNMENT, CHUMP, AND ORGANIZATIONS COMING TOGETHER WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS AUGUST 11-17 ALL COMING INTO THE CODY/ROUGE AREA. THE SCHOOL IS IN ON THIS AND THE KIDS ARE FIRED UP AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM FROM THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO THE ROUGE ASSOCIATION, THEY’RE ALL IN. THIS IS SOMETHING WE’LL WITNESS THAT I THINK IS HISTORIC AND WILL HELP WITH OTHER SCHOOLS AND GETTING OUR CITY ON THE RIGHT TRACK. IT’S REALLY COOL! Devin: ENORMOUS!

The Three Don’ts of a Successful Remodel

By Scott Murfey, Murfey Construction

How many of you have spent a lazy afternoon binge-watching episode after episode of HGTV’s  “The Property Brothers” or “Love It or List It”? Watching contractors transform their clients’ homes into their dreams homes is certainly addicting. As a contractor, I know that there’s nothing better than the look on my client’s face after a successful renovation. And as a contractor, there’s nothing worse than the look on a client’s face after a nail gun accident. In order to keep a smile on your face during your remodel, here are a few things I would recommend NOT doing:

Don’t do it all yourself: I definitely encourage my clients to get as involved in their remodels as their time and expertise allows. Not only can this save them money; there is also something satisfying about playing an active role in creating your space. However, the proliferation of DIY TV shows, design blogs, and YouTube videos misleads many into thinking that they can tackle every aspect of their remodel. Trying to take on projects that are outside your comfort zone can, first of all, ultimately add to the cost of the remodel. More important, however, is the safety factor. Working around electricity, power tools, and without the proper safety equipment can be dangerous, and has landed many novices in the emergency room.

Don’t be afraid to speak up: One aspect of the home remodel that I encourage my clients to participate in 100 percent is communicating their ideas and desires. Some clients get intimidated because they feel that the contractor is the expert, and some feel that what their wish list is way outside their budget so it’s not worth mentioning all of it. However, I encourage my clients to get as detailed as possible. Write down a list of what you are hoping your remodel achieves and gather as many pictures as possible from design magazines and blogs. Experienced contractors have devised creative ways to problem solve, so you may be able to get a lot more than you think. And if your budget doesn’t allow for everything, you can talk with your contractor about completing it in stages.

Don’t ignore San Diego building codes and regulations: It’s tempting to want to bypass the time and bureaucracy associated with getting your remodeling plans approved by the city, but it’s not worth it. If your remodel violates the city’s codes and regulations, you will be fined and required to make the changes needed to meet the city’s codes or return your home to its original state.

At Murfey Construction, we look forward to making your wish list into a reality. We also have years of experience working with San Diego’s building codes and regulations so you don’t have to navigate the process alone. To find out how we help you with all aspects of the remodeling process—general contracting, construction management, budgeting, and maintenance—log onto http://MurfeyConstruction.com.

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  4. Looking ahead: luxury home remodel trends of the future
  5. Planning your La Jolla home remodel: curb appeal renovations to enhance your home and boost resale value

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Apr 12, 2014. Filed under Columns, Scott Murfey, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Column: Total remodel of ranch-style home

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EXISTING HOME: This home located in the 96th Street and College Avenue area was built in 1998 but had been unoccupied for a few years. The owner was able to purchase the home from a family member. “The whole house was severely outdated and I was skeptical about buying it. To ease my concerns, my dad recommended a complete house remodel. I trusted his judgment and decided to move ahead with the purchase.”

DESIGN PHASE: Every single room in the dated one-story ranch needed a facelift. “I knew I wanted dark cabinetry and bamboo wood flooring throughout the house. While working through the design phase, the rest of the details fell into place.”

KITCHEN DETAILS: The original kitchen was completely gutted and replaced with dark maple cabinets, granite countertops, a tiled backsplash and coordinating stainless steel appliances. To brighten up the kitchen and illuminate the dark cabinetry, new recessed light fixtures were strategically installed around the perimeter of the cabinets. Long plank bamboo flooring with a “baked natural” finish was installed not only in the kitchen, but throughout the entire house.

GUEST BATH: Everything but the mirror was replaced in the guest bathroom. A dark maple vanity was installed with a coordinating “Autumn Brown” granite countertop. The original tub and ceramic tile surround was replaced with a deep soaking tub and shower wall surround.

MASTER BATH: The original master bath had old carpet, outdated fixtures and peeling wallpaper. Everything was gutted and prepped for a complete remodel. The same dark maple cabinetry and granite countertops were kept consistent with the guest bathroom vanity. Replicating the look of natural travertine, porcelain tile called “Giotto Gris” was used for the floor and shower walls. The shower was finished with a new brushed nickel shower head and a semi-frameless glass shower enclosure.

FINAL RESULT: After all the planning and construction, the dated house was transformed into this first-time homeowner’s dream home. “The kitchen is by far my favorite room in the entire house. I like the way the colors all turned out with the dark cabinets and light colored countertops and backsplash.”

Home remodeling can pay off at selling time if you pick the right project

There is no doubt that taking a beater house down to the wallboards for a complete remodel is worth doing. Flipping houses this way is highly profitable for those that do it for a living.

But what about updating a single bathroom or that landscape lighting you installed? Will you see your money back when the sale sign goes up?

Kermit Baker, director of the remodeling futures program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says … Click here to login or subscribe and see more.

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