Congratulations! You are on your way to hiring professionals to help you go from "Dream to Done". We assume, if you're here reading about our expertise, that you're not considering a DIY whole-house remodeling project. Perhaps you know that homeowners lacking construction management experience and technical skill can end up spending between 10% and 40% more than they anticipated and the project can take far longer than scheduled. You, dear wise client, are prepared to hire a general contractor precisely because you want your project done on time and on budget. Keep reading to learn how Dynan Construction Management can help you achieve that and what you can do to influence your own bottom line.
REMODELING: It's all about Function, Form, and Budget
To make sure your plans take you where you want to go, consider these 3 things before you hire help:
Your reasons to remodel need to be very clear in mind and a couple of goals should be set and written down. What do you want the space to do? What are you hoping the remodel accomplishes? Do you want to increase resale value? Add more space? Improve layout? Improve energy efficiency? Writing down your goals will be very helpful when it comes to setting and sticking to a budget. Specific goals will help you prioritize needs over wants, and if you make good decisions, you'll feel better about the process—and the results.
We get very excited when our clients state that one of their top goals is to increase energy efficiency, because that often means we can retrofit your current home for cheaper energy bills and a healthier, more comfortable, livable space. According to a 2012 market assessment by the Environmental Finance Center for Sarasota County, 99 percent of the single-family home stock in Sarasota county was built before 2007, with roughly 55 percent built before 1977. Chances are, you are in a home needing both energy upgrades and current building code compliance. A whole house renovation is a great opportunity to achieve this goal with the greatest value and annual cost savings. We work closely with energy audit professionals that can quickly assess your home's energy performance, which will illuminate what's possible for your home and can help you decide how far you want to go with your remodeling effort. Getting an energy rating can also help you qualify for different financing options, such as an energy-efficient mortgage, if that interests you. Remodeling your house for energy efficiency often includes:
- Increased wall, floor, attic, and crawlspace insulation to meet optimal performance values
- Complete envelope air sealing (often involving the removal and replacement of existing insulation)
- Replacement of heating, cooling and/or water heating systems, often with properly sized, high-efficiency, innovative systems (i.e., instantaneous hot water, combined heat and hot water systems, heat pumps)
- Roof replacement to increase the performance of the building's envelope
- Window and door replacement
How a space looks and feels is every bit as important as its functionality. And sometimes a new look is really the driving reason for a remodeling project. But once again, having specifics in mind will help you achieve the look and feel you want. Do you have a specific style in mind? (Here's a fun Houzz quiz to determine your decorating style) Are you after a more open look that creates a feeling of more space? How will the different components of the room(s) work together to give you the look and feel you want? Which materials combine best to achieve the effect you're after? Maybe you have some fine art you'd like to showcase. How will you handle your lighting so that it highlights your art?
As stated on our Kitchens page, it has been our experience that the best remodeling projects have a lot to do with how reflective and prepared our clients are. Aligning your vision of a newly remodeled home with the amount you're willing to spend is often the biggest challenge of any renovation plan, but you have a lot more control over the budget and schedule than you may think! With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners.
Material selections take a lot of time. The sooner you familiarize yourself with the options you'll have to choose in every room, the better. This may be something you can research and estimate on your own, but it is always helpful to consult a designer at this stage too. Here are just a few examples that are usually listed as "Allowances" in our project estimates that homeowners need to select to determine actual costs:
Appliances, Bath Accessories, Plumbing Fixtures, Electrical Fixtures, Flooring, Bathroom and Backsplash Tile, Countertops, Cabinetry, Door Hardware, Front/Garage Door, Gates/Fences, Fireplaces, Shower Enclosures, Mirrors, and Paint Colors.
In addition to an in-house design consultant, Dynan Construction uses a project management software that allows web savvy homeowners to customize their options and make changes online so that everyone is updated simultaneously. Store documents, pictures, check the project schedule, and sign off on change orders if your selections have changed. Check out a brief video here. We think this tool is vital to our success and has increased our ability to communicate clearly with our clients.
Thinking about your budget doesn't have to kill the enthusiasm of your home renovation project. Not thinking about it can really suck all the enjoyment out of remodeling your home. Your goal is to get the most value out of what you can really afford. From HouseLogic.com, "When it comes to home improvements, knowing what you want and why is the easy part. The tougher question is figuring out how much you can afford." It is best to ballpark the cash you have available or the limit of what you are qualified to borrow from a HELOC. You may even want to deduct 20% of what is available, giving yourself a "wiggle-plan" for those unforeseen conditions that will inevitably arise. From Houzz.com, "Homeowners without constrained budgets may be afraid to be too forthcoming for fear that pros will push them to spend more than they would like. That's where checking references and finding people you can communicate with comes in. In the process of vetting the pros you are considering; you will find reputable people who will not push you but use your target number to help guide your plan."
We greatly appreciate those who come to us flexible, with a range of funds, but it is also refreshing when those with a firm budget are reasonable with their limits. It is disappointing for all involved to spend time on both the vision and the estimating when in the end, they don't align. In addition to getting referrals, most advice points homeowners to getting quotes from 3 contractors, which is great for those with plans so they can get an "apples to apples" estimate. It is best, in the early design phases of a project before schematic drawings, that homeowners are as prepared as they can be with all 3 considerations detailed above: Function, Form, and Budget. We hope you reach out to us when you know WHY you are remodeling, WHAT selections will convey your style, and how much you're ABLE to spend to achieve your remodeling goals. See more about Dynan Construction's process to familiarize yourself with value engineering and how we create estimates that design toward the budget and helps you save time and money.
All in the Details
We have been customizing our clients' homes for over a decade and can say that most of our projects are for those who planned to stay in their houses for many years. We have worked with realtors who call us for home inspections, energy audits, and solid advice about what is possible and feasible on the property. We have developed close relationships with the area's top architects and have a team of subcontractors we continually rely upon for our continued success in making a house your dream home. Time and time again, we find the most enjoyable projects are the ones with well-informed, detail oriented clients that exert their influence to help stay on time and on budget.