Necessary Tips to Save Thousands and Speed Up Your Remodel
When it comes to remodeling a home, it is usually thought of as a straightforward process (or rather a ‘I know what I want, so all I need to do is source the projects out’ process). However, little do those who begin this endeavor know that remodeling a home – whether it is from the ground up, a complete redesign of the interior, or an addition – there are secrets that will not only save you thousands of dollars but will also make your home all the more beautiful!
As the author of ‘Twice As Long Twice As Much’, a book focused on helping individuals optimize the process and lower the cost in their design and remodel process, and an architect of more than 40 years of designing high-end luxury homes, here are some crucial tips to help you in your home-design and remodel journey:
The Benefits of Hiring an Architect
Architects offer so much more knowledge beyond just designing beautiful homes. As architects, we know the ins and outs of what actually goes into designing and building or remodeling a home, complex, or whatever it may be. More often than not, however, once a design is ready, architects essentially leave the project and let all other contractors do their job. But by keeping an architect on the project from beginning to end, they will be able to guide you through hidden costs, timelines, secrets, how to negotiate on certain aspects of the home, how to take your neighborhood into consideration on certain design aspects, home owners associations, and more. After designing and being part of numerous projects, we are able to see the road ahead and guide those who are about to start their journey.
Essentially, it is more cost-effective to keep your architect on the project from beginning to end, rather than leave each contractor to do their various parts. That way, not only will the quality of your home be better but it won’t break the bank, and hopefully be done sooner than expected.
Which Way Does Your House Face?
When designing or remodeling your home, you may have an idea in mind of what your perfect layout will be. That’s great and all, but you need to be conscientious of which way your house faces, how you have the room(s) laid out, where your windows are, etc.
The reason for this is because you need to take into account how the sun rises in the east and lowers in the west, will follow the southern sky in the summer, and gradually lower in the winter. All of these factors will change how the sunlight hits your home. While rooms will have more sunlight for longer, this also means more heat in terms of your yards (front and back) depending on the direction your house is facing. If you have it facing south, your front yard will maintain light for longer while your backyard (presumably where you, your family, or company will spend most of your time) will have shadows overcasting it, making it less pleasing and enjoyable.
Who Does What and When?
Assuming you hire a general contractor for the entire process, the first thing you need to realize is that you are not in control of anything, regardless of what you may think. While your overall vision may come to pass, your general contractor is in control of almost all aspects of the construction process. The sad reality is that your general contractor most likely does not have an entire team in his employment. Afterall, there are various aspects of the construction process depending on the type of project. There is the design, laying the foundation (if necessary), drywall, electrical, plumbing, flooring, inspections, and so on. A such, it would be not only extremely expensive to have a large enough crew for each aspect of the job, but it would also be hard to manage with multiple projects. Therefore, most general contractors have subcontractors who manage the various aspects of the project.
What does this mean for you? First, there is no solid price. While the general contractor may have set prices for his portion of the project, subcontractors have their own prices for labor, and whatever the cost of materials are for them. This can lead to continued costs as well as an unknown completion date depending on how many projects the subcontractor has. How do you combat this issue? Upon hiring your general contractor, in your written contract you need to state that you would like your general contractor to procure various bids from subcontractors rather than having him choose. Not only will this allow you to have more control over the quality of your home, but over the price as well as you can set negotiation terms as well. This is critical for those who have a strict budget and want control over the quality and timing of completion over their project.
Take Control of Your Project
All in all, understanding the importance of these various aspects of your project will not only help you create a high-quality finished project, but will allow you to have transparency throughout the entire process, rather than being in the dark or getting small updates here or there. This is your home, your complex, your project – you deserve to have it be what you want at the best price and quality possible.
About the Author
Jonathan Weston is an expert architect of 40+ years and is the Founder and CEO of Jaydub Inc. Jonathan has designed countless homes all over the world in the high-end luxury market – ranging from Australia, the UK, and the US. Having designed homes for the majority of his career, Jonathan now focuses on helping individuals in the remodel process, showing them everything from the design, construction, hidden cost, time savers, and more. You can find all of his secrets and more in his book Twice As Long Twice As Much.