Home Remodeling Advice for Homeowners

Whether you have a newer home, or an older one, eventually you will consider remodeling your home or adding a room addition to give your house an updated face lift.   Most people don’t know where to begin when considering a  home remodeling project.  The majority of my clients are in the Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills areas in San Antonio.  If you are like most of my customers you have lived in your house for years and want a fresh look or just purchased an older home and want to update or open up the floor plan.  The construction process can seem a bid daunting, but worry, as you will find that all the work put into it will pay off.  Just be prepared and don’t go into a home remodel blind.  Do some research ahead of time and it will save you the strain of not knowing what to expect from a home renovation.  How much does home remodeling cost per square foot? The benefits of home remodeling can far exceed the cons if done properly.

Home Remodeling Advice

There are two ways to go about making home improvements or home remodeling. Either you splurge for something purely for the pleasure of having it;  the Italian marble bathroom you’ve dreamed about; that Gourmet Kitchen that your spouse has been hinting at for the last few years; or you take a different approach, buying an energy-efficient tankless water heater or repairing a leaky roof because you want to increase your home’s market value.  Most of my clients in San Antonio like the idea of a room addition or a home remodel because they want to increase their home’s value and make it easier to sell when it comes time.

Before you make any sort of purchase for your home remodeling project, you need to make sure that you have enough money to start and complete the project. Make sure you have a budget for unexpected problems.  We call this a contingency budget and is usually between 3 and 5% of the total construction budget.  This will help cut down on the amount of change orders. Just know that things will not always come out as planned and some audibles will have to called.  How will you pay for this project?  Do you need to apply for loan?  Balance out your finances, even make a checklist. Evaluate how much it is going to cost to purchase the material and hire help if needed. If things balance out, then you have the green light to move ahead with your home remodeling. Try to avoid getting into debt or having any unrealistic expectations; be sensible.  I am building a room addition for a client here in San Antonio, Texas and I have to keep reminding them that every time they change their minds, it costs money.  Sticking to the budget is VERY important.

The next step should be figuring out how you want to remodel your home. Remember, home remodeling is not  just about what the modern trends  are; it’s about what fits your personality and style. That being said, please keep in mind that you might not live here forever, so always think that you will sell in a year or two and what would sell quickly.  Go to friends homes who have remodeled their homes (ask questions), walk through show rooms and get a feel for what you want. It will also help to walk through your house, going through each room and taking a mental picture of what might work and what will not. Get samples of flooring, carpet, granite, cabinet doors and put them in the rooms you are planning on updating.  This will help you get a better picture of what the finished product will look like in the actual rooms.  After you know what you want, configure a plan, and begin looking for contractors to help you.  For information of how to select choose a contractor, click on the link: How to Choose a Contractor.


How much does a home remodel or room addition cost?

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I get this question almost everyday and the answer is:  It Depends.  If you are adding a room addition, then how tall are the ceilings?  What kind of exterior finish are you going to use? (stucco, brick, rock hardi plank)  What kind of flooring?  (carpet, ceramic tile, travertine, stained concrete)  Are the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems upgraded?  How tall will the foundation be and will it pier and beam or a slab foundation (what size rebar and how thick/deep will the beams be?)  As you can see, there are many questions to be answered before I can accurately answer.  Our average detached guest house is approximately 426 square feet and costs $96,000 to build.  This includes design, permits, labor, materials, etc.  There are many factors that determine the cost of a detached guest house or casita.  We do a thorough assessment of how we will tie into the existing sewer line, how we will get power to the guest house,  determine the final height of the foundation, etc for your new home remodel.  Please keep in mind that this is VERY rough number and should not be relied on too much.  It is only meant to give you quick idea of a what the home remodel will cost.  Some areas of the country could be more or less expensive, but here in San Antonio, it is fairly safe.  Kitchen remodels and bath remodels are even trickier to estimate because a lot of times, we don’t know what lurks behind those walls until we start tearing into the sheetrock.  The electrical or plumbing could need to be replaced or there could be termites, rotted studs, and the list goes on.  And don’t let a contractor charge you more just because you live in the 78209 area.

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