While the essential elements remain the same, there are endless possibilities when it comes to designing a custom laundry room and mudroom space that works best for your unique storage and lifestyle needs. These six ideas are a great place to start but certainly aren’t the only options.
Category: Additions & Exteriors
When you’ve got a list of home improvement projects that vary in size, complexity, and level of importance, it can be tricky trying to figure out when to hire a design-build home remodeling contractor versus individual trade specialists or subcontractors.
When considering whether to phase your home remodel into smaller chunks, investment, disruption, and isolation are the three most significant factors to consider.
Learn about Charlotte’s housing history which is rich with a diversity of architectural styles and themes that represent popular trends.
The time has come for big decisions about your Charlotte home – should you remodel or move? Perhaps your kitchen is older than most college kids and is adorned with shades of brown and tan. Or maybe your bathroom is so old that the shower is growing things no amount of toxic chemicals can kill. You just found out that an in-law is coming to live with you AND you’re having ANOTHER baby! Ok, maybe not all of those things are happening to you all at once, but nonetheless, you are faced with the question that so many of our clients ask themselves (and us): should we remodel or move? It’s not an easy answer, but here are some great questions to discuss with your family while figuring out what’s right for you.
Remodel or Move: Do You Like Where You Live?
One of the biggest considerations when weighing remodeling versus moving is whether you like your neighborhood, the school system, the amenities, and the size of your yard. If you answer no to most of those, then start house hunting! If you answered yes, then focus on making the spaces in your home fit for how you and your family live and aim for a remodel plan. You can remodel your home, but you can’t choose your neighbors (sorry).
Remodel or Move: How much will it cost you to move versus remodeling?
Both remodeling and moving require an investment in time and resources. Remember that there will be mover fees, real estate commissions, temporary housing, storage fees, and other moving expenses that could be put back into your current Charlotte house if you decide to remodel instead of move.
There’s also the cost of fixing up your house just to put it on the market. It will be hard to sell your home for top dollar if it needs expensive things like a new HVAC system, roof, or a new paint job. How does the yard look? What about that funny smell in the basement? How about that ceiling stain that’s been ignored for years because it didn’t bother you or you never found the time? All of these things will turn off a prospective buyer and will require an investment to remedy them before listing.
With extremely low housing stock at the time of this writing, it’s also unlikely you’ll find a home that’s in your desired neighborhood, school district, and price point that’s exactly what you want. It’s not uncommon for families to move to meet one need and then to remodel their new home to make up for what it’s lacking. Sometimes that’s the best choice, and other times it’s more effective to stay put and remodel your current home instead.
Remodel or Move: Can I Remodel My Home to Fit My Needs?
This is where a little homework will go a long way. Before you begin meeting with Charlotte remodeling companies to decide if your home is worth remodeling, make a list of all the things you want to improve. It may include a combination of minor fixes and improvements or larger ambitions like adding an owners’ suite addition. Now prioritize those needs and think about which ones are immediate and which ones you could stand to postpone if you had to.
A Charlotte remodeling professional can then help you understand all the other factors to consider that will need to be done to meet your goals. For example, to get a larger kitchen with the additional appliances you want, your electrical service may need to be replaced or significantly upgraded.
Or to expand your living room as part of an addiction, you may need to redesign your outdoor living areas. Either way, you’ll either be pleasantly surprised that your project is not as complicated as you feared, or it is going to take more than you had thought. The important thing here is to find someone that you can trust to look at ALL of the factors to consider and not just the individual projects around the home. A comprehensive remodeling plan is important for making the right decision and for ensuring a smooth project with fewer surprises or headaches.
Remodel or Move: Think Long Term
Deciding whether to move or remodel is a big decision that will have long-term impacts on you and your family’s comfort and health. Trust in a Charlotte design and remodeling company that can help you navigate all of the possibilities that your home has to offer before deciding that you need to search for another place to live.
If you’d like professional advice on whether to remodel your current home or start house hunting, we’d be happy to discuss your specific options in more detail. Reach out today with this home remodeling form and we’ll be in touch shortly!
There are three ways to turn your deck or patio into additional living space in your home: a screened in porch or a three season room or four season sunroom.
Whether you’re moving into a rental property while you remodel your home, or you’re setting up a temporary kitchen in the dining room while your kitchen is being redone, the remodel construction schedule can be disruptive. Our homes are the nucleus of our lives, so it’s only natural to want to know how long your remodeling project will take. While we can apply the law of averages to give you a realistic expectation based on past experience, how long it will take to remodel your home is dependent on a number of factors.
Most of the time when a homeowner asks, “How long will it take to remodel my kitchen?” they’re referring only to the construction portion of the project – the messy, loud, inconvenient, and disruptive part television shows depict to be the absolute worst. We get it. That’s the time you’ll have to rearrange your house, your routine, and live in some state of mess. What’s important to note — the construction phase is only one part of the entire process and it comes at the very end. When speaking with our clients about timing, we find it gives them a better idea of the true time commitment when we talk about the process as a whole.
While most design-build remodeling firms are likely to have a similar process, we can only speak for ourselves. Here’s a brief outline of our process, and the steps that have to happen before the hammers ever start swinging:
- Sign the Planning Agreement to start the design phase
- Finalize and approve space planning, design, and all materials selections
- Sign fixed-price Contract and construction plans
- Order and stage all materials
What’s a Planning Agreement?
The Planning Agreement is exactly how it sounds – an agreement between you and ReVision to begin the design portion of your remodeling project, based on a specific scope of work. Once you’ve set up a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Project Developers, they’ll meet with you at your home to take a look at your existing space, and discuss your goals and design ideas. Afterward, they’ll present you with a high-level outline (Planning Agreement) of the scope of work that it will take to remodel your home, including typical budget ranges appropriate for your goals and presumed level of selection. The timeline for this initial step depends heavily on the availability of both parties — typically, it takes 2-4 weeks to schedule the consultation, meet, outline, and present the Planning Agreement.
Design Phase Timeline
The length of the design phase usually comes down to four things:
- The pace at which you make decisions. If you’d like to weigh every possible option and get the opinion of friends, family, and neighbors before making any home remodeling decisions, you may find the design phase to be overwhelming; it may march on for months. On the flip side, if you start the process with a sense of what you like, and trust that your designer won’t steer you in the wrong direction, you’ll save a lot of time and energy and you’ll be able to enjoy your new home even sooner.
- Your availability for meetings. At a minimum, the client and remodeling team will have two face-to-face meetings. One for design and selections at our South End design studio, and another for an onsite evaluation of your existing home with our trade partners. We find 4-5 meetings to be more common, especially for larger projects where it’s not practical or possible to get everything done in just one day. While it’s not critical that each spouse attends every meeting, we find it makes the experience more enjoyable for our clients when they are both able to participate.
- The level of your remodeling project. We refer to the three levels of remodeling as Cosmetic Update, Pull and Replace and Custom Redesign.
- Cosmetic Update: Replace easily removable features such as countertops and backsplash tile. These projects require little to no demolition.
- Pull and Replace: Replace everything without changing the locations of major electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems.
- Custom Redesign: Replace everything and expand or change the locations of major elements including walls or footprint.
The amount of time it takes to design and specify materials for a cosmetic update versus a custom redesign is significant. Most of our clients fall somewhere between the pull and replace and custom redesign levels, so we refer to those timelines most often.
- Our current pipeline. While we do recognize some seasonal fluctuations, the number of projects we’re currently working on at any given phase can vary. We always strive to set the right expectations, but if you have a firm deadline due to pregnancy or a special event, it’s best to share that information as early as possible so we can create a firm timeline that’ll help you stay on track.
Most of our clients average 9-12 weeks in the design phase. Smaller cosmetic projects may take considerably less time, just as remodeling your whole home may take longer.
The final design, including plans and all materials selections and images, will be part of your contract documents and approved prior to ordering. Keeping everything organized in one document means never having to remember all the details. Many of our clients like to use their selections images as a handy reference for choosing new furnishings or window treatments while there’s downtime prior to construction.
Ordering and Staging Materials
Before we can begin remodeling your home, all of the materials needed to complete your remodeling project will have been approved, ordered, and delivered. This may include cabinetry, plumbing, lighting, tile, hardware, doors, and windows, lumber, etc. We typically shy away from beginning the demo until all the parts and pieces are in and accounted for. This helps to prevent an opportunity for an unexpected delay and further disruption should something arrive late or damaged. While it doesn’t happen often, it is possible, and we’d hate for a project to come to a stop because a critical piece needed to be reordered.
All of the cabinetry we use is made to order and usually takes 6-8 weeks to be built and delivered. Most remodeling projects we do contain cabinetry, but for those that do not such as screen porches or living space additions, other materials with longer lead times may include custom or specialty windows and doors. Even without long lead times on materials, it still takes a couple of weeks to work out the logistics, so plan on anywhere from 3-8 weeks from contract signing to demo day, with 8 weeks being most common.
Remodel Construction Schedule
Just as the design phase timeline varies based on what type of remodel you’re pursuing, so does the construction timeline. A Cosmetic project could be done in as little as 2-4 weeks, while a Pull and Replace project will take 6-8 weeks. Depending on the scope and complexity, a Custom Redesign may take 8-10 weeks. This number can rise if a large addition is involved.
Whether you have a specific end date in mind for remodeling your home or not, we’ll work with you to create a timeline that suits your schedule. Some of our clients plan well in advance so they can coordinate their vacations around the messiest stages of construction (mainly demo and floor refinishing). Others don’t have a specific construction schedule in mind, and just want to take their time. If you want to figure out the ideal time to remodel your home, it’s best to start with the end in mind and work backward from there.
As Charlotte continues to see an influx of newcomers, the demand for housing options continues to increase. Homeowners are using online platforms such as VRBO or Airbnb to offer short term rental of parts of their property to profit from this high demand. Many homeowners also want to renovate spaces they already have to provide separate living quarters to serve as an in-law suite, a guest space for visiting friends, or living space for au pairs, or nannies. A great solution for all of these is the construction of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).
What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?
There are many variations on the location of an ADU within a residential home or property. Basements, converted garages, bonus rooms and rooms above or next to a detached structure (such as a garage) are the most common areas that provide the square footage needed. The specific definition of what is considered an ADU may vary by each city’s zoning ordinance. In Charlotte, NC the ADU Ordinance defines an ADU as “a second dwelling unit located within the principal detached dwelling or within a separate accessory structure.” To be considered a dwelling, the unit must include both kitchen and bathroom facilities and be intended for use as a year-round residence. The definition of an ADU may vary from city to city, so check with your local city officials.
Is an ADU Allowed on My Property?
A thorough review of municipal ordinances should be one of the first things you research when considering the construction or renovation of a space to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit. For example, most detached ADUs will only be allowed if it is within certain proximity to property lines and the existing primary residence. Other restrictions may include the total square footage allowed and how it shall be accessed. In addition to municipal ordinances, you also need to research deed restrictions, township restrictions, home owner’s association rules, or any other governing bodies that may have some say in what is or is not allowed on your property. The last thing you want to do is to spend time and money on plans and estimates only to find out you aren’t allowed to remodel or build the ADU you’re dreaming about.
Can I Rent Out My ADU?
The need for affordable housing in urban cores is a challenge that faces just about every major city in our country, including Charlotte, NC. To help provide relief for this need, many cities have relaxed rules around property owners being allowed to legally rent out ADUs. If you do intend to rent out your space, make sure you have the proper business licenses and check with your accountant when it comes to be most advantageous tax treatment of the construction cost and rental income.
Where Can I Add an ADU?
In many cases, you may already have a space within your existing home that could be remodeled to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit. Below are the most common spaces an ADU could be added, and considerations for feasibility:
Basements – Basements offer a great opportunity for conversion to an ADU. The first thing to determine if an ADU is feasible is how the sewer system will be connected. Sometimes the basement will have a pump or gravity fed sewer lines already in place that was installed when the house was originally built. If it does not, a thorough evaluation by a plumber will be required once you have the floor plans for your ADU completed. With a basement ADU, you also want to think about access. To be considered an ADU it must have its own separate access from outside, so if your house is on a sloping lot for example, a sidewalk or stairs on the outside that leads down to the rear side may also need to be constructed.
Bonus Rooms – Bonus rooms are typically defined as the large room located over a two or three-car attached garage. They make great spaces to add an Accessory Dwelling Unit as long as it has a dedicated set of stairs to access it. In most cases the plumbing and electrical connections that are required can be tied directly into the existing systems already in place for the main house.
Converted Garages – A two or three-car garage can also be converted into an ADU with proper planning. Depending on how the house and garage were placed on the lot, the height of the garage floor in relation the house floor can vary. For example, some garages may have just a couple of steps into the house. For fewer steps, it may be best to use the garage floor as the subfloor rather than building it up with wood framing. This means that concrete would need to be cut and removed to provide channels for the electrical or plumbing. If a wood frame floor is built over the garage slab, the underside provides easy access for running plumbing, mechanical, and electrical lines, as well as insulation. Converted garages make the best in-law suites because they are typically level with the main living areas of the home, eliminating the need for stairs that may hinder accessibility.
How Much Would it Cost to Build a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit?
If you have a lot large enough to accommodate a detached ADU, then constructing one from scratch may be more desirable than making modifications to the primary residence. There are many factors to consider that are specific to each site, and many options for how the ADU will be built, so it’s hard to give a specific cost without some considerable planning and decision making. The first step is to make sure you have an accurate physical survey done by a professional land surveyor. You’ll then want to find a reputable designer or design/build firm to provide renderings and construction drawings. From there you’ll be able to make more specific decisions about the types of cladding materials used, how much site work will need to be done such as tree removal and grading, and the level of finishes you choose to have installed on the interior. All of these decisions will impact your final cost of construction.
Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit to your existing home or as a detached structure on your property is a great option to consider for creating more space for your friends and family, or as a source of rental income. While not all properties are conducive to adding an ADU, a professional would be able to determine whether this or another project is right for your home.
ReVision Design/Remodeling has extensive experience working with clients in the Charlotte area to figure out what works best for their space. Let’s have a conversation about your accessory dwelling unit, addition or whole house remodel. Fill out the contact form to get in touch with one of our remodeling experts.
You need more square footage in your home, but you’re not sure the best way to get it. There are so many options, including a home addition or remodeling an existing basement, or even adding a basement addition. How do you decide which option is right for you? Here are some things to consider:
Additions for Expanding Living Space
There are a lot of pluses to a home addition. By expanding the footprint of your house into the yard, you can add space to a room or add an entire room (or more) to your house. Many such additions are on the ground level because they involve changes to the first floor of the house: a bigger kitchen, a larger dining room, a sunroom, or a family room, etc. But you can also build a two-story addition that adds a bedroom or bathroom to your second floor. Some homeowners opt to go up and add square footage on top of a garage—or a whole floor on top of the existing house.
These additions can be a great option for some homeowners. However, you do need to consider the zoning restrictions in your city. Sometimes zoning regulations or setbacks can severely restrict where you can build. Also, many homeowners don’t have enough land to allow for a significant addition.
Remodeling a Basement: Transform the Space for Your Needs
Remodeling or finishing an existing basement can be a great way to increase living space without breaking the bank. You can turn that existing, unused space into a productive and enjoyable living area. In most cases an unfinished basement can be transformed into almost anything you need: a rec or family room, a home theater, home gym, wet bar, bedroom, bathroom or even an entire au pair or in-law suite.
Since basements are below the rest of the house, a basement remodeling project is less likely to be disruptive to your lifestyle than other kinds of renovations.
However, you do need to ensure that the basement is leak proof and won’t become too humid; you don’t want water or mold to damage your newly finished space, so address any potential moisture problems right from the start. Basements can also be dark. Be sure to maximize the natural light—perhaps by putting knee walls around existing windows—and plan to add lots of artificial lighting to keep the space from being too dark. You will also need to be careful about which products you use in your basement remodel; a wood floor wouldn’t be suitable on a slab foundation.
Basement Additions: Great If You Can’t Build Up or Out
But what if you don’t have an existing unfinished basement? Yes, it is actually possible to excavate and build a basement under an existing house. There are many advantages to this kind of basement addition. It’s a great alternative if you’re facing restrictions on how big or how high an addition can be. Also, basement additions don’t eat up yard space, and you don’t have to worry about local requirements for setbacks or esthetics.
Construction of a basement addition can involve the excavation of a portion or all of the crawlspace or digging under the slab to create an entirely new area. Depending on how your house is situated, the cost may be more affordable than you expect.
However, basement additions aren’t feasible for every home, and construction does require a working with structural and mechanical elements of the home. You may need to replace older foundations and install a new drainage system. Plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems may need to be relocated. And it’s important to find a way to provide windows for the living spaces (bathrooms, laundry rooms, media rooms, and storage space don’t require windows).
No matter your situation there is a way to add space to your home—and value to your property. You simply need to find the best fit for your situation and your family’s lifestyle.
If you’re like most of our clients you’ve spent months, maybe even years dreaming about how remodeling your home will improve your life and bring your family and friends closer together. You’ve gathered up the courage and the funds to finally get started, and your Pinterest board and Houzz Ideabooks are full of inspiration that you can’t wait to share with your designer. You’ve talked to numerous friends and family about their remodeling experiences to get advice, and you’ve met with several remodeling companies that provide the all-in-one service you’re looking for, and narrowed it down the team you trust the most. The days of living in your old space are coming to an end, and you’re finally ready! Your whole family is excited! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s get started now!!
Having that sense of urgency is understandable. When we finally gather the courage to take on a huge change, it’s natural to want it to happen quickly – especially when we know it’ll be disruptive and uncomfortable for a little while. The same is true for home remodeling, but unfortunately even the best remodeling companies can’t turn around a renovation in a week. Planning, staging and executing any remodeling project is an involved process with a series of necessary steps before the first hammer ever swings.
Here’s an overview of the design-build remodeling process:
Conceptual and Construction Plans
It all starts with scaled conceptual 3D renderings to establish a general direction towards a final design. After meeting with you in your home to take detailed as-built measurements and listen to your goals for the project, your designer will work with you to present the best layout to meet your specific needs. After a few tweaks, conceptual plans then get converted to detailed construction-ready documents.
Existing Site Evaluations
Remodeling means transforming an existing space, so before estimates can be finalized, a team of trade professionals needs to comb the existing structure to see what will be required to transform it from its current state into your dream home. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, and structural engineers are just a few of the trades we team up with during this process.
Fixture and Finish Selection
While it is not uncommon for some remodeling companies to present a contract full of allowances for fixtures and finishes, we always prefer to minimize the unknowns by making those decisions well before contract signing. It helps us control the budget and the timeline since we are able to order and stage all materials well in advance, and who doesn’t want to save time and money? Don’t worry, our designers will guide you through the selections process and present materials and finishes that meet your functional and aesthetic needs. We utilize a series of spreadsheets to keep track of everything from cabinetry details to plumbing fixtures, light switch style to countertop edge profiles, because we know firsthand that the details can make or break a project, so we make sure to keep a close eye on them.
With a detailed contract and construction plans in place, permits can be applied for, custom materials can be ordered, and crews can be scheduled. One final walk-through with the construction and design team ensures we’re all are on the same page before work begins. This is also the time we discuss detailed information about construction logistics and disruptions (parking, dust control, work hours, debris, etc.), especially if you plan to remain in the home while the project is underway, as most of our clients do.
From the time you choose ReVision Design/Remodeling to the moment the construction begins, we’ll be here to help. Following the necessary steps will take time, but the end result will be well worth the wait!
When you’re ready to schedule a conversation with one of our Project Developers to discuss your project, we’d love to hear from you!