Remodeling in general is making a space more usable, practical or functional. For the commercial facility this can be very different than a residential structure. The intent is the same which remains to make improvements that all can enjoy and benefit from; but the homeowner is concerned with very different reasons for remodeling than the businessman. A business needs to be fully functional to provide a safe place for workers and customers or clients. Not only is safety a major issue, but helping employees be more efficient at what they do is also a factor. Even the “small stuff” is important to the commercial remodeling project in Seattle. Something as simple as a wrong paint color can end up turning customers away. Commercial remodeling is a much larger task than remodeling a home. Continue reading »
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Erick D. Smith is a blogger living in San Diego who writes about home construction and remodeling. To get a more accurate estimate from one of San Diego’s expert home construction firms, click here.
A second story addition can be a great way to increase the spaciousness of your home, raising its value and giving your growing family the room it needs. Undertaking the project, however, is no small thing. It can be very costly, depending on the size of your house, and regardless of size, it will involve a lot of planning, time, and hard work. Making a thorough cost analysis and creating a realistic budget will make the whole process a whole lot easier and will help you avoid overspending. To help get you started thinking about and planning your second story addition, here is a brief breakdown of the costs that will be involved.
Important Things to Consider
• City and County Requirements – Before you get started on the logistics of the project, it’s important to do some research into the region’s second story addition regulations. Every city and county has its own set of rules regarding how much square footage you’re allowed to add to your home. This is usually based on the amount of land you have. Using San Diego as an example, a good place to find the information you need is the sandiego.gov construction permits page.
Temporary Housing – A lot of contractors will recommend that you live somewhere else, temporarily, while your house is being remodeled. This is a good idea, as it will be more comfortable for you as well as safer, so start thinking of a good place where you might stay before beginning your project. The cost of alternative temporary housing is something you should definitely calculate into your budget.
• Contractors – Even if you opt to do as much of the managerial work as possible yourself, there’s no getting around the cost of skilled subcontractors. About 30 – 40 percent of your budget is likely to go towards contract work. The average cost for contractors when adding a second floor to your home is usually between $70 and $150 per square foot.
• Structural Engineer – When you’re looking for home construction services, be sure to look for a good structural engineer in your area. This is someone who will be able to inspect your home and determine whether the existing foundation will support a second story addition, or whether additional foundation work will be required.
• Architect – An architect is an important part of a successful second story addition project. He or she will be needed to create a blueprint of the project and an accurate set of plan drawings. The cost of an architect depends on the size and complexity of the project, and will either be a flat fee or a 5 to 15 percent commission.
Effect on Your Home Value
Adding a second story to your home will lead to a reassessment of your property taxes. This means that they’ll probably increase, but in most areas the reassessment will only be of the second story addition, not of the whole house. The overall value of your home will increase significantly, but keep in mind that utility bills are also likely to go up.
The siding on your outer walls may need some attention since the weather storms will be hitting hard in several months, as summer comes to an end. Siding holds up very well and needs little maintenance but you must pay attention and take heed if repair is needed. There are important clues to look for so that you can best judge if your home needs repair in regards to the siding on your home. Once you discover that there are repair needs to your siding you need to know who to contact or if you can simply do the job yourself.
Taking a good look at your home will tell you if your siding needs any attention. You should look for these troubled spots by keeping an eye out for cracks or bent pieces of siding. At times, when checking your siding for trouble spots, you may find missing or uneven pieces.
When you notice any issues with your siding that may need repair, I always recommend you seek professional advice. Even for a DIY job, it is best to have a professional look into your issue and let you know the steps they recommend you take in regards to repairing your siding. At times a simple issue can be more trouble then its worth! Hiring a professional can save you money in regards to a repair job that you can easily do wrong. If it seems simple enough you can take the job on yourself.
In hiring a professional for advice or to repair your siding it is important to find a professional. A con artist won’t tell you the truth in regards to if your siding repair can be a DIY job. Many will want to take your money and run for it. Often enough unprofessional contractors will tack on additional charges that don’t fit the work they completed. Hiring a professional will give you the peace of mind you need and will save you money in the long run.
The season is coming to an end and fall is near, this is a great time to get the garage organized. I don’t know about you, but my car has sat curbside or in the driveway all summer. My garage isn’t too cluttered but it needs some work. Come summer the kids are in and out all day riding bikes and skateboards. When the kids are done the bikes and skateboards end up sitting on the garage floor like that of a rug would in my living room. What to do now? It is time for me to get organized.
Come time for fall I store away the summer tools and toys and organize what the new season brings, other toys and tools! Some quick additions to your garage can keep you sane and make things easier for you. Install some hooks and racks to hang up bikes and those garden tools. The tools you don’t need so much store higher or in less accusable places. You will need your rake so place that on a hook that is easy to get to.
Just as hooks and racks are important to organize your garage, cabinets and storage totes are a great addition as well. If in your budget, building cabinets to store away summer toys, summer clothing, and chemicals or other like items is a great idea. To make things safe you can add locks to cabinet doors to keep the kids away from dangerous things. If the budget doesn’t permit installing cabinets, plastic totes will do. For items you know you will not need until spring or summer, place these items in the banisters of your garage. For items you need nearby, place them in totes that are easily accessible and label them accordingly.
Is there more room available then you need in your garage after organizing? A home office or an extra room may be built in your garage. Hiring a professional to do the dirty work is ideal if adding new additions to your home. Do your research if you will be looking into such a project.
Organizing your garage will benefit you in so many ways. Less stress in finding items, less stress in looking at less clutter, and an organized garage is a healthier option due to less dust in regards to allergies and less danger because chemicals or dangerous tools are out of the children’s way. You may even have room to add to your garage afterwards. I’m getting started this coming weekend. What ways can you get more organized?
Don’t you just love this show? From the concept of selecting a deserving family up to the time they get sent away to a “vacation” spot while Ty Pennington and his crew begin to thrash the family’s old home to make way for a new and better one. Don’t you just wish it’s you and your family that made the cut for the show? By all accounts, this is a fairy tale come true for every family who dreams of having a nice home to live in. Don’t you agree?
I mean Ty and his gang do not just go all out and remodel your room, repaint your exteriors or fixing your roof for you. They put their hearts and minds in the design and installation of landscapes, themed rooms, modern kitchens, bathrooms, windows and shades, home theaters, swimming pools, garage, basements, attics, etc.; heck in one episode they even installed an elevator to give a disabled kid the mobility he needs around the house. I mean how cool is that?! Literally, they build everything from ground up.
One nice thing about the show as well is the involvement of an army of workers seemingly headed by a general contractor. With their “can do” attitude of bringing all pieces together in one beautiful masterpiece, you can almost imagine seeing an entire orchestra making beautiful music together. What’s great about this is that you can sense that their putting their hearts in what they do. It’s as if you can feel the love that their giving away by virtue of their commitment in meeting the very short deadline – 7 days. At the end of every episode, the family comes home to a brand new or totally remodeled home. You can almost relate to the triumph of the human spirit; the outpouring of love and kindness to people who have encountered great difficulties by people who are more blessed in life. It is my hope that this show airs for another 20 or more years as their cause is more than noble. They give hope to people as much as for the entertainment value of it.
These days, an ideal home or bathroom is generally one that is comfortable, money-saving, and energy efficient. Green remodeling is growing in popularity, and just because you want to save the environment doesn’t mean you can’t have great style at affordable prices. Going green saves more money in the long run for you, your family, and the world.
Here are a few great ways to create your ideal bathroom with water and energy-saving techniques. Approach your renovation with an open mind and you are sure to come up with creative results.
When it comes to designing your ideal bathroom, many people focus on installing a luxurious bath tub. Whether you are hoping for an antique look with a crow’s footed tub, or a modern Jacuzzi, you are certain to spend a lot of time in your brand new tub. Consider installing a highly insulated tub. This will allow you to use water at a lower temperature without it cooling off too much before you are done with your bath. There are many types of replacement bathtubs that will appeal to your green lifestyle and your interior design.
The first step for showers is to install a low-flow shower head. Most showers dispel anywhere from 15-25 gallons for every FIVE MINUTES. A luxuriously relaxing 20 minute shower can use 100 gallons of water. That is enough water to keep a person’s thirst satisfied for over 200 days. Low-flow shower heads not only cut that number in thirds, but they are also softer on the skin and bath interior. Before doing any bathroom shower remodeling, make sure you have it installed by professionals to prevent leaks which will waste water as well.
Consider taking the green route for your countertop with a mosaic of recycled materials. Broken glass countertops are very unique and trendy these days, and are sealed with materials that are very easy to clean. You can also get completely blended recycled glass materials for a more traditional look with attractive reflections.
Making your bathroom water-wise is one of the biggest money savers. Normal toilets flush at least 3 gallons per flush (GPF), and low-flow toilets are able to cut that number in almost half with about 1.6 GPF. This is a significant decrease, and installing a low-flow toilet is only a little pricier than a traditional toilet. The savings in water costs will quickly catch up to the price difference.
Many people don’t realize how much water is used by simply doing a thorough job washing their hands or brushing their teeth. A great way to eliminate this extra water usage is to install a faucet aerator; they add air to the water before it leaves the faucet. This increases the size of the water drops, and they clean your hands and brush your teeth just as effectively, while saving lots of water.
The bathroom ventilation you choose can make a huge difference on your comfort levels. If you live in a cooler climate, you want to have excellent forms of insulation to make for a much more comfortable entrance and exit into your steamy bath or shower. If you live in a warmer climate, operable windows can be your salvation on warm days. This will also help you manage the temperature of your bathroom free of cost, with huge energy savings.
For more examples of replacement bath and shower systems, check out Luxury Bath at LuxuryBath.com.
Hiring a contractor in confidence is quite rewarding. When you hire a contractor and you know what to look for usually the outcome is pretty good. Not only does the work that needed to be done look professional but the process is that much more stress free.
10 tips in picking a good contractor
1. Don’t hire an unlicensed contractor – According to Huntington Homes unlicensed contractors don’t pay into Workers compensation and that’s why their able to undercut the contractors who have their license. If they get hurt, you pay the fat bill.
2. Don’t pick a contractor based on price – quality is important and you don’t want to be stuck with an unprofessional job.
3. Ask around – you want to work with a contractor that is recommended by others. Try asking your local lumberyard.
4. Interview your prospective contractor – you will be working closely together with your contractor, make sure you two have great rapport.
Check references – Sometimes you can see past work your prospective contractor has done, this can help you a great deal just judging their past work. A great example for a reference page can be found at ShadingSystemsInc.com commercial shading projects page.
5. Do your homework – Check out your prospective contractor by checking into the Contractors State License Board. Make sure their Legit.
6. Make sure your contractor guarantees his work – Again, don’t get stuck with an unprofessional job. See vipspecialservices.com for an example in a guarantee for services done.
Be informed – make sure your contractor keep you informed. For an example on being well informed on the services being completed in your home take a peek at MrMold.net mold inspection page.
7. Discuss payment options – As discussed in ‘Hiring a Contractor’ if the contractor asks for half the money up front, there is probably a problem and you may want to choose another contractor. The usual payment plan is 10 percent when the contract is signed, then three payments of 25 percent while the job is being done, and the rest is usually paid when the job is complete.
8. Get everything in writing – make sure you have everything in writing. If something goes wrong your agreement in writing is all you have to fall back on.
This list should help hire a good contractor. If you have any questions please ask by commenting below.
There isn’t a vast difference in choosing a commercial contractor but there are some key elements that you want to make sure you pay close attention to when shopping around for the right commercial contractor. Making sure that you do your research will not only give you peace of mind but will ensure a more professional job is done in the end.
• Make sure your contractor is bonded – a bonded contractor can redo a job completely if it isn’t up to your standards
Make sure you hire an experienced contractor like a DirtyBlindsNJ.com who clean and repair window blinds for homes and businesses.
Check Better Business Bureau for contractors listed like W.F. Painting who paints homes and businesses as well.
• Make sure the commercial contractor you chose is a member of a national or local association
• Learn more about subcontractors if being used – Learn what they will be doing and make sure you get their license number for your records.
These are good tips for general contractors and commercial contractors alike. These tips are key elements in checking a commercial contractor’s ethic and experience however. Following these tips will lead you to a peace of mind in hiring a commercial contractor and bring you that much closer to a quality professional job.
How many times have you watched a court television program or witnessed a case involving a homeowner and a scamming contractor? Don’t let that homeowner be you, be aware and do your research prior to hiring a contractor to do work on your home.
Here I provide the top 5 things to avoid when choosing a contractor for your home:
1. Never hire a contractor that wants more then half of your money up front or is offering a price that is too good to be true – this contractor is either hurting for money or is going to run with your money!
2. If this contractor doesn’t have a listing in your local phone book nor has a listing of only a P.O. Box for their address, you may want to turn the other way – chances are this contractor isn’t as serious about their business as you’d want them to be.
Did your prospective contractor come to you by knocking door to door? If so, tell this contractor, “No thank you,” and shut the door! You should shop for your contractor; your contractor shouldn’t shop for you.
3. Don’t hire a contractor that doesn’t have their license, and make sure it’s still in good standing before hiring them to do work on your home.
4. Don’t choose a contractor that doesn’t have good references that you can contact – you want to make sure that the contractor has completed quality work and checking references is a great way to be sure you’re hiring the right person.
Do your research and make sure the contractor you hire is reasonable, and get your agreement in writing. Taking these steps will ensure you aren’t scammed by hiring the wrong contractor.
Hiring a contractor to do a home improvement project can be intimidating. Taking the proper steps, asking the right questions, and understanding where to find the answer to your question will make the process in finding a quality contractor easier. Aiming to lead you in the right direction in hiring the right contractor, listed below is a guide to help you make the intimidating process in hiring a contractor a great experience.
The key steps in finding a quality contractor for your home improvement needs are as followed:
• Avoid scams
• Search for a quality contractor
• Interview your prospects
• Check references
• Discuss payment options
• Write a contract
There is a scam out there for most transactions these days, hiring a contractor can be one of those transactions. Simply put, don’t sign a document without reading it thoroughly. Don’t agree to a home equity loan if you can’t afford the payments, don’t deed your property to anybody; don’t agree to financing without doing your homework. More importantly, if the deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.
Search for a quality contractor
Searching for a quality contractor can be a job in itself. Seek recommendations from friends, family members, or the local lumber yard. Make sure the contractor has a listing in the local phone directory as well. Once you have a list of contractors to choose from you can proceed to the interviewing process
Interview your prospects
The answers you receive when interviewing a contractor are just as important as the rapport you have with the contractor. During the interview find out how long they’ve been in business, make sure they have their contractor’s license with the state you reside in, will you need any permits for the project, will subcontractors be used, and find out what type of insurance the contractor uses along with what the insurance covers. The more information you gain the better.
Request references from your prospective contractors. When checking references, ask questions in regards to their performance, if there were added cost, if the project took longer then expected, and make sure their reference would hire them again if needed. Some references may let you see the work that was done at their home, so ask if you can stop by at their convenience.
Discuss payment options
Discussing payment options will help you in several ways. If the contractor asks for half the money up front, there is probably a problem and you may want to choose another contractor. According to How to Hire a Contractor by Tom Silva, a general rule for “large projects, a schedule usually starts with 10 percent at contract signing, three payments of 25 percent evenly spaced over the duration of the project and a check for the final 15 percent when you feel every item on the punch list has been completed.” It’s good to never pay with cash as well.
Write a contract
Writing a contract out is the most important step in hiring a contractor to work on your home. According to FTC.gov your written contract should include the contractor’s personal information as well as their license number, payment schedule, and the start and completion dates. The contract should include that the contractor is responsible for obtaining any permits needed to finish the project, the cost of materials should be listed, and warranty information, the contractor’s obligations, and an agreement of at least 3 business days should be specified in regards to your right to cancel. Any added oral agreements should be added to this contract as well.
This can be a lot of information to take in, but it is crucial that no stone is left unturned when hiring a contractor. The proper research, the right questions asked, and getting a contract in writing will help to ensure a job well done with your home improvement needs.