Have you renovated your home?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonDotCom. Show BostonDotCom's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    Renovating and updating your home can be a frustating yet rewarding process.

    Have you gone through any home renovations recently? How did it go? Was it harder or easier than you imagined?

    What were the pitfalls you encountered?

    Share your home renovation stories here -- whether good or bad.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from chocgirl. Show chocgirl's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    yes we did, three years ago.
    Pitfalls were always having a contractor around...delays (though not terrible), fumes from the work being done, not fun when you are pregnant!
    overall glad we did it...however the many thounsands spent does NOT pay back when it comes time to sell in a bad economy...unless you live in a big house, like a colonial, and not a ranch as we do...when you do them bear this in mind...renovate for yourself and do NOT expect that you will get that money back if/when trying to sell your home.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from eamelrose. Show eamelrose's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    We're now on our third renovation in 12 years -- with good results when we sold each time. The keys seem to be finding a needy but inherently great house (our work was more "valued" because the improvements were significant), buying in a good location, doing a lot of work ourselves (drywall, carpentry, flooring, painting, etc.), making good design decisions that allow for a broad range of tastes but still feel personal, and hiring good professionals when the code or the job requires it - electricians and plumbers specifically.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from H2. Show H2's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    Chocgirl makes an excellent point. The best attitude on home renovations is to do it for yourself, and make choices accordingly. Depending on the market, you could do nothing to your home and get more than it's worth or you could completely renovate it and still have to sell it for less than market value. We are renovating our kitchen b/c I enjoy cooking and entertaining, and it wasn't as pleasant to do so with cabinets that have not been replaced since the 1950s. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we get a full return on our investment if/when we go to sell in the future, but at the same time, I am in no way anticipating it. (Don't listen to the home shows that tell you you'll make tons more money by renovating. The market is king, and everything else is just extra.)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from aduck. Show aduck's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    You should hire an architect and a contractor. People think they can save money by by-passing the use of an architect and just go directly to a builder. A builder doesn't have the experiece to design. They usually don't do drawings themselves but hire cheap labor to come up with a solution. An architect or interior designer has the background thru their schooling and work experience. By completing drawings ahead of time, you're able to figure out costs and schedules. These drawings become your checks and balances when working with a contractor. They insure that the contractor follows the drawings and details correctly. Sure it costs more to use an architect or interior designer, but in the long run, you will have a much better solution, your architect will be your advocate and they can make sure things will be done in a timely basis. I'm an interior designer and all of our clients will agree that in the end it was worth the extra cost to create good drawings.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from greygull2. Show greygull2's posts

    Have you renovated your home?

    About hiring an architect versus a contractor. There are contractors/builders who do have an eye and the experience to give someone what they want without having to go to an architect. There are also professionally trained architects/designers who haven't a clue about how people really live and design houses that, while beautiful to look at, are not practical to live in. If remodelling, I would consider both, but question their references closely to find their weaknesses.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from rodman75. Show rodman75's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    I'm in the process of having my 2nd floor bathroom remodeled.  I've learned that you must budget 30% over the estimate because of the unexpected.  That being said, once my walls were opened up, the plumbing wasn't up to code, resulting in $$$ I wasn't counting on.  Another downer is the post construction mess.  Dust, debris and dirt covering every inch of the house.  Does anyone know of a professional residential cleaner that specializes in post construction clean up?  Thanks
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from sesvv. Show sesvv's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    Petroluem sprit daze:

    We too found that molding and everything shrinks during the winter.  However, that is preferable to the alternative.  We have friends who put in floors in the winter and then they expanded in the summer and buckled. 

    As far as the question, we just finished an addition.  I think the biggest surprise for me was despite a lack of major cost overruns (maybe 15 % over budget) or time delays (finished on time), it is MUCH harder to live through an addition than anyone can explain in words.  No kitchen for ~ 2 months.  No yard.  No privacy.  I can only imagine if there had been problems too!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from martha5485. Show martha5485's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    My husband and I recently renovated our new condo in the South End. New kitchen, floors, and bathrooms, and it was a great experience. Our contractor gave us a calendar with exactly who would be in and out of our condo and when, and what would be accomplished each week. He was on time, neat, and his work was beautiful. We will definitely be using him again. If any one is interested in his information please feel free to email me at mfs5485@yahoo.com. I would definitely recommend him!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from rcldesigner13. Show rcldesigner13's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    Regarding the architect/contractor debate. A renovation costs a lot of money, it's an investment in your future living. As a designer who also builds, I was contacted recently by a couple who was investing in a 150K addition. The builder had provided them very basic plans. They were also convinced into doing a much larger addition than they had hoped. A good designer is worth every penny you pay as they work with you to get the very best product that suits your lifestyle. Its a proven fact that an architecturally designed product yields more value to your project.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from EngineerChic. Show EngineerChic's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    Hey rcldesigner13 ... your statement that "it's a proven fact that an architecturally designed product yields more value to your project" has me intrigued.  Do you have any statistics or studies to back that up?  And does the added value cover the architect fees (often in the low 5 figures for even a small job)?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2cents4you. Show 2cents4you's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    Here is a link to a the Boston Society of Architects Homeowner's Project Handbook - http://www.architects.org/projecthandbook/ - I trust you'll find it useful as you plan your project(s) by yourself or with your neighbor, builder, contractor, designer, engineer and/or architect

    As with most things in life, there are people who are good at what they do and there are people who are not. There are many people from many different backgrounds that can help you with your home renovation projects. What separates those who get taken advantage of from those that do not is education... and of course, open communication helps manage the expectations in any relationship
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from JeffPersons. Show JeffPersons's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    I have been a Realtor and an Exclusive Accredited Buyers Agent for eight years and I am always trying to determine whether or not my buyers are willing to renovate. I have to establish this of course before I show them any properties.
    I have found that often if a couple have done renovations together before they are VERY unlikely to engage in it again.
    When asked, my buyers told me many horror stories when they renovated and also said that it was a strain on their marriage.
    I have not gotten a "yes we will renovate" from anyone over 50 years old whether they done it in their past or not.
    Over all, I have found that most people will not renovate even if they give it lip service during the showings.
    Hope this helps, Jeff Persons ABR - http://wesellboston.net/

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lindyfresh. Show Lindyfresh's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    In choosing the right Architect or Contractor for your home renovation, you should consider their years of experience, projects and portfolio. You may want to visit this link http://contractor.vze.com/
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from cma0529. Show cma0529's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    We just finished a bathroom reno last winter and I would have to agree with sesvv- our new solid wood doors all expanded when the summer hit and now need to be trimmed down. Not a huge deal but I would rather trim down then have them shrink.

    We hired out almost everything (it was a soup to nuts reno) but managed to save money by not changing the layout. We had one contractor try to convince us that we should move the sewer pipe to get 6 more inches out of the bathroom width- it would have also required moving a basement wall and staircase. Yikes- no thanks. We also kept our home's original tub that is still in super shape. We can refinish it when the time comes. We also saved money by finding sub contractors and not hiring general contractors. We looked at prices for both and ended up saving about 3K. The total cost was 7500 and it came out really nice.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jima. Show Jima's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    In Response to Have you renovated your home?:
    [QUOTE]Every project is unique and as such the same contractor can provide widely varying results. That said I had luck with using a guy who tackled a project over his head. His credibility was on the line as his business is all referral based so he knew he had to impress. What we got was a guy who was an artisan but was bad on the nitty gritty. A lot of contractors are like that and that's a good thing. Its a lot easier to deal with someone who loves what they do. They'll figure out the rest. The budget ended up being relative and the timeline was all but doubled, but the finished product was what I envisioned. Now we have a guy who sucks up to us, does work for free, and comes within a half hour when we need him for a leak or a small job. We had our basement finished during the summer. One piece of advice I'll offer is that wood shrinks in the dry winter, so finishing a basement in summertime will give you some surprises 6 monhts later.
    Posted by petroleumspiritdaze[/QUOTE]
       Any experienced contractor would dehumidify the basement during the construction . Shrinkage is avoidable and is simply not acceptable.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ProperBostonian. Show ProperBostonian's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    Curious to know how most folks found the architech and/or contractor?  Referral?  Angie's list?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from RandyBrook. Show RandyBrook's posts

    Re: Have you renovated your home?

    I agree that home renovation is frustating yet rewarding process,well next year i am planning to renovate my home and saving a lot of money for it this year cause i wanna make my renovation look's good,in Finland my mom ask for a arkkitehtisuunnittelu or architectural design for her home renovation and she really got a good design which make me inspired to have renovation this year.

     

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