The aim of this post is to educate the remodeling public on the proper steps needed to complete a medium to large scale remodeling project. Projects that fall into this category would be whole house remodels, room additions and space re-configurations. Every project would benefit from a complete set of prints but the larger projects require these plans at a minimum.

STEP 1: OUTLINE WHAT YOU WANT DONE IN YOUR PROJECT (SCOPE OF WORK)

Residential Scope of Work
Residential Scope of Work

This might sound basic but many people forget to complete this critical step. Without a clear idea or vision committed in writing, your dream of a successful project is at risk. Decide what you want done and how this project will benefit your family.

STEP 2:  DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT YOU WANT TO INVEST IN YOUR PROJECT (BUDGET)

There are considerations you must review in order to decide how much money should be allocated towards your project. The first would be your ultimate enjoyment. How will this remodel enhance your quality of life. The second would be how your project will potentially impact the value of your home. You must strike a balance between your needs, the utility of the space and investment recapture. You don’t want to over improve your home but you do want to design a space with your use in mind. A good place to start your research and to garner a realistic budget is to review publications like Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2015 report. This report will give you an idea of how your potential project will impact your home.

 STEP 3: DETERMINE THE SPECIFIC MATERIALS THAT YOU WANT IN YOUR PROJECT (SPECIFICATIONS)

Everyone has a style and environment they feel fits their lifestyle. For your project to accomplish your goals, you must communicate your design requirements to the builder. One way to do this is to review sites like Houzz to get ideas on how you can best articulate your ideas in writing and with pictures.

STEP 4: PREPARE A COMPLETE A SET OF PLANS FOR LARGER MORE COMPLEX REMODELS

House Architectural Plans
House Architectural Plans

An accurate set of plans is not only necessary for the building department to get a permit but is required to communicate your ideas to the general contractor.  As the main component of the bid package, you want to make sure that you spend the time necessary to communicate how you want your space delivered.

STEP 5: CONTACT BUILDERS AND EVALUATE BIDS

Now that you have a complete bid package. You want to research and solicit licensed builders to bring your ideas to life. When choosing the builder, first determine what is important to you. Is price the bottom line or is experience, reliability and professionalism most important.  Knowing this up front will not only help you but those builders that you invite to bid on your project.

We at Foster Green Design + Build estimate projects as we design. This approach gives us the ability to design within a clients budget from the beginning. We provide an owner’s estimate that is used as a budget to be compared against firm numbers submitted by our trusted subcontractors. This approach is in contrast to the traditional arrangement of hiring the architect first to design the project and acquiring estimates after the drawings are complete.

I hope that this article helps you in the planning of your next remodeling project.