Here’s a photo update on the construction of our Lake Sunapee custom home. Lots of curves and challenging exterior trim work! The Loewen windows and doors are looking very nice and some of the siding is installed. That is one of the most complicated standing seam roofs that we have completed and our Trade Partner did a fantastic job!!
Remodeling your home or building a new home is an exciting experience! There are a lot of important decisions you will need to make from the time you approve the initial drawings to enjoying your finished project. We know how important every decision you make is and how important it is that you can follow every aspect of the process.
However, almost all of our clients are building or renovating retirement or second homes here and live somewhere else. That’s why we offer secure, online access to your very own webpage with all the details and selections for your project! You will be able to track photos of the construction progress, view the schedule, view and approve change orders and selections, as well as important documents. With our online messaging system, you can easily communicate with our design/build team 24/7 no matter if you are at home, work or even vacation!
Before the construction can begin, your contractor will prepare a contract. Some remodelers guarantee only the materials costs and bill for their time on an hourly basis, working on a “time and materials” contract. Others prefer to add a fixed percentage to the cost of materials and labor and this is a “cost-plus” contract. The total cost for the project is not fixed with these agreements, but the remodeler should be able to estimate your total cost fairly closely. On larger projects, many contractors work with a “contract sum” agreement. This establishes the total cost of the project and payments are made according to the “schedule of payments” attached to the contract.
All contracts should include:
• A detailed description of the work.
• A list of the specific materials to be used.
• A schedule of progress payments showing how much you pay at the outset and when further payments are due.
• An explanation of the change order which deals with changes or extras not included in the original agreement.
• A procedure for handling disputes between the contractor and the owner.
• It may include a description of what is not included, such as “the homeowner is responsible for carpet installation” or “the homeowner is responsible for removing personal items and furnishings from the work areas”.
• A federally mandated recision clause, enabling you to cancel the agreement within three days of signing it.
The next step is often a pre-construction conference with you, the remodeler, the lead carpenter or foreman, the designer (if any), and perhaps the major subcontractors. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the project schedule and ground rules. This is the time to decide what parts of the house are to be work or material storage areas, and what areas are off limits. Review your remodeler’s policies on crew behavior and let him know what you expect. While most have clear guidelines concerning things like smoking (not allowed inside), radio use (low volume), phone use (local calls only), bathroom use (port-a-potty) and daily cleanup, these may be modified to reflect your needs.
This is also the time to address concerns about safety and security. Construction sites are dangerous, especially to children and pets. Be sure that you are satisfied with measures to separate the work areas from the rest of the house and secure the house during non-work times. Make sure that you remove all personal items and furnishings from the work area. No matter how careful and neat the workmen are, there will be dust, debris and the potential for damaging anything left in the work area. In fact, the constant vibration from the project can cause items outside the work area to shift and fall. Check that valuable items on shelves in the rest of the house are secured or moved.
You like your neighborhood. You have a great commute. Your kids are in good schools and their friends live close by. You cringe, however, when you examine your house. It’s dated and cramped. You start to imagine what your house would be, if only . . .
“If only” is what remodeling is all about! Remodeling can:
• Add space: An addition with a new bedroom, bathroom or family room can ease family “traffic jams”. Potential additional space might be found in the attic or basement.
• Upgrade a kitchen or bath. New cabinets and fixtures can make those areas a pleasure to use and can add value when you sell.
• Get the best use out of the space you have. The way you live in your house has changed over the years and remodeling can make your existing space more efficient.
• Save you money. Today’s building products and systems are far more energy efficient. Even projects that add space may not add to heating and cooling bills.
Often remodeling can pay for itself. If your house is smaller or simpler than the rest of the neighborhood, bringing it up to date may increase its value enough to reflect most, or even all, of the cost of the improvement. When you compare the expense of moving with the cost of remodeling, you may find that remodeling is a more affordable way to get the house you really want. With remodeling, there is no real estate commission or moving costs to pay, and you don’t have the worries of selling your current home and starting over in a new neighborhood. A professional remodeler can help you decide whether or not remodeling makes sense for you.
Whoever plans your remodeling project will need lots of information that only you can supply. The process will go much more smoothly if you have a clear idea of what you want. Take time to assess your current house. What do you like or dislike about it, and why? Make sure to include everyone in the family in this process. Make a list of things to change, add or take away and rank each item on the list in order of priority.
A little research will assist you in finding solutions. Look in magazines that show new and remodeled homes and save the pictures that appeal to you. Start a separate file for each area to be remodeled. These pictures will give your remodeler a good feel for your tastes and preferences. Take a tour of remodeled homes in your community. Many homeowners would be pleased to show off their “new” homes and if you see great craftsmanship you can find out who did the work! Home shows are also a great place to gather information about new products and services. Don’t worry if you don’t come up with the perfect solution for your house and don’t try to decide every detail ahead of time. Your designer and remodeler will have a wealth of experience to draw upon for ideas and can provide information about products that will influence your decisions