If you could snap your fingers and have everything fall into place in a newly built Cincinnati custom home, why wouldn’t you choose that option? But then reality sets in… Your friends are nearby in your current home. Your memories are there. You’re comfortable in the community. Your budget fits this home, and the list goes on… If this scenario fits you, it might be time to turn your custom built home dream into a custom remodeling plan for your current home.
The first question homeowners have, is “How do we retrofit This Old House with custom quality construction. How do we give it the feeling of new and a flow that feels natural?” Start by selecting a Cincinnati custom builder that offers remodeling as a parallel specialty. Many offer renovation as a subset, but only a select few can promise quality in remodeling that mirrors the quality of their new custom home construction. It is a challenging task to interpret a home’s unique period of architecture and create a plan that combines existing parameters with today’s custom home design and construction. The following offers a few considerations to help you feel right-at-home with your remodeler selection.
1 - Initial walk-through sets the stage
The best way to make a remodeler selection is to have them come to your home. After giving a description of your project, have them give you their initial thoughts, concerns and ideas. The best remodelers will display creativity, insights, recommendations and budget considerations that may surprise you. You will know quickly who has the right stuff to take your home to new heights.
2 - A portfolio review
A great place to start is the website. Has your remodeler taken the time to tell their story? Did they do it in a clear, convincing manner? Do they offer examples of their workmanship? Do you see a well-rounded sense of design. Is there a style that matches your taste? Are they a true “custom builder” or are their homes and renovations using the term loosely? Do they have versatility in what they have produced? In addition to visual references, the remodeler should be able to describe a couple of their best recent projects and why they are of consequence to your project.
3 - Old construction obstacles
Home design trends are always in transition. You may have a formal living room but no family room creating unused or improperly used space. There might be a first floor bathroom just inside the front door, or a cramped kitchen that only caters to the cook. Whatever the issue, today’s custom home remodeling can quickly shine light on outdated design and construction and offer numerous paths to remedy them toward better flow and functionality. A quality remodeler should be able to interpret, design and present visuals that precisely illustrate how the renovation can best blend with the existing home. You will be impressed at how a good custom remodeler can work miracles within an existing footprint.
4 - Lots of questions deliver desired results
Part of the remodeler’s job is to interpret your vision. This doesn’t always happen on the first round of design. Take more than a few minutes with your provided remodel plans to make sure they are exactly what you want. It is very important to ask questions… Lots of them if needed. This gives the remodeler a closer view of your dream. Your best remodeler will be flexible in plan development, responsive with ideas and intuitive to what you are looking for.
5 - Cost versus created equity
Upgrading your home through a custom remodel enhances the quality of life. That is a fact. But it can also create added equity. I use the word “can”, because not all remodeling projects bare the same increased home value after completion. Rather than go down the list in this article of what is a proven winner and what is not, have this conversation with your remodeler. Every home is different. Your remodeler should be able to provide historical value averages on any addition or remodel.
6 - Scheduling and availability
It’s a great sign if your remodeler readily offers project scheduling as a focal point in your project. Not all do. Put this high on your list of importance if it doesn’t come up early in discussions. With their quote, have your remodeler provide a detailed timeline of events with a fixed finish date. Many times homeowners suffer because the remodeler has issues balancing workload and crews. It is aggravating to live amidst idle or slow construction without knowing the finish date. Have your remodeler commit in writing to a schedule that you agree with.
A parallel trait to look for is availability. While it may be impossible to have in-person access to your remodeler any and every day, they should commit to open and very regular communication as a key attribute of their service. They should stay in touch by phone, text messaging, and in-person when possible with near-immediate response time. This should be a promise and a recurring comment from referrals.
7 - A positive partnership - Trust but verify
Going back to the above “Initial walk-through”, use your instincts when interviewing remodelers as an early indicator, but also use references to make sure that your partnership will be a prosperous one for you. Have them provide at least three names that you can contact for referral. After all, your project will be months in the making. A little research to confirm credentials goes a long way toward peace-of-mind.
Classic Living Homes offers the above article topics as keys to achieving a successful Cincinnati addition or remodeling project. You will find each of these attributes in the Classic Living Homes commitment to the customer. Contact us anytime at 513-515-5123 and speak directly to the builder. We welcome the opportunity.