Planning Your Project--Flash Services

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PLANNING YOUR PROJECT

Planning Your Project: Flash Services, Remodeling & Repair in Northern Virginia
Planning Your Project, provided by Flash Services

Why do you want to do the remodeling or repair? What is it for?

Too often homeowners do not have a clear idea of the purpose of their project, and that leads to problems and disappointments down the line. If you are refinishing a basement, what will you be using the basement for? What do you use it for now? If you are redoing a kitchen, what is awkward for you now that you would like to fix? Even if you are having a repair done, look at how that area of your home can serve you best. Perhaps you want the house to simply look better, which is a perfectly worthwhile purpose in itself. But you need to know WHY you are doing the remodel or repair.

What is the long-range plan for your house?

Look around your neighborhood. You will see houses without a plan, with an addition here and a gazebo there. This is an expensive and ineffective way to remodel a home.

How exactly would you like your home to be? Put aside for the moment issues of money and time. Usually you cannot do everything at once. Make a plan, and gradually carry it out, with the most pressing issues first. Mike can help you figure this out.

So you have decided on a project. Imagine that part of the house as if it were done. What are all the elements involved?

Look at labor and major parts. And be wary of general contractors who say you don't have to worry about anything, they will "take care of it for you." On the internet you will read the sad tales that resulted from that approach.

It is your house. You are in charge. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting and exactly what it costs.

Interior rooms involve demolition, framing, electrical, insulation, drywall, painting, trim, windows, doors, and more. Kitchens have cabinets, flooring, plumbing, and appliances. Bathrooms have fixtures, tile, and plumbing. Exteriors involve siding, shingles, concrete, exterior flooring, and more. Mike can help guide you with this.

Do you have a good idea of how much remodeling costs?

The framing for walls in a basement costs $12 per foot for labor and materials.

Drywall hanging and finishing costs $90 per sheet for labor and materials, ready for paint.

A typical full bathroom in an unfinished basement costs $8000 for labor and materials, including plumbing.

The following remodeling jobs with their prices give you an idea of price range.

Carport to garage conversion

$8,500

Planning Your Project example

Home theater

$17,300

Planning Your Project example

Basement full bar

$22,000

Planning Your Project example

Carport to garage conversion, including driveway widening and footers

$17,250

Planning Your Project example

Two-bedroom addition above garage

$42,000

Planning Your Project example

Bar in already finished basement

$19,400

Planning Your Project example

Backyard playground

$15,785

Planning Your Project example

Carport to garage conversion

$8,500

Planning Your Project example

Home theater

$17,300

Planning Your Project example

Basement full bar

$22,000

Planning Your Project example

Carport to garage conversion, including driveway widening and footers

$17,250

Planning Your Project example

Two-bedroom addition above garage

$42,000

Planning Your Project example

Bar in already finished basement

$19,400

Planning Your Project example

Backyard playground

$15,785

Planning Your Project example

What requirements come into play?

Flash Services helps you make sure you successfully deal with a wide range of issues: building code, any homeowner's association, utility companies, electrical needs, drainage, gas lines, plumbing, toxic materials like asbestos and lead, and heating/AC.

Define tasks and items to buy.

Talk to Mike to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. See if everything has to be done at once. Maybe it would be easier to do a project in phases.

Get quotes and put together a budget.

Then make a list of what is needed and get prices. Mike can help you figure this out. Try to avoid doing something the cheap, fast way. It is usually the wrong way.

Figure out the finances.

Can you fund this with money on hand? Would doing it in phases work better for you? Do you need to get a loan? Also figure that no matter how carefully a remodel is planned, there are surprises when walls are taken down. Be ready for this.

Figure out the schedule.

Work tasks usually need to be done in a certain order. But large parts might also be a scheduling factor, and need to be ordered a few weeks ahead of time. Flash Services can help you with the schedule.

Handle design issues.

Does your project involve interior or exterior design? Use decorating magazines, photos from the internet, perhaps professional help to ensure you make decisions you will be happy with. Most important are decisions regarding long-term items, such as tile, siding, and cabinets. You can set up rooms to simulate future furniture and see how you like it. Knowing where furniture will go in a room is a plus, because then electrical outlets, lighting, and cable connections will be at exactly the right places.

Look closely at day-to-day use.

How will you get into and out of the area? What will each electrical switch do and why? What do you do in that part of the house?

Schedule work and parts to be delivered. Sign contracts.

Make sure everything makes sense to you, and any people and parts are available.

Monitor the work and the parts that arrive.

Know exactly what is going on each day, and that the parts you receive are what you ordered. But don't get in people's way. Mike explains regularly what he is going to do, and asks you what to do when there are choices to make.

Inspect the work and pay.

Take a look at everything so you don't find something later.

Take care of small tasks and items to buy after the work is done, including decorating or landscaping.

This is the fun part. Make that part of the house all your own.