Serving Houston Since 1983

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Where Do You Start?

Do you want to add on to or remodel an existing home or other building? Do you want to renovate? Or, is it just some maintenance or repairs that need attention? Maybe you’re looking to build a new home or business facility. What are the differences and how do you start the process.

ADDITION, REMODEL, RENOVATE or REFURBISH – what is the difference?

An Addition is easy; it is usually up or out. You’re going to add a new room or enlarge an existing room. The project could be a second story addition or a first floor expansion. Converting the garage to a play room or a guest suite is an addition but then you may need to add a new garage. The bottom line is, you’re adding square footage and value.

A Remodel project involves changing the configuration or use of existing rooms. Usually the project is within the confines of the existing structure. You may be looking for a more accessible bathroom, a larger kitchen, converting the garage into a play room, perhaps with a bathroom, or taking two bedrooms and making them into a suite for your parents or in-laws that have come to live with you. Oh joy!

Some projects are both a Remodel and an Addition but what is a Renovation or Refurb?

A Renovation or Refurb involves changing, upgrading or updating the finishes of an existing room or an entire house. Maybe it’s new flooring, carpet, ceramic tile or wood floors. Perhaps it’s replacing old plastic laminate or cultured marble countertops with new granite or getting rid of the passé wallpaper with new wall texture and painting.

Some projects are part Renovation, part Remodel and part Addition and that’s okay but know what you’re getting into. Are you going to live in the house while these are going on or are you moving out during the process? Is the project going to be done in phases?

Maintenance and Repairs may involve simply repainting, replacing rotten fascia boards or siding, a new roof or fixing a toilet that keeps running. Can you do it or do you need a professional?

A New Home or Building is going to require a site. Do you have existing property or are you going to purchase a new site. Site selection should involve a real estate professional but they don’t always tell you about the flood plain or the ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction) or the need to replat the property. Are you going to need a detention pond and is the property large enough to accommodate what you want and the detention pond? What are the deed restrictions if any?

Now that you have an idea of what kind of a project you want, what is the next step? Most of the above projects are going to require plans, our article “Apples to Apples – Why are plans Necessary?” should help you understand why or when plans are necessary.

Bruce A. Sommers, President