- Exterior work on a property most often has the biggest jump in value for a home, mainly because of the improvement in curb appeal that projects can offer. It’s all about first impression, and curbside appeal can be enough to make or break a home sale.
- One of the best remodeling projects to add value to your home is a two-story addition. You don’t have to add an extra family room, bedrooms, and a bathroom, either; any addition of square footage will add value.
- Bathrooms are hot commodities these days, and you may want to think about either sprucing yours up or giving it a complete overhaul to add some value to your home. Any Bay Area home remodel that includes a refinished bathroom is going to be attractive to potential buyers, the in-laws, friends that stop by, and everyone else, too. While not everyone is impressed by billiard rooms or basement bars, for example, everyone can appreciate a nice bathroom!
- Installing new windows is an excellent way to boost your home’s value. New windows are appealing because they look great, insulate better than old ones, save on energy, and more. The most common and most preferred finish is wood, but there is also vinyl and other finishes, too.
- An excellent room to remodel in your home if you’re looking to increase its value is the kitchen. Everyone uses the kitchen, and everyone notices it. You can replace cabinet fronts with raised panel drawers and doors, replace the hardware, replace your appliances with new energy efficient models, and if you can, replace the flooring and paint, too.
DesignThe design phase is the most important, even if it begins with nothing more than a sketch on a napkin from your favorite coffee shop. Make sure that you have enough of a financial allowance for the project; obtain at least a few quotes for the job from local professionals. If you’re comfortable and experienced, you can perform some of the DIY projects yourself and have contractors do the rest. This design phase should also include you obtaining the necessary permits for construction on your property. Check local, county, and state requirements.
Foundation & Large ProjectsThe lead contractor should ensure that large projects are done first, because the smaller ones will be impacted by them. Any foundation repairs to weakened walls, carrying beams, and joists should be the primary focus, followed by the roof and seriously damaged windows, if any. Another large project would be any that would inhibit water filtration – if you have any water that seeps into your home via a crawl space, basement, walls, or the roof, repair these areas first.
DemolitionIf there will be a need for any demolition of parts of the house that will be replaced/not needed, be sure that you rent a large enough container for waste. Whether you are doing the demolition or contractors are, caution should be used any time surfaces coated with lead-based paint or those with asbestos are being worked with.
Structural CarpentryAs for carpentry, structural carpentry should be done in the beginning stages of any Bay Area home renovation project. This would include moving walls, constructing new walls, enlarging window openings significantly, adding weight-bearing beams, removing existing doors or punching in new ones, and the like.
HVAC, Plumbing, & ElectricalWhile the ceiling and walls are open, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing should be worked on. This is when inspectors in these professions will visit, as well.
Insulation, Drywall, and Fine CarpentryInstallation of fiberglass insulation in the ceiling and walls will take place now, and it goes quickly; your drywall company should be ready to go shortly thereafter. The drywallers may have a second inspection for electrical and possibly plumbing at this time, before they close up the walls with drywall. Other carpentry that is not structurally supportive will take place now, including doors and windows, bookcases, and more.
Interior Wallpapering, Painting, and FlooringThese items need to be the last items that are completed indoors. There is debate, however, on whether you should paint or install/sand a floor first. Laying flooring first runs the risk of having paint dripped on it; painting first means that floor sanders might scuff the walls. Talk to your contractor, if you have one, and decide together the best course of action. Usually, installing floor covering as late as possible in the renovation process will save it from damage.
The Great Outdoors: Siding, Gutters and Auxiliary BuildingsDon’t install siding until the renovation is mostly finished; otherwise, if doors and windows are punched out, it will damage the siding. Once everything on the main house is finished, renovation on any additions, swimming pools, hot tubs, sunrooms, and the like can be done.
- “Are you licensed and insured?”
You never want to entertain the idea of having someone work on your project if he or she is not licensed and insured. There are different requirements for different cities, counties, and states when it comes to licenses and other credentials. As a homeowner, you want to make sure that if you need carpentry done, you don’t hire someone who is licensed in roofing, for example. Having just a business license isn’t enough – you also want your contractor insured (ask to see a certificate of insurance) with workers’ compensation and liability insurance that is specific to the job they’ll perform.
“How long have you been in the business?”
Bay Area contracting businesses that have been around for a long time have created controls over the years to ensure that their work is done on budget, on time, and with high quality. This is not to say that new companies don’t do a good job, it’s just that well-established ones have had years to iron out wrinkles in procedure and practice. It’s always a good idea to talk with a contractor about anything that concerns you – most would rather you ask about something than take them out of the running for a job.
“Will I have a dedicated team for my project?”
You may or may not know that most contracting companies work on several projects at a time, so you’ll want to confirm that you can depend on consistency and punctuality every day of the project. Find out if you’ll have the same team every day, who the project manager will be, if the company works with subcontractors, and how often the business owner will check in on progress.
“What will the work days be like?”
You’ll want to find out what time the workers will arrive and what time they will finish each day, if you need to remove items that are near or in the work area, what the noise level will be like, and if the company will need you to be home during the day. Advise your contractor about parking in your neighborhood, which restrooms are available for use (if any), where power outlets are located, and any pets that may be home.
“How will you ensure my property is protected?”
This may be a difficult question to ask, but it’s important. Ask the Bay Area contracting professional if tarps will be used over furniture, if workers will wear shoe covers when they enter the home, and if the contractor would/can be responsible for locking doors as necessary when leaving the home (or unlocking when entering, if applicable).
You will find that when everything is discussed openly ahead of time, your project will not only go much more smoothly, but will also cause less of a disruption to your everyday life while it is going on. You want to be able to trust anyone who works on your project with your home – it’s too important to risk having just anyone in charge of something so important.
Contact our contractors in the Bay Area at CRC Builders today and let us discuss your next project with you! We have years of experience and not only invite you to ask us questions, but we encourage it! Contact us today.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS… RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
1652 West Texas St, Suite 103
Fairfield CA 94533
2950 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 300
Walnut Creek, Ca 94597
1900 Powell St., Suite 600
Emeryville, Ca 94608