The process of remodeling a home in the Portland area encompasses so many factors and involves so many steps that we’ve put together a basic guide with links to articles on each topic: planning ahead, finances, finding a builder, bids, contracts, and surviving the process.
Considering a Remodel
So you think you want to remodel or put an addition on your home? Be sure you have a clear idea of why such a major project is needed and what you hope to gain. Is it for increased resale value or improved living at home? Can you afford it? Are you ready for the disruption that a construction project will bring?
Finding a Contractor
This has to be the most important step, so don’t rush it. Start with general research on the builders working in the Portland area, and narrow down the possibilities. Vet them over the phone, then schedule face-to-face meetings with a few potential contractors. During these consultations, ask lots of questions. You’ll be looking not only for facts, but for the feel of the company. Are these the kinds of people you can imagine spending several months working with?
Contractors and Bids
Determining how much your dream project will cost is a major step in the process. When you talk with builders, you will find that they don’t all price their work the same way. The two most common methods that contractors use to set a price are the bid, or fixed-price proposal, and the time-and-materials estimate, also known as cost-plus. With either approach, you’ll need to be very specific when you’re telling the contractor what you want built, so you’ll get an accurate estimate. Once you’ve chosen a builder, detail will be critical again when a contract is being drawn up. Specify the materials, products including brands and models, site preparation, timing, payment methods, work site conditions, warranty, and, of course, price.
A major remodel or addition will require a significant amount of money, and there are several possible ways to acquire the funding, including a construction loan, cash-out refinance, or a home-equity loan or line of credit. Of course, you’ll need to know how much money you will require to complete the project. You can get a rough idea by studying the latest Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine, which is available online.
Dreaming about what to include in your remodel or home addition can be fun, and when you meet with an architect or design-build company such as COOPER Design Builders, you’ll start to see how your ideas could work in reality. Follow these links to some ideas for different areas of your home and ways to make sure your builder is on the same page with you.
Turning parts of your house into a construction zone will involve disruption; there’s no getting around it. But if you plan ahead, you and your builder can take effective steps to make it less painful and to make sure you come out on the other end with not only a brand-new kitchen or master suite but with positive memories of working with that company.