Do you know that the word “remodel” has many different meanings? Probably the vagueness of this term is responsible for the surprise some feel when they pay their contractor for their remodel job.
Here are more specific definitions or types of remodels.
- Minor renovation. Cosmetic or energy saving upgrades; window replacement, painting the exterior of your home.
- Upgrade. This usually refers to updating a room to improve the functionality. Typically, this will be the bath or kitchen, where systems that support the kitchen will often have to be upgraded as well. These would be the electrical and plumbing, typically.
- Conversion. The most common type of conversion is transforming the garage into a living space. This runs into building codes, which have more stringent requirements for living spaces than for garages, so insulation and ventilation, for instance, will have to be upgraded.
- Additions to the home. This could be a second floor addition, which will require a structural engineer to become involved, or adding square feet by going out into the yard. The first floor addition will have to be evaluated to meet setback requirements, and electrical wiring will be involved. If any plumbing fixtures are added, then water and sewer piping are part of the plan.
If the home is older, some of the electrical may require upgrading due to code changes over the years, not to mention our electrical needs seem to increase over time, so you may need to add a circuit.
Most of the things mentioned above involve code requirements and safety issues, but be aware that any home can have hidden water damage, piping that is becoming plugged due to corrosion and old age, and worn electrical circuits. When opening up the walls and floors, your contractor has to make sure everything is safe and secure before closing it up.
Talk to your contractor before work is done, and be sure to have a contingency fund for unexpected work.