Our Approach to Additions and Remodeling
We love to work on existing homes. Remodeling offers the creative challenge to find cost-effective ways to improve a home's appearance, comfort, floor plan, energy performance and indoor air quality while retaining the look and feel of the original home. In addition, there is a huge energy savings when we improve existing homes rather than build, tremendously reducing the overall impact on the environment. We like to think of it as recycling on a large scale.
We start by analyzing the aspects of each project to determine if remodeling is appropriate from several points of view. For instance: *Is the location of the home one that the owners like and want to stay in long term? * Is the existing home in good structural and mechanical condition? *What repairs would be desirable during any major renovation or addition? * Would the owners like to keep the existing appearance or alter it? *Will the end result satisfy the practical needs and be aesthetically satisfying? * Do the numbers work? Will the value of the home when completed justify the expense of the proposed improvements? *What are the owners' goals in terms of improved energy performance? *Do the owners want to consider integrating renewable energy sources into their home? *Are there any indoor air-quality concerns?
Once we determine that it makes sense to proceed, we work with the owners to clarify exactly what they want to accomplish with the project. What problems with the existing situation need to be eliminated, and what new features do we want to incorporate into the finished product?
Design and Budget Preparation
We do a good deal of design work in-house, and we also work with various local architects, engineers and other design professionals as needed, depending on the requirements of the project and the preferences of the owners. Having clarified objectives and drafted rough plans, we begin budget work. Often, there is a loop between budget and design adjustments until the plan and budget are finalized.
The next step is to put it all into a contract and specifications so that everyone starts with the same expectations. At this stage, we can go over the planned process to adjust any details that have been overlooked prior to the start of construction.
The secret to a smooth, on-budget and on-time project is to minimize changes once the project begins, this requires careful planning and a thorough contract. Nevertheless, changes inevitably occur as work progresses and new decisions are made, requiring budget and construction adjustments.