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Unread 02-10-2009, 11:11 AM   #1
Parky
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Major Home Remodel

Any of you guys ever been through or managed a major home remodel? My wife and I are going through the initial due diligence and design phase right now to come up with a better idea of cost.

If you have, do you have any words of advice? I have heard from several people that something like this is very hard on a relationship.

Hopefully everything will work out and we can move forward and do our part to pump some cash into the economy to help turn this downturn around If everything moves forward this thread can become my house build up journal.

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Unread 02-10-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
BlazinJack
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My wife and i bought a program at Target called Total3D Home, Landscape and Deck. weve been using it for our smaller remodels and to design our backyard and such (our house is brand new). its $30 or so, and has a budgeting tool in it that has so far been surprisingly accurate. ive found it pretty helpful in those initial design phases to get a good idea of general cost and looks!
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Unread 02-10-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
daveshan
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Been through this a couple of times in the last 3 years since moving to Durango from San Diego. 2 separate projects with 2 very different outcomes as far as my stress levels and general mood. I do have a bit of advice, CO seems to have "Truck and dog" licensing, i.e. all it takes to become a general contractor is the aforementioned items so use someone who has several recommendations, preferably from people you know to be happy with their work.

To save stress and get a good job done:

1. Have a clear concise plan to work from

2. Don't assume ANYTHING even if you've verbally discussed it with the contractor, get it in writing that the contractor understands the work/changes you want done.

3. Don't assume the inspector will ensure everything will be done right, code is minimum at best and inspectors vary in how well they check things out. If you have any experience in the trades watch the contractor and check his work. If you don't have the experience have a friend who does come by after work and take a look. You probably won't believe the shortcuts you'll find. Don't even think about working without permits, even if the job is small enough that they "aren't really necessary".

4. Change orders cost more than getting it right the first time and you will find things that you want different in the middle of the job. Figure on the job taking longer and probably costing more than you expect.

5. Your wife will probably find most of #4, be patient a happy wife = more Jeep parts.

6. If you're living in the house it's really gonna suck depending on what you're doing, take a few days away in a hotel if you can when things get tough. We have a guest house to sleep in but it still was a strain.

7. The contractor should have a well laid out "Draw" policy in the contract. $xx up front, and more at specified levels of completion, if the contractor doesn't offer this up front be sure you lock it down before starting. Probably don't need to say this but NEVER make the last payment 'till you're 100% happy with the job.

There's probably more but that's all I can think of right now. Good luck and enjoy the "new" house. Getting your house just like you like it is HUGE.
Cheers
Dave
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Unread 02-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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We finished our 900 sq. ft. basement, but that wasn't too bad. We hired our neighbor (a master carpenter) to do all the framing and carpentry work. My husband did the wiring and we did all the insulation, calking and other grunt-work our selves to save money. It ran us about $20K before it was all said and done, but it really turned out nice. This kind of thing can be hard on a relationship, but if you both chip in and participate in whatever capacity you can, it can kind of bond you together too. I can say this... I will NEVER hang insulation again. Ever. Never ever. Never, never, ever again. Did you get that part???
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Unread 02-10-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
prjohnson
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I'm wondering this also, I'm going to look at a house tonight that "needs some work"
I can do minor things like tile & molding, doors & windows, but everything else I'd be learning.
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Unread 02-10-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
Naturalhoosier
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My wife does a lot of work w/Auto-cad...maybe she could draw something up for you....
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Unread 02-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the offer.

I have already hired an architect. You have to remember that I live in Boulder where they are at the cutting edge of restricting and requiring strange provisions on property owners I have a builder, architect and engineer that know all of the fun codes of the city of Boulder
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Unread 02-10-2009, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
You have to remember that I live in Boulder where they are at the cutting edge of restricting and requiring strange provisions on property owners I have a builder, architect and engineer that know all of the fun codes of the city of Boulder

and i thought my HOA was bad!!!
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Unread 02-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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Pretty excited. I just got the financing for the project!!!
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Unread 02-14-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
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When was the house built?
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Unread 02-14-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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1952 I think. What is nice is that we don't have any asbestos or aluminum wiring to worry about.
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Unread 02-14-2009, 06:34 PM   #12
newracer
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How about asbestos anywhere else? Or lead-based paint?
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Unread 02-14-2009, 06:37 PM   #13
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Our plan is to leave the existing structure and just remove the roof and pop the top. We may need to remove some of the siding on the ends to help strengthen the structure for shear, but that will go back on.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #14
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Wow! That is a big job. We're going to Boulder today to shop around for land. We want to build a house up there when things turn around a bit, but we'd like to get the land sooner than later.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 02:29 PM   #15
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Hope you guys checked out Sunshine Canyon. I love it up there. You feel like you are way out of town, but only about a 5 minute drive to Pearl St.
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