Is the remodel project for you or to sell your place? If the remodel is for you, it is a different ball game. But if the remodel is to help you sell your place, there are lots of things to keep in mind. Let’s talk about what you really need to do for both regardless.
If you are doing a remodel for yourself outside the city limits, the rules are different too. You don’t need building permits, for one. If the house is in the city limits, you need to apply and get a permit to make changes. This permit must be displayed in the window. An inspector will occasionally drop in to check it out. Some builders will make sure they follow the rules and code, even when you are outside of the city limits. Ask your builder what they do.
What is the difference if you are remodeling for yourself? If you plan on staying in this home, it’s almost whatever you want to do for your preference. Use those wild bright paint colors, pink carpet, remove that closet, or whatever strikes your fancy. A couple things you should do regardless are to hire licensed subcontractors to do the work, or hire a General Contractor to oversee the project. If there is electrical work to be done, it should all be done to code, meaning, anything not in code should be brought to code. This might cost a bit more, but it is for your protection. Plumbing is the same as electric. Hire someone who is licensed and allow them to do it properly. Remodeling that bathroom? You want a pink toilet, sink, and tile? This is a matter of preference. If that is what you like, than do it. It just does not help if you go to sell. Using bright colors of paint and carpet in each room that the kids picked out again are perfectly fine if you plan on living in the house and not selling it. Make the changes you want, since you are the one to live there. Just hire quality people so you can get the job done and enjoy.
Now let’s talk about if you are remodeling to sell. You really need to find a builder that can guide you “Correctly” on all the necessary code requirements. If you do not, the person buying the home will normally get an inspector who will point out all the things not done to code. What happens then? The new buyer will request these items to be corrected or get a credit to correct them. meaning, you could be paying for a job twice. Take all that beautiful 30’ railing on that second level that was fixed, painted incorrectly, and already paid for. Per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top edge of a railing must be 42 inches (plus or minus 3 inches) above the floor or walking area. The newly installed electrical outlets in the wet areas or exterior areas don’t have GFI. Again, these will be on that inspection report as an issue. These are just a couple of the things that can be a problem for you if not done correctly. Again, more money to change these out or credit that buyer. As you can see, simple things can bite you if you don’t know what you are doing or the person you hire is not familiar with the code. You will want to paint with neutral colors. Flooring should also be in neutral colors whether it is tile, wood, or carpet. People prefer to paint after they buy a color is they so chose. If you have an older home, more than likely the electrical changes will lead to more changes to bring them all up to code. A licensed electrician normally will not and should not do a simple change if it does not bring it to code. Doing a kitchen remodel can cost you a ton of money. If you are planning to sell, you normally will not be able to recover this money. If the kitchen is in really bad shape, you might need to do a remodel to help sell. Ask your Real Estate Agent what they think and get a cost from a builder. And if you do need to remodel that bathroom, again stick with basic colors. Use that white toilet, neutral tiles, and sink.
Regardless if the remodel is for you or to sell, get a quote, schedule for repairs, and hire quality people. Get references. Make sure the work is done to code; otherwise it could cost you double the amount if you go to sell. Ask about warranties too. This is for your protection.
For all Your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658.