7 FAQs your home remodeling contractor should answer before you hire them.
When it comes to home remodeling or room additions, there is no magic solution. As homeowners, there is nothing we would appreciate more than having all of our upgrades be automatically done with no hassle. Unfortunately, nothing works like that, and home renovations are no different. The best you can do is have a professional contractor help you correctly through the process so that through each stage of the remodel you can have both your house and budget in the right hands.
Every complete home remodel is unique to the particular features of the existing house and the taste of the homeowners. That is why no full home remodel is identical to the other. Some require a room addition, or a full second story addition, while others may need knocking down walls to create an open floor plan. For this reason, counting with a professional contractor that knows the building requirements in Los Angeles, and that has the experience of working in different projects is the best thing you can do.
Although projects may vary in the particulars due to the uniqueness of the home and the style of the owners, we have encountered that most potential home remodel clients have some of the same questions.
So, what are the frequently asked questions for home remodeling in Los Angeles?
How will I know if my budget allows me to do what I want to?
Room addition and home remodeling costs are usually the most common questions. It makes sense, such projects will require a substantial investment, and you want to make sure that you have the budget to complete the project.
Usually, there is no one better than yourself to know exactly how much you can invest in a home remodel, however there are certain tools like our room addition cost calculator that can help you begin to get ballpark estimates of your project cost.
At Levi Design Build, however, our experience in the greater Los Angeles Area, has allowed us to introduce a proven methodology that incorporates the three construction stages to obtain the most effective results for your remodel.
As certified home remodeling contractors serving the area for more than ten years, we have proven that comprehensive building procedures are the most complete manner to approach any house renovation. A design/build process.
In it, we go hand in hand with homeowners through the planning, design and construction stage to assure that we are always on budget and on time. As you may have noticed in popular home remodeling shows on TV, everything in construction adds up very quickly, making your dream far more expensive than you imagined. This is why it is imperative to count with someone that can properly allocate your budget and asses you through the whole process.
It is also crucial to see your project as a whole, this will allow your team to better appropriate your investment. Having your remodeling contractor team count with designers, architects and engineers on the team will always prove an undeniable advantage since they will provide cost numbers that are much more precise, since they have everyone needed for the project within their firm. For more info on our design/build firm, meet our team!
How can I see what my project will look like before I am doing it?
After project cost inquiries, how will the result look, is by far the most common question. Rightfully so, we will always want to see the result of what we are purchasing, especially when full home remodels may take well over 4 months. It is a considerable investment, that will take place during several months, and the end product is something that will transform your home, hopefully to make it better.
Visualizing that end product is always important for both the homeowner and the contractor, and to do so effectively you need to work with an experienced and creative designer knowledgeable of the whole construction process. This will ensure that the design is congruent with your budget and current costs for construction and finished materials.
In our design/build process the planning stage is essential to a successful makeover. We want to make sure to hear you out thoroughly, and comprehend your vision. Only then, we begin designing. A design must be unique to your family needs and style; therefore, it is important that you can have a designer that can hear you out and has the maturity to create a design for you. It can happen, with young designers thirsty to prove their worth, that they may go all out on a design that is marvelous, but it is not necessarily the design for your family.
At the end of this planning stage, we have the vital information to provide a design. This will usually be through 3D renders, which are illustrations of what your home will look like after the remodel.
What are the timeframes to issue plans?
Construction plans, like anything in construction, depend on the project. So, there are no standard procedures that are exactly the same for each project. And when meeting with a building contractor in Los Angeles, you want to make sure their attention and service is personalized. This is a great indicator that they are serving you as a unique and valuable client.
It is crucial to note that for plans to come out, you need the design, architecture and engineering all included. Plans contain a mix of structural and superficial modifications, and to have proper plans that will pass building permits requirements, you need to have all three areas well planned.
At Levi Design Build, depending on the project, plans are issued 9-12 weeks after we have begun the planning stage.
What are the timeframes for construction?
Once again, this depends greatly on the project. Complete home remodels that require a second story addition will take longer that those who are only adding rooms on the first floor. Second story additions also require a great extent of work being done on the first floor to ensure the stability of the addition. In most cases, we will perform structural foundation and framing work to sustain the addition, meaning that certain areas of the first floor will be uninhabitable during the duration of the addition.
At Levi Design Build, we specialize in custom built homes, guest house additions, room additions, second story additions and complete home remodels. Due to the nature of these services, which are big projects, our timeframes range in between 6-9 months.
That is why we advise you that when you start receiving bids for your project, it is crucial to have your contractor to break down exactly what will be done in each stage and how is that reflected within the overall timeframes and budget. Remember, in construction everything adds up, so you want to make sure you understand where and when your budget will be allocated.
Will I be able to stay at home during construction?
Home remodel projects are all very different from one another. In this case, whether you can stay at home during the project’s duration or not will depend on the type of remodel.
Usually during a complete home remodeling and second story additions, the answer is no. If your kitchen is being worked on, or if you are adding a second story located above your kitchen area, the kitchen area will be unavailable during the duration of most of the project.
Another main reason why your house may not be in living conditions is if you are remodeling bathrooms or if major foundation work must be done. However, this rule does not apply to all cases. Your contractor in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter, must give you a sincere heads up if you will need to relocate, especially since this will signify an added cost on you.
Do I need to move my things out of the house?
A professional experienced contractor will make this process much easier for you, giving an overall plan of how the project will be executed. This will allow for more precise furniture allocation. The principle is: if the room is going to be worked on, then yes, it is imperative to move out all the furniture and things that could obstruct the construction or could be damaged by the process.
A great alternative however, is to use for storage rooms that will not be remodeled. You can even plan with your contractor, in case of a major house renovation, how furniture can be moved from room to room as the project advances. This will prevent you from incurring in storage costs.
When do we need to have finished material delivered?
Finished material is like icing on a cake. It is not the most vital aspect of a complete home remodel, but it will give your transformation the look and feel that you were dreaming. Finished materials will catalog your home’s design as contemporary, modern, traditional, etc. Therefore, the quality of the material will resonate directly with the look of your home.
Having your material be sent at the right time will prevent you from delays and a more substantial wait on the move in date. Having these materials on time will ease the final phase of your remodel.
For more practical purposes, the guideline is that once plans are approved, your contractor should provide the dates for those materials to arrive.
As you can notice, most of the FAQ we just mentioned are essential to the success of a home remodeling project, and having clear answers to all of the questions that you have will determine how satisfied you will be in the hiring process. Be aware of the confidence and knowledge with which a contractor answers these and any question they may have, this will allow you to recognize the experience and professionalism of the design/build team that will remodel your house.
For any question you may have regarding your project, please schedule a free consultation.