Planning a home remodeling or home renovation project? There are several important steps to take in planning your project, even before hiring a remodeling contractor. Depending on what specific project you have in mind, take the following into consideration.
Building Codes and Project Plans
You will need a specific home renovation idea or home remodeling idea which your final design will be based upon. If you plan a basement renovation, obviously, there will be different considerations than when planning a kitchen renovation. We'll talk more about specifics later.
Every successful home remodeling project begins with a set of detailed plans, with scale drawings that include specific information about every element in the design. Before putting a home improvement remodeling design plan on paper, it is necessary to become informed as to local building code requirements.
For instance, homeowners undertaking a project in Boston will have to meet Massachusetts building code requirements. Many times it is necessary to have a professional such as an architect or remodeling contractor help with the actual design and drawings. This will help ensure that your home renovation idea is feasible for meeting building code requirements
The best place to start is with the local building authority, such as the New York department of building or the Los Angeles department of building. Many local building authorities provide a list of building code requirements that are specific to your individual project.
Once you have the final design plan drawings, you will need to provide several copies to the local building authority for final approval and acquire the necessary permits before work can begin. Some projects may require permits for each phase of the work, such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
Different Project Types, Different Considerations
Different projects such as a basement remodel will have different considerations than a home kitchen remodeling project.
When it comes to a basement renovation, before a project can even be considered, an evaluation must be performed to determine whether or not there is enough headroom to meet minimum building code requirements.
Most local codes require a minimum or 7 ½ feet from finished floor to finished ceiling in habitable areas, with the exception of 7 feet in special use rooms, (such as a recreation room) bathrooms, and hallways. 7 feet is also required from the finished floor to any overhead obstructions, such as pipes or ducts. An additional requirement is that multiple overhead obstructions must be spaced at least 4 feet apart.
Your next step if your basement meets the required minimum headroom is to determine whether or not moisture seepage or condensation problems exist. Either can promote mold, mildew, and rot which will wreak havoc with any finishing or remodeling efforts.
While moving and installing plumbing or electrical service is possible in most bathroom home remodeling or kitchen renovation project plans, extra consideration must be given to insure proper installation and venting of drain pipes. Sometimes it might not be feasible to break out concrete to add new drain pipe.
In addition, a bathroom renovation plan that involves features such as a large hot tub might require reinforcing floor joists to adequately support the extra weight.
Finding the Right Remodeling Contractor
Whether you plan to hire a home remodeling contractor to assist you in both the planning and working stages, or just for certain aspects of the project, it is a good idea to use a local contractor based near your project. One who is knowledgeable about local codes and has connections with venders on a local level.
A homeowner wouldn't want hire an Atlanta home renovation contractor for a Chicago home renovation project. Likewise, a Houston remodeling contractor would be the best choice for a California home remodeling project.
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