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4 Steps to Achieving a Rewarding, Cost Effective, Home Renovation

A home renovation due to changes in family needs and space requirements can be a challenging, but also a rewarding experience. As a homeowner, gathering and coordinating resources and possibly help from professional consultants are required. Once the construction phase has started, patience, endurance and commitment to follow through are necessary. Despite the challenges, the rewards of a well-planned and successfully completed project are meaningful, adding aesthetic and economic value, also providing the opportunity to personalize a home, encompassing the function, comfort and aesthetics to accommodate individual taste and lifestyle.

Home Renovation: an Introduction

A renovation of an existing home is a viable alternative to moving or building a new home, assuming that a home is structurally sound, the expenditure to enlarge or improve can be a cost effective alternative. A home possessing charm, style, historical significance, established landscaping or an exceptional location could be a significant motivation to consider purchasing another home with the intent to renovate.

The complexity of a project could be relatively simple, changing the use of a room, consolidating two rooms into one, or opening up a room to the outdoors. It could also be a more involved task requiring planning, design and construction documents to build a second-floor addition, the addition of a new wing or completely gutting the interior. Some projects could be completed in a weekend’s work or more complex projects, using a “Master Plan”, a plan which provides overall guidance; a renovation can be accomplished all at once or divided into manageable projects over a period of time. With the home evolving gradually allowing the renovation to be planned, timed and tailored to meet individual needs and circumstances.

The due diligence phase should precede the decision to renovate whether it’s an existing home or a home that is purchased with the intent to renovate. The due diligence phase will reveal the factors affecting the nature and scope of the project or if a renovation makes sense.

Every renovation project is unique relative to personal requirements, architectural style & construction type. This guide will be helpful in developing an understanding of the preliminary groundwork required to realize a successful project. If properly planned, a home renovation project can be a positive and rewarding experience resulting in a comfortable, practical and an attractive living environment.

The first step of the planning process is documenting the goals and long-range plans referred to as the “Project Program”. This will dictate the nature, scope and feasibility of the project. Providing a guide to achieving defined goals, the timing or phasing of the project and budget required to achieve the desired end result.

Documenting Existing Conditions

Once the “Project Program”, has been established, the next step is to determine what there is to work with. This requires documenting the home’s floor plan and site elements which include drawing an “as built” floor & site plan consisting of the existing exterior walls, interior rooms, doors, windows, etc. and surrounding site elements, landscape and other significant exterior features. Additionally understanding and noting on the “as built” plan, the structural, mechanical and electrical systems as necessary. Gathering the “existing condition” information defines what there is to work with, creating the framework from which to facilitate and organize the decision-making process and develop effective “project program” solutions.

Evaluating Existing Conditions

The goals and long-range plans have been established, and the existing floor plan and site elements have been documented. Before developing design solutions, the next step is to evaluate existing conditions. The evaluation includes: a detailed analysis of the structural, mechanical and electrical systems, determining the condition of the house, noting functional and aesthetic deficiencies. At the same time recognizing the home’s strengths, assets and evaluating its relationship to its site. The remaining parameters will be defined by the local jurisdiction’s zoning regulations, these regulations will define the “envelope”, within which the proposed project will be required to fit:

  • Required front, side & rear yard setbacks;
  • Maximum allowable lot coverage & height.

The previous three steps have provided the necessary foundation to start the design phase. The goals and long range plans have been established, existing conditions have been documented and the evaluation of what there is to work with are now in place. This will provide the framework from which to facilitate and organize design solutions. The consolidation of this information is manifested in the development of the “Master Plan” which will become the road map by which sound decision-making can be made as a home renovation evolves. Keeping the project, on a linear path, avoiding redundancies and backtracking, on-time, within budget, concluding with a well-crafted finished product. After all the “up front” research and documentation has been completed, the design phase of the project can now proceed, with the creation of diagrammatic design drawings. Organizing interior spaces, taking into account the external elements, prevailing breezes, solar orientation, view, existing outdoor features, etc. Through the development of schematic sketches, themes will emerge followed by design development drawings. Wise planning and renovation decisions can save money and time at the same time provide a well-crafted finished project. The “Master Plan” provides a strategic path in the planning and decision-making process leading to a successful and rewarding home renovation, which will add value and considerable enjoyment, for many years, living in a newly renovated home.

By virtue of having gone through these steps, frustrations sometimes encountered during a home renovation will be minimized, allowing the renovation to be a gratifying and rewarding experience. Being aware of the process allows one to become an “Educated Client,” which is worth quite a bit more than one might realize. The uneducated client may not realize the benefit of going through the planning, evaluation and documentation groundwork. He will only realize its benefits after having completed a prior renovation project. This rational approach keeps the design process on a direct path to achieving prescribed goals.

Exploring Design Solutions & Developing a Master Plan

The previous three steps have provided the necessary foundation to start the design phase. The goals and long range plans have been established, existing conditions have been documented and the evaluation of what there is to work with are now in place. This will provide the framework from which to facilitate and organize design solutions. The consolidation of this information is manifested in the development of the “Master Plan” which will become the road map by which sound decision-making can be made as a home renovation evolves. Keeping the project, on a linear path, avoiding redundancies and backtracking, on-time, within budget, concluding with a well-crafted finished product.

By virtue of having gone through these steps, frustrations sometimes encountered during a home renovation will be minimized, allowing the renovation to be a gratifying and rewarding experience. Being aware of the process allows one to become an “Educated Client,” which is worth quite a bit more than one might realize. The uneducated client may not realize the benefit of going through the planning, evaluation and documentation groundwork. He will only realize its benefits after having completed a prior renovation project. This rational approach keeps the design process on a direct path to achieving prescribed goals.

After all the “up front” research and documentation has been completed, the design phase of the project can now proceed, with the creation of diagrammatic design drawings. Organizing interior spaces, taking into account the external elements, prevailing breezes, solar orientation, view, existing outdoor features, etc. Through the development of schematic sketches, themes will emerge followed by design development drawings. Wise planning and renovation decisions can save money and time at the same time provide a well-crafted finished project. The “Master Plan” provides a strategic path in the planning and decision-making process leading to a successful and rewarding home renovation, which will add value and considerable enjoyment, for many years, living in a newly renovated home.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.
Désirée Ávila

Désirée Ávila

EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR®

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Check out her real estate websites:
DesireeAvila.com
OaklandParkRealEstateAgent.com

Search for New Construction Homes with Désirée :
www.IWantToBuyNewConstruction.com

Visit her real estate blog at www.DesireeRealtor.com

Be a part of Oakland Park online!

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow Désirée On Social Media

Other Posts by Désirée

4 Steps to Achieving a Rewarding, Cost Effective, Home Renovation

Be a part of Oakland Park online!


*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.
Désirée Ávila

Désirée Ávila

EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR®

Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

Check out her real estate websites:
DesireeAvila.com
OaklandParkRealEstateAgent.com

Search for New Construction Homes with Désirée :
www.IWantToBuyNewConstruction.com

Visit her real estate blog at www.DesireeRealtor.com

Be a part of Oakland Park online!

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow Désirée On Social Media

Other Posts by Désirée

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