Home Renovations: “Wood In Buildings: Steps To Durability And Longevity” Article In Architecture Magazine

17 12 2012

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Home Remodeling Projects: Homeowners Can Avoid Being “Scammed” By Contractors By Checking Licensing, Getting A Minimum Of Three Estimates, And Calling References

14 06 2011
  • A homeowner’s biggest nightmare regarding remodels is “paying a contractor who walks off with the money”
  • You pay someone thousands of dollars — maybe tens of thousands — to fix your home, and the work isn’t done right.
  • But steps can be take to make sure the work gets done correctly and completely:
  1. Go online and look up the contractor’s “state” contractor license status
  2. State laws requires contractors to have a current license status, carry a minimum amount of insurance, and provide their license number on advertisements and contracts
  3. Check at least three contractors and get estimates from each of them
  4. The lowest bid might not be the best one if the  contractor uses substandard materials or doesn’t actually do the work
  5. Do not use a contractor who charges for an estimate, or stating in fine print that they will charge you if you choose a different builder
  6. Once you have the estimates, ask each contractor for references
  7. Then call those references
  8. Ask if there were problems with their project. If you’re doing a bigger project, ask for older references to see how the addition or deck has withstood the test of time

For more:  http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110614/NEWS02/306139933/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

First-Time Homebuyers Using FHA 203k Renovation Financing Can Purchase “Foreclosures And REOs” With Confidence As Detailed Inspections And Licensed Contractors Insure Needed Improvement Are Performed

1 04 2011


  • Prospective buyers must understand that the foreclosed homes they are acquiring are purchase “as is”
  • Repossessed homes have often been left vacant for more than a year 
  • Bank-owned REO properties are not going to be brought up to code or improved by the Lender/Sellers
  • Buyers in many cases will have 60 to 90 days to get the necessary work done and get a certificate of occupancy before moving in
  • Buyers must get inspections before buying!
  • A detailed inspection will allow the buyer and the buyer’s agent to negotiate with the lender/sellers to lower the homes’ price
  • It is not unheard of to have the seller lower the price of a home $10,000 to $20,000 after extent of the repairs needed is demonstrated
  • And, very important, don’t underestimate the time and expense to get the house in good condition
  • A licensed contractor can be present when doing the inspection to give a full account of the scope and timing of the repairs
  • FHA 203K Renovation Loans lets you build repair costs right into the mortgage of owner-occupied properties

Home Remodeling Projects: Using An Architect And Contractor To “Solve” What’s Working And Not Working In A Home Is Critical

21 02 2011


  • Determine what’s working and what’s not in the home
  • A second marriage can blend two families with teenagers making a home remodel necessary
  • A lack of bedrooms, bathrooms and a large gathering space was obvious
  • Now list needs and wants
  • A separate bedroom for each child away from parents’ bedroom was essential
  • Two existing bathrooms would have to become four
  • Space for doing homework, a larger kitchen and great room were the priorities
  • The backyard pool was kept so the room additions would have to be in a second story
  • Talk with and contract an architect and/or a general contractor
  • The architect will refine the renovation list and adress building codes, structural issues, and good design principles, and start on plans
  • Architecture is about solving problems

For more:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700111820/Analyze-your-house-and-your-needs-before-you-remodel.html?pg=2

Home Renovation Financing: Homebuyers Use FHA 203k Renovation Loan To Fill In Old Pool, Install New HVAC System And Finish Interior (Video)

12 02 2011

The owners of this Chino Hills house used a 203k loan to buy this foreclosure house. Singer Construction filled in the old pool, painted the interior and scraped the popcorn ceiling off. We also installed a new furnace and air conditioning system.

Singer Construction specializes in 203k rehab renovations in Orange County, Chino, Riverside, Norco, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Bernardino

Home Renovation Contractors: San Diego, CA Contractor Opened Up Wall To Expand Kitchen (Video)

21 01 2011

Home Renovations Demand Realistic Expectations, Professionals And Patience

10 01 2011

  • Assess your wants over needs: Renovations can be split into two categories: wants and needs. Meaning, renovating your kitchen to upgrade to granite counters from your plastic laminate ones would most likely be considered a want. While upgrading your kitchen from 40 year old appliances, cabinets, and finishes for safety, appearance and livability could be considered a need. Either way, decide what is the motive for renovating and if your financial pockets can afford the wants or needs.
  • Choose a small project first: This tip is going to vary based on your experience with home renovation. If you are a seasoned veteran, you may be up for being rooted out of your home for 6-9 months to add on a wing to the house. If you are a novice, and would prefer a shorter time line, than choosing a smaller project like a porch addition may be more in line with your plans. Smaller renovation projects will also allow you to budget less and learn from the process of estimating costs, labor, and materials.
  • Hire a professional to give you an estimate: Unless you are experienced with construction, it’s best to hire a professional contractor or estimator to help you determine what materials, labor, and time estimation will be appropriate. Many home renovations turn out negatively because of lack of accurate estimations in the beginning. This step will help you budget with realistic goals, instead of guessing. Consider getting several estimates to compare and contrast each professional’s calculations.
  • Be patient and realistic: The reality of home renovation is that it will usually take longer and may be more expensive than calculated. Often unforeseen circumstances arise during construction that a contractor didn’t account for in the estimate. When budgeting for a renovation, add a ‘cushion’ of time and money to be realistic of all circumstances. Patience should also be exercised when preparing for a renovation, as all the pieces may not fall into place as planned.

For more:  http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/99257/20110110/how-to-budget-for-a-home-renovation.htm#