4 Things All DIY Home Renovators Should Plan On Doing

It’s summer, prime time for finally getting to all those neglected, long dream of home renovation projects. However, those projects can turn from dreams into nightmares if they aren’t handled properly. The best way to successfully complete a remodel is to get all your facts straight ahead of time. Here are 4 things all DIY renovators need to do.

Look At Your Whole House, Not Just One Room

This sounds opposite from the accepted knowledge that you should focus on one area of the house at a time. What this piece of advice refers to is the idea of realizing how your renovation project will fit into the house as a whole. Laura Firszt, an interior design writer, suggested, “Try to see your home as a whole, making sure that your remodeling job will result in a cohesive style for the entire home.” The idea is to avoid hyper-focusing on a single room until it doesn’t resemble or appear related to any other room in the house.

Keep Size And Scale In Mind

Another mistake DIY home designers make is overstuffing their homes with all the design details they see in magazines. Sure they look great on the cover of Home & Garden, but does it fit with your home? Do the furnishings clash with what you already have? An overstuffed room feels cluttered and confined. Better to err on the side of too little and then add a little more once all your decor is arranged, than to deal with too much.

Recognize Traffic Patterns

No, this doesn’t refer to the busy road out front, this refers to the worn paths in your carpet. Or the dirty versus clean areas you find in frequently used rooms. Traffic patterns refer to leaving space for people to maneuver through your home easily. Firszt said, “Make your doors and hallways wide and high enough to avoid congestion and stooping.” There are building codes for these types of measurements, so take the time to research what they are.

Avoid Dated Styles

Dated styles are those pink, green, and blue plaid plates selling big in the seasonal section of Target. They’re cute, but by the end of the summer they’ll be gone and you won’t be able to get replacements when your son or daughter decides to use them as anger management tools. The same goes for furnishings, carpet, and color palettes. Sure the “in” style might be fresh and attractive, but will people still think so 10 years from now? Unless you plan on redoing your entire home every 2 to 3 years, choose colors, textures, and patterns that will stand the test of time.

As Firstz explained, “Today’s trend is tomorrow’s avocado refrigerator (or next year’s subway tile?). Choose timeless styles that won’t date stamp your home,” especially if you foresee the need to move at a not-so-distant date.

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Source: myfoxphilly.com/story/25934106/8-top-home-renovation-planning-mistakes-to-avoid


What To Do Before Starting A Renovation Project

If you’re considering renovating your home, you’ll do a lot of research about how to complete the project, the most economical options for labor and material, the timetable you should plan on, etc. What you might not realize, however, is that there’s a lot that needs to be done before a renovation even begins.

Draw It Out

Before you even meet with a contractor or go to the store, you need a clear idea of what you want your finished project to look like. Take the time to put pen to paper and create a rough draft of what you hope to build or renovate. It can just be boxes and lines on a piece of graph paper, it doesn’t take advanced artistic skills. If you want to be more precise there are computer programs that can create a floor plan based on measurements you input. This will give you a very accurate and to scale model of what you have to work with.

Matchy Match Your Architecture

You may have always dreamed of having a Queen Anne Victorian with vinyl siding, but mixing architectural styles is rarely a good idea. Check with a contractor before doing something drastic with your home design. You’ll want to make sure it matches the existing home and the surrounding neighborhood.

Get Permits, Licenses, And Permission

For more extensive projects, you actually aren’t allowed to go wild and crazy with your home’s structure. There are codes and permits you legally need to meet and follow. Jackie Craven, an architecture expert, explained, “The building permit assures that the remodeling project meets local building codes and safety regulations. If you live in a historic district, the permit also assures that exterior changes to your home are in keeping with neighborhood guidelines.

Predict Potential Problems

One good rule of thumb is to set aside 5 to 10% of your budget in case of unforeseen problems. Even better is to know what problems you might run into and how much solutions to those problems would cost. That way you can be more specific in your budgeting and be on the lookout for those problem areas. Of course, there will always be issues you don’t predict, so overestimate your discretionary budget if you can.

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Source: architecture.about.com/cs/repairremodel/bb/remodel.htm

Insulation Replacement Is An Investment In The Future

If you want to choose a renovation project that will benefit you now and later, you might look deeper than the surface of your home. Homeowners more frequently think of the rooms they could add, the square footage they could utilize, the modern appliances they could purchase.

However, things like updated plumbing, electricity, and insulation could also be beneficial, though their uses will be less tangible.

Replacing old insulation or installing some where there was none before can be a highly cost and energy efficient decision. As energy prices go up with the cost of gas and oil, homeowners are continually shelling more money out each month for utilities. That’s where insulation comes in. It doesn’t matter whether your climate is hot or cold, arid or humid, insulation will come in handy as it keeps you cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.
Insulation is more than just the padding in your walls. It’s also your windows, doors, vents, and weather stripping. The U.S. Department of Energy has reported, “Tradition windows contribute as much as 1- percent of the total air escaping from a typical home, while improperly sealed doors can contribute 11 percent.”

Don’t just leave insulation decisions up to your contractor. He may not be versed in the highest quality or most efficient varieties on the market. Do your research online, visit home improvement stores, talk to experts to find out what the best insulation for your budget might be. For instance, spray foam insulation is a modern insulation solution.
The Green Living section of the Milwaukee, WI Journal Sentinel reported, Spray foam insulation combats against air leakage and works well in all type of homes across the country, regardless of the climate.” They also said, “Spray foam insulation both air seals and insulates to keep allergens and irritants at bay and eliminates air leakage to keep the conditioned air inside without the HVAC system working overtime to compensate.”

Another benefit of spray foam is that it lasts as long as the home does without needing replaced or repaired, unless the actual home structure is compromised. Experts in the field report significant reduction to utility bills, as much as 50 percent when a home goes from absolutely no insulation to complete coverage by spray foam.

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Ronald McDonald House Gets Some TLC

The Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House is getting a little back this year for all its charity work. A million-dollar renovation project started at the beginning of July is set to be completed in eight months and will hopefully provide an even more comfortable environment for those families that temporarily live there.

A Current Tenant’s Testimony

A current tenant of the house is Enga Knicely who, according to a local news agency, “went into pre-term labor with twins at just 25 weeks.” Luckily, she was able to find a place to stay at the Ronald McDonald House so she could be nearby throughout the time her infants have to stay at the hospital.

Helping Families of Sick Children

According to its website, the Ronald McDonald House “provides a ‘home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.” When families don’t have to worry about money for lodgings, they are more able to focus on the health of their children and making informed medical decisions. Thus, this renovation of the Charlottesville location will help further those goals and benefit many future families.

Renovation Will Add Much-Needed Improvements

Rita Ralston, current executive director of the Ronald McDonald House said, “The house has been in existence since 1991 . . . and we’ve taken care of thousands of families.” Its renovation will add private bathrooms for every room, new flooring and paint, and an updated kitchen area.


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Source: http://www.nbc29.com/story/22782786/construction-begins-on-ronald-mcdonald-house-renovation & http://www.rmhc.com/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-house/