This was an addition/remodel we did that gives an idea of the process, time frame and special obstacles to consider when planning a project like this. The owners wanted to enlarge and modernize their home.
The general plan was to knock out the back wall and create a new master bedroom and bathroom and re-configure the kitchen to make it larger with an island.
They had been planning this for some time and had a basic idea on what they wanted, including some rough drawings from a previous contractor.
After several revisions, a plan was made. It was a bit larger than anticipated, but had the features they were looking for. Instead of expanding the existing kitchen, a new large kitchen with island would be created, lots of open space, a beautiful new bedroom and master bath with hers and hers sinks, along with whirlpool tub and separate shower.
It also included a large walk-in closet and a couple pantry closets. The design had a large fixed glass window to place their dining table by and watch the pool waterfall.
This job had all of the challenges a remodel could have. In addition to a fairly sizable new addition about 1250 sq. ft.), the existing house would get a pretty complete makeover, including:
- Moving the existing water heater from a hallway in the center of the house to the garage, including a circulating system throughout.
- Re-plumb all of the hot and cold water lines throughout the house, including a new service feed to the street and water softener.
- Install a new 400 amp electrical panel, including a new service feed to the street. This required quite a bit of additional time and expense, as the power company tried to make the homeowners bear the cost of a new transformer that happened to be on their property, feeding several houses. We proved it did not need to be replaced as their calculations were incorrect.
- A new gas line feeding the new gas stove to a propane tank at the pool.
- A new office inside the existing house.
- Replacing water damaged sheet-rock in existing house
- Two new high-efficiency AC units to replace two existing units. One of the existing units we installed on the non air-conditioned freestanding garage.
- Turn an existing brick fireplace into a two-sided wood burning fireplace. We accomplished this by opening the back of the fireplace and removing the inside firebox and concrete flue all the way to the top of the chimney. A nice surprise on this was when the fireplace was installed, they had cut out the bottom cords of the trusses to make it fit, explaining the sagging ceiling. We fixed them.
- Re-paint the new and existing house and free-standing garage.
The biggest challenge of all, was to do it while a family of four still lived in the house, requiring all the things a household needs to keep functioning, including water, cool air, sewer, power, cleanliness and privacy
There are always scheduling issues on a remodel, this just takes it up a notch, especially as we knew we would be running through the summer.
The plan was fairly straight forward, build the addition as far as possible before taking out the back wall. For the most part this was not too difficult except for the existing kitchen. The sink and dishwasher were on the back wall and the original builder had run the water feeds in the slab and up the back wall.
- There are always surprises and things seldom go exactly as planned.
- Have a contingency amount of at least 15% set aside for extras.
- Add time for change orders, specialties, living situations and weather.
- Keep thinking about how much you’re going to enjoy that something new
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