If you like the neighborhood, or hate to move, or the thought of starting over on landscaping makes you queasy, but the space you live in is becoming uncomfortable, or downright untenable, or your priorities have simply changed from your initial purchase. Perhaps you are thinking of buying an existing home, but modifications need to be made for it to fit your needs – you may be a candidate for remodeling.
Setting a budget is always important as alluded to in the budget advice section under Getting Started. Remodeling involves different criteria then simple affordability. Cost considerations should include what are the neighboring house values, and by remodeling will you exceed those values.
It is not uncommon to have a situation where remodeling costs are not recoverable in a quick resale. If that is the case for your project, it does not necessarily preclude one from moving forward. If the time horizon for ownership is over 5 to 10 years then the costs can be amortized against the improved level of comfort for living and the eventual appreciation of land/home value.
Before one can move forward with space planning, it is best to create an ‘as built’ document or plan to work from. Hopefully, you have possession of the original blueprints. If not the ‘as built’ can be produced by measuring the outside perimeter of the home, and then locating the walls, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, etc. within it.
Once the as built is created, the structural components such as load bearing walls, columns, posts, headers, etc. need to be located by a design professional, engineer, or a builder and then marked up onto the as built plan. Another consideration for the as built is a map of the property or plot plan, with lot lines, legal setbacks, and the location of the house clearly marked upon it. A plot plan is useful in remodeling because an addition is sometimes needed to fulfill your remodel needs.
You can refer back to the design page since most of the information there is pertinent to remodeling.
Additionally, it is important to realize that if a wall is load bearing, or there is no plumbing nearby, there are ways to mitigate these situations. So dream big, and go for what you really wish for. There are no guarantees that you can get everything you desire, but by asking, the attempt can be made to achieve your goals.
HELP ON REMODELING DESIGN