GHBA Remodelers Council: Get answers to remodeling frequently asked questions

By Tom Pellegrin of Third Coast Builders
Appeared in the Houston Chronicle Friday, March 11, 2016

Why should you remodel? Remodeling your home can modernize the style, make it more comfortable, improve energy efficiency and home functionality, increase the value of your home, and help with upkeep and maintenance. Home remodeling is a sure investment in your home to ensure longevity, usefulness and home value.

When is it time? Perhaps it was that moment when you realized that avocado green and harvest gold are no longer the “in” colors for today’s trendy kitchens. Or maybe you had an epiphany one day as you stood in line to use your own bathroom. Whatever the impetus, the thought has crossed your mind: Maybe it’s time to remodel.

If you decide to follow through on that thought, you’ll join millions of others who decide to remodel each year. The reasons for home remodeling are as varied as the projects we undertake. Some include:

Adding more space – perhaps for more children, parents or returning adult children.

Upgrading cabinets, counters, appliances and fixtures, or incorporating aging-in-place design.


Creating a floor plan that is customized for your lifestyle, for instance, if you have become an empty nester.

Improving energy efficiency with new windows, doors, insulation, climate control systems and lighting.

Increasing the resale value of your home.

Remodeling ideas

Before you head too far down the remodeling path, it’s a good idea to think through your needs and wants. In doing so, I recommend the following:

Decide what changes you want to make.

Ask yourself and other family members what you and they like and dislike about the house; then start creating a prioritized list.

Start researching on the Internet and in magazines and collect pictures of what appeals to you. Keep list of products, styles and pricing you would like for your project.

Remodel planning

The first step is to develop an idea of what you want to do, using your prioritized list of your needs and wants as well as photos and information about products you are interest in using. The more clearly you can envision the project and describe it, the better you will be able to communicate to your remodeler to help you make decisions.

Think about traffic patterns; furniture size and placement; colors; lighting; and how you expect to use the remodeled space, now and in the future. If your decision to remodel involves creating better access for someone with limited mobility, you may want to consider contacting a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

Figure out how much money you have to spend on the remodeling job, furnishings, landscaping or any other costs you might incur.

If you’ve decided you want to hire a remodeler, learn how to choose a professional and how to avoid contractor fraud.

The financial aspect

One of the most important considerations for your home improvement project is financing. After all, the project will go nowhere if you can’t pay for it. Although the simplest method of paying is cash, there are several other options. Four of the most common are a home improvement loan, a home equity line of credit, a home equity loan (second mortgage) and a cash-out refinancing of your current mortgage.

Keep in mind when you hire a remodeler, you are buying a service rather than a product. The quality of service the home remodeler provides will determine the quality of the finished product and your satisfaction with the result. To ensure your satisfaction, make sure you hire a qualified, professional remodeler.


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