Considering today's real estate market and low inventory, it is prudent to remodel your home. We are here to help. We've created a free checklist for you to make your remodel experience a breeze.


1. Find a competent architect. This is by far the most important step of the home remodel process. We would highly recommend a licensed architect as he or she will provide services that meet the criteria of the California Architectural Board (state government agency). There are many designers out there providing remodel and design service for a cheaper price, but they are either not certified, know very little about city process, or do not have the adequate experience to walk through the entire construction process with you. They do not know the code of ethics, resulting in many unhappy experiences among home owners. A competent architect will guide or even educate homeowners through the different phases of design and construction. This is very important, especially during the construction phas,e since the architect always observes errors performed by a contractor and is able to help address the problem.
2. Know your entire project budget, not just the construction budget. This is the second most important thing when considering an addition or remodel. In order to ensure a smooth process when communicating with a contractor, a home owner needs to be aware that in addition to the contractor's price, there will be other costs including consultants(architect, structural engineer, envelope title-24/energy consultants, green building consultants, civil engineer), permit fees, school fees, recycling fees and so on. Please note that many residential contractors do not include finishes in their construction bid, so be sure to account for those costs as well. You might also consider other costs such as new furniture, appliances (if not provided by contractor), window treatment and so on. It is wise to lay out all of the cost items early to avoid going over your budget.
3. Design based on your budget. Most home owners begin brainstorming their design based on the size of a new bedroom or the finishes of their kitchen cabinet. However, most of their "wish list" items are unrealistic, and the final product usually leaves them disappointed. After knowing your project budget, your can design by allocating percentages of your budget to items such as kitchen cabinets, lighting, appliances, and flooring. By designing the project based on your budget, your project will be much easier and more realistic. A competent architect can help solve this puzzle.
4. Choose the right contractor. This is a very broad topic, but to summarize, below are the four basic questions you may ask:

1. What is the contractor's experience with projects of a similar type?
2. Is the contractor licensed in California, fully insured, and bonded?
3. How old is the contractor's company?
4. Does the contractor have recommendations or sample projects that you can visit?

My service will include assisting in the selection of a competent contractor. I will discuss these issues with you in much greater detail when it's time to select one.
There are definitely other factors to consider, so let us know if you have any questions by contacting us.