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Build up, push out, add on, or move out? by Leon A. Frechette


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Purchase The Helping Hands Guide To Hiring A Remodeling Contractor
The Helping Hands Guide To Hiring A Remodeling Contractor by Leon A. Frechette provides step-by step advice to help you locate, contract with, and work with construction professionals on your remodeling or new construction project.


Purchase The Contractors Helping Hands Packet
As you plan your building or remodeling project, the business forms featured in The Contractors Helping Hands Packet will help you as you select a contractor, follow that contractor's progress, and keep an eye on your budget.



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Are you facing the dilemma of whether to remodel or move?

It's an interesting question to ask yourself when your home is no longer your castle. Your family room is too small, bodies are sprawled all over the floor, and there is simply not enough counter space in the kitchen.

The decision to "move or improve" can’t be delayed.

For most of us, reaching this decision can be very difficult. Of course, living through construction work in progress is also difficult.

To decide if your home is worth the cost and upheaval of remodeling or if you should just move entirely, you need to consider a number of factors:

Personal Preferences

  • Do you like your home?
  • Do you like your neighborhood?
  • Do your school-aged children have friends in the neighborhood?
  • How long do you plan to live in this home?

Financial

  • How much do you owe on the house, or do you own it outright?
  • Will the cost of the project exceed what you can recoup if you should decide to sell your home in a few years?
  • What will your monthly mortgage payment be if you have to finance your remodeling project?
  • What would the mortgage be on another home that already contains the features you desire to add to your own home?
  • What are the current interest rates on home improvement loans in your area?
  • Will the remodeling project price your home out of the neighborhood?
  • How important is that to you?
  • Will more money be spent to redo the basic structure than on the actual remodeling project?
  • Will more money be spent to meet current codes than to accomplish the desired project?

Structural Considerations

  • Will remodeling make the best use of the space?
  • How is the wiring?
  • Do you have lead pipes?
  • Do the flooring and siding (or other products) contain asbestos?
  • Do you have adequate space for expansion?

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before you can make any final decisions. If you take the time to do some research and gather the facts required to answer these questions, you will be able to make an intelligent decision, one you will be able to comfortably live with for many years.

Additional Considerations

Before you invest your time and money in any remodeling project, it is important to understand the guidelines provided by local codes and regulations as they pertain to your project. One important factor that needs to be considered before remodeling involves "zoning regulations," which impact the use of your property in relation to its property lines. Zoning ordinances establish land use: residential, industrial, or commercial. Usually "residential" is subdivided into single-family or multi-family categories. These ordinances protect you, your neighbors, and the community from undesirable or inappropriate land uses and/or construction. Other factors to consider include:

  • Special height restrictions.
  • Egress window requirements for bedrooms, especially those located in basements.
  • Wall thickness and insulation requirements, as determined by any state or local energy code in force in your area.
  • Minimum-sized footings and foundations for the addition of a second floor.
  • The existence of covenants, which could restrict you to height, type of roofing or roofing material, color, siding, etc. You will want to check the title of your home to verify the existence of any covenants.
  • If your home is a historic building or located in a historic area. You could be restricted in what you want to do with the exterior appearance—contact the historic preservation office in your area.

Before starting any project, check with your local city or county building department for any specific requirements that may apply to your particular project.

Did You Know?

The Weatherization Program, which is sponsored by local electrical utility companies, helps customers identify and repair areas where energy is lost due to inadequate insulation and inefficient doors and windows. Financial assistance may be offered to qualified customers. For example, grants may be offered to help cover a portion of the cost of insulating attics, walls, and floors over heated areas. A small grant may be paid toward replacing existing windows with more energy-efficient windows. An energy audit determines the exact amount of each grant, and the grant does not need to be repaid. Any remaining balance after the work is completed and the grant has been awarded is the homeowner’s responsibility. Be sure to contact your local electrical utility company for more information.

Purchase The Helping Hands Guide To Hiring A Remodeling Contractor There is also the possibility that you will need to select and work with a contractor to complete your project. The Helping Hands Guide To Hiring A Remodeling Contractor by Leon A. Frechette provides step-by step advice to help you locate, contract with, and work with construction professionals on your remodeling or new construction project.
Purchase The Contractors Helping Hands Packet As you plan your building or remodeling project, the business forms featured in The Contractors Helping Hands Packet will help you as you select a contractor, follow that contractor's progress, and keep an eye on your budget.

Owning historical property is both a privilege and a responsibility. You may benefit from generally increased property values as well as local and federal tax incentives for rehabilitations. To better understand historical preservation, contact your local City/County Historic Preservation Office. If you don't have one contact your building department—they should have a listing for the State Historic Preservation Office.

Once you have answered the questions at the beginning of the article nd researched the regulations, you should be much closer to making an intelligent "move-or-improve" decision, one you can comfortably live with. The bottom line is to take your time and do all your homework before making any decisions. Let the facts guide you in the right direction.

Copyright © 1994, 1998, 2006, & 2011 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
The previous article, in whole or in part, appeared in the Fall 1994 issue of At Home.


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