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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2012

Getting ready to start major renovation: fireplace,built-ins,kitchen, flooring,move walls,etc. Need help with all aspects. Where to start

I want to plan this renovation right. I want someone to help me with the design/layout and architectural aspects of the renovation. Then be able to manage and execute all aspects of the renovation. I have an idea for the plan and would like to execute on it over the next 5 years. Amoung the things I would like to do:
Open up kitchen into Family Room (includes opening up load bearing wall)
Re-do kitchen,
Lay Travertine throughout the home
redo fireplace, mantle and built-ins along wall shared with fireplace
install patio/deck
install pool
install screen enclosure for patio/deck/pool

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3 Answers


Here's a link to some helpful information



Answered 8 years ago by arxengineering


If you are moving walls and changing layouts the first step is to get an architect and/or engineer involved in the planning & design. Some contractors can provide these design services but make sure they have the credentials to do this type of work. They'll also be able to help you plan in what order the projects need to happen. Once the plans and specifications are complete you can have contractors bid on certain aspects of the job if you want to divide it or the job in its entirety. Don't skip the planning phase. It's separate work and expect to pay separately for it but it is necessary to make sure all parties are on the same page.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Todd gave you a great response, and I'll add some comments to his advice:

Since you are planning on a 5-year plan, this will require some serious planning and phasing work. Otherwise you will find yourself removing "finished" work to do the next phase, etc.

You already said it yourself; you need help with the architectural aspects; so go get an architect. A good architect will save you money over the life of your project by doing the programming, schedule and making recommendations on design and materials will save you money in the long run.

Typically what you would do is discuss what you want the final outcome to be an why: you have an idea of what work you want done, but an architect may be able to show you an alternative way to get what you want done that is cheaper, fits the architectural better, or can be done sooner. It is not uncommon after programming a project for our firm to help the client actually purchase a new property cheaper than completing re-working their existing, as one example. It is also not uncommon for us to show how merely changing a room's name / use, solves a lot of renovation work, etc. (IE "I never thought instead of building an addition to use my unused dinning room as my office where it could have a separate entrance for clients. . .")

After your needs and wants are established, a schematic design will be developed showing you a possible final outcome. From there a design development will begin where the design is better vetted and phase work can begin to be discussed. As one example, having an electrician come out multiple times on a project is expensive, but having him place the future junction boxes, switches, etc. in one trip / invoice will make it a much cheaper project at the end.

So working backwards from the final design, the project can be split into phases so you can budget the entire project and bid the project in pieces or in total. Also keep in mind permits. A 5-year time line means you may be pulling multiple, repeat permits. So an architect will work hard to prevent these extra fees by trying to get permitted work combined and completed at one time, not every few months over a 5-year period, etc.

So put a good team together; find an architect you can work with and have them help you find a good contractor to get you through this process.

Good luck with your project!


Answered 8 years ago by Kenny Johnson

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