Prior to remodeling, it's important to recognize the important structural and aesthetic characteristics of your home. It's also vital to understand the way utility systems function within your home in order to prioritize your remodeling needs.
Consult design professionals to help reorganize existing spaces. It's advisable to look beyond big-box retail centers for this advice and contact licensed contractors, architects and interior designers. If expanding your home by adding space or finishing the basement is inevitable, their design skills can help you efficiently utilize your site and integrate the addition with your existing home. Changes major or even minor can change how your home operates.
The new addition must be designed to work seamlessly with existing building envelope to avoid compromising wall, roof, or insulation systems. Make sure to address home mechanical systems as well when planning. You may also want to work with a building scientist, as home additions and sometimes even minor changes can dramatically alter the way your home operates in terms of heat distribution, utility efficiency, moisture flow, and ventilation. Building scientists, sometimes called home performance consultants, are better able to predict the impact of changes than other building professionals.
You are likely to hire a contractor for part or all of the work, either to provide expert advice on design or implementation. Choosing a contractor, signing a contract, and the process of having work done can be complex. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry's Minnesota Chapter has a useful guide to help you navigate the process successfully. It provides helpful tips for even small contracts. Learn more
Tracking your energy and water usage is the first step towards understanding the way your utility systems perform and improving home efficiency.more
Don't be afraid to shop around for an audit; you want to make sure you're getting what you pay for.more
Gathering information on your home such as the style, year constructed, and any modifications made by previous owners will give you a better idea of the materials and building technologies used.more
Prioritizing Your Needs
In terms of both budget and material resources, it is a good goal to do more with less.more