Designing Your Remodeling Project

“Plan your work, then work your plan.” This statement makes perfect sense, especially in the world of remodeling.

However, many people, when they hear the word design think only of textures, paint colors or fabric.

We at Gehman Custom Remodeling try to incorporate design into every aspect of all of our projects. Kitchen projects, Bathroom projects, Specialty projects, all have elements of design to varying degrees.

We put a lot of emphasis on design, so much so, that we have our own interior designer on staff. We also have a team of project planners that pride themselves in putting a lot of thought into a project before anyone is even on site.

Here is a list of design elements that should be considered as you enter into any home remodeling project…

1. Lifestyle Issues; how do I want my home to function and serve my particular lifestyle needs?
2. Traffic Flow; how does the remodel effect the flow of persons in and around my home?
3. Environment; what type of environment do I want to create for my family and guests?
4. Style; does the proposed project fit with the style of my home and/or my personal style?
5. Construction; is what I want to do physically possible?

As you see from this list, not all design has to do with sticks and mortar or even with color and texture. While the interior design is an important element of making the finished product beautiful, if it isn’t well planned and thought out, no matter how beautiful a space is, you will not be satisfied. We may revisit any of the above topics individually if you want to respond with specific questions.

Gehman Custom Remodeling looks at design as a well thought out plan of execution that incorporates the elements of space planning, lifestyle impact, interior design in addition to the actual construction phase. We are confident that, if you make sure that these areas are addressed, you will enjoy not only a smoother construction process, but you will also enjoy your newly remodeled home in all of its remodeled beauty.

Next Time…Selections Process

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Spring Is Just Around The Corner!

Three days (3) till pitchers and catchers report to spring training…

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Pitchers & Catchers Report on Feb. 13

Thirty eight (38) days to the first day of spring…

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1st Day of Spring: March 10, 2011

We have all kinds of deadlines and dates highlighted on our calendars.

This blog entry serves as your reminder that you need to start planning now for spring projects that you have on your “to do” list. Especially the ones that you want to enjoy this summer.

You see, many clients that we encounter delay making the first call to initiate their remodeling project until they think they are ready to start. This thinking is flawed only in light of the fact that they are not counting on the number of weeks that it takes to plan, estimate and stage a project. This is the reality for a project of any size.

The best advice for getting projects completed for use this summer, call now for an appointment!

Estimating backlogs are shorter, the production schedule is more flexible and the window of opportunity to complete your project before your big party this summer is wide open. But don’t delay! As projects come in, that preverbal window closes quickly and you will be left wondering what happened to having that project done before the first snowfall next year.

One more for the road…

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June 21, 2011 is the 1st Day of Summer

One hundred thirty one (131) days to the first day of SUMMER!
Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… WHAT TO DO?

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

A Call For Questions

One of the functions of our blog is to interact with the public.
We would welcome any questions that you may have concerning any part of the remodeling process.

Here are some “primer” questions that we have for you to get you thinking.

1.      Do you have a remodeling experience that you would like to share? Good or bad.

2.      Are you anticipating a remodeling project and have questions you would like answered before you start?

3.      Specific product questions? If we don’ know, we can certainly point you in the right direction.

4.      Design questions? Are you at an impasse on how to overcome a design conundrum? Let us help!

5.      Just want to bounce some ideas off of someone before you “go public” with them? We are here for you.

Don’t be shy.

Remember, we want this blog to be a resource to help make remodeling more enjoyable and less scary. Also to share ideas and comments.

Check back continually and contribute often.

That’s what it’s all about.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log – Dust & Dirt

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Permits

One of the things that you need to address early on in the remodeling process is the need for permits. You do not want to be served with a stop work order in the middle of your project and have to let it sit until you comply with the permit requirements of your municipality.

It is best to be upfront with your municipality. In most cases, they are looking out for, not only your safety and well being, but also the interests of subsequent owners of your property.

While many construction practices have remained the same over the years, there have been some advancements in materials and processes that have precipitated the need for changes in standard construction practices. Your local municipality is given the charge to enforce the current codes that are in place for the safety of the families and individuals that are located within their jurisdiction.

Here are some projects that most certainly would need permits:

1. Additions
2. Decks
3. Patios
4. Porches
5. Garages
6. Basement Finishes
7. Kitchen Remodel
8. Bathroom Remodel
9. Roof Replacement
10. Window Replacement

It may be obvious sometimes that a permit is needed. However, in some cases it may seem that there is no way that the project you are contemplating would need a permit. We recommend that you call your municipality for any project, no matter how big or small, just to be sure. If you are instructed that no permit is needed, you should record the date and time of your call and the name and title of the person you talked to for future reference. This information comes in handy should a municipal official stop into your project and say that you need a permit. As long as the scope of work has not changed, you will have the information pertaining to your initial call to their office.

Some projects may not need permits for everything, but may need permits for its components. Remember, you may not need a permit to remodel a bedroom, but if you are doing some electrical or HVAC work as part of that project, permits may be required for those particular areas of work.

Here is a list of specialty areas that might need permits as part of a smaller project or as sub-categories of larger projects:

1. Electrical
2. Plumbing
3. HVAC – Mechanical
4. Insulation

These specialty areas may also require a licensed professional to complete the work. And it may take time to find one and get on their schedule.

Remember, the permit process, including drawings, may take up to two weeks or more to complete. So don’t wait till the last minute to start the application process.

It is best to work alongside your municipality and view them as an ally and a resource, rather than a necessary evil. A well planned and inspected project will go smoother and will give you peace of mind in the end.

Next Time…Kitchens

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Contract: To Sign or Not To Sign

To a sports figure or an entertainer, the word contract means earning money. In the remodeling world, to the client, the word contract means spending money. But having a contract, a good one, is just as important as the sticks and mortar things that go into your project.

Rest assured that the reason sports figures have managers is to make sure their client’s interests are served in the contract that they sign. In remodeling, you must serve as your own manager, unless your brother-in-law is an attorney. You have to make sure that what you are about to sign is meeting your needs and requirements for your project, no more and no less.

Here is what the PA Attorney General’s Office says are the minimal requirements for a home improvement contract in the state of PA . Other states have similar requirements in place. Check with your state’s Attorney General’s office for their particular requirements.

What must be included in a home improvement contract?
• The contract must be in writing and include the contractor’s registration number.
• The entire agreement between the contractor and the consumer including the date of the transaction.
• The name, telephone number, and address of the contractor and subcontractors.
• A description of the work to be performed including the approximate starting and completion dates of the project.
• The total sales price due under contract.
• The amount of any down payment plus any amount paid in advance for the purchase of special order materials.
• The amount of liability insurance coverage maintained by the contractor.
• The toll-free number maintained by the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
• A notice of the consumer’s right to rescind the contract.
What are my rights?
• A home improvement contractor must provide you with a copy of the complete contract free of charge.
• You have the right to rescind your home improvement contract without penalty within three business days of the signing date, except as provided under law for emergency situations.
• A home improvement contract is not enforceable against a consumer if it does not include all of the information required by law.
• A contractor may not demand or receive any payment for a home improvement before the home improvement contract is signed
(Used by permission; materials from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General are provided for educational purposes only and should not be considered an endorsement of any product or service.)

The strength of the contract has a direct bearing on the success of the project. So, even if the document feels a little overwhelming, and working out the wording seems tedious, take heart, developing a good contract is time well spent.

Next Time…Permits

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

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