Post details: Whole House Remodeling: Steps and Costs


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Whole House Remodeling: Steps and Costs

Remodeling a whole house is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced homeowner. But a top-to-bottom remodel is sometimes a better option than building new. Here's what to expect.

Remodeling a whole house is not recommended for a first-time home buyer whose level of remodeling knowledge may be limited to finding a stud on the second or third try. Such an effort is best handled by a homeowner who has lived in enough houses to know exactly what he or she wants and who has come across the perfect (if run-down) house or ideal location where remodeling rather than building makes sense.

What Does a Whole-House Redo Entail?
Remodeling an entire house -- perhaps tearing down interior walls, rearranging rooms, or making a substantial addition to the house -- requires a unified vision of what the resulting space should be. Anna Mavrakis, an interior designer with TNL Design/Build in Canton, Ohio, and a regional vice president for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), says "People create their own pitfalls, but you an avoid that if you do your homework. You have to know what you want, and you have to feel comfortable with the professional you use. Go with the person you feel 'right' with - -not the guy who's giving you a bargain."

The one attitude you must bring to this endeavor is patience. Your newly remodeled home won't happen overnight. Depending on the level of construction, it might even be best to live in separate quarters away from the job site; if that's impossible, be prepared for the construction to last longer with you on the premises.

Mavrakis adds, "Be prepared for a lot of dust - -and I mean a lot. No matter how well rooms are sealed off, construction dust gets everywhere. Hire someone to clean your house from top to bottom afterward, including inside all cabinets."

Is Updating the Whole House a Good Idea?
That depends. Mavrakis offers this viewpoint: "We see a lot of two-income families that are remodeling their house from top to bottom. They're in good neighborhoods, and because both are working, they're hoping to retire earlier."

Mavrakis adds, "These homeowners anticipate having more free time in the near future, and they're concentrating on getting their house in order so that they can enjoy it."

The upshot is, if you plan on remaining in your home for many years, go ahead and do a thorough update. The years you live there will be all that more enjoyable. If you move shortly after completing a whole-house remodeling, however, odds are good you won't recoup all your expenses.

Better Homes and Gardens



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