HOME REMODELING – Do-it-Yourself or Not?

READY, SET, DO-IT-YOURSELF – OR NOT

Do It Yourself Remodeling

Have you ever watched a home improvement show and decided “I can do it myself.” The shows make it look so easy – and the whole house is renovated in just 30 minutes!

It’s time for a reality check to see if you should really tackle a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) created a simple yes-or-no quiz that you should take before you tackle a DIY project.

Take this quiz to find out!

Answer yes or no:

1.  Do you enjoy physical work?

Most home remodeling projects are labor intensive.  You may discover muscles that you didn’t even know exist!

2.  Are you persistent and patient?

This reminds me of the a homeowner who decided to tackle removing the old flooring in his home. To his dismay, there were multiple levels of old flooring that had to be removed, he needed to rent special equipment to remove the flooring, and it delayed the completion of his renovation/addition by more than a month.

3.  Do you have reliable work habits—meaning that once the project is started, will it get finished?

How many times have you started a project and then life takes over?  This happens to the best of us.  How much time do you truly have to devote to a project?

4.  Do you have all the tools needed and, more importantly, the skills required to do the job?

Not only do you need to have the tools and the skills, you also need to know the building codes.  Additionally, if the project required a permit, and you do not get one, you can be fined, receive a stop work order, and worse yet – be told to remove all changes you made to your home.

5.  What quality level do you need for this project? Are your skills at that level?

Even painting is not just about getting a paint brush,  a can of paint, and painting the walls.  You need the right type of brush, the right type of paint, and the knowledge of how to prepare the painting surfaces.

6.  Do you have the time that will be required to complete the project?

Time… if only there was more of it. Just because the DIY shows make it look like a project takes no time at all doesn’t mean that is true! Always double or triple the time estimated for a DIY project, unless you are highly skilled and familiar with that particular project.

7. Will it matter if the project remains unfinished for a period of time?

People with the best intentions sometimes don’t realize how long a project may take.  If you are only working weekends and nights to finish a project that may take 8 weeks, your project may take 20 weeks or more.  How long do you want to live with your house in disarray?

8. Are you prepared to handle the kind of stress this project will create in your family relationships?

A renovation project becomes your life. How will you handle questions like:

            “Why is it taking so long?”

            “What did you do to the wall?”

            “When will it be done?”

            “How much money will that cost?”

             9.  Do you know all of the steps involved in the project?

Another true story – a homeowner hired Leading Edge Homes, Inc. to do an addition.  As the project continued, the homeowner decided to add the new flooring to the rest of the house. Unbeknownst to us, the homeowner decided he wanted to save money and paint the rest of his home. He made that decision after the new flooring was installed. 

The homeowner should have taken this quiz before starting some DIY projects.  He is only painting on the weekends – all of the furniture is sitting in the middle of the room. He didn’t think through the steps.  He should have painted before having us install the new flooring! Now there are drips of paint on the new floor. 

10. Is this a job you can do completely by yourself or will you need assistance?

If you do need assistance, what skill level is involved for your assistant? If you need a professional subcontractor, do you have access to a skilled labor pool?

11. Are you familiar with your local building codes and permit requirements?

(Some jurisdictions require that the work be completed by a licensed and bonded professional in order to meet code.) It’s best to check these requirements before beginning work on the project.

Remember, if you fail to pull a permit you will end up paying more for your project than you imagine.  Some municipalities charge you a penalty of triple the permit fee if you failed to pull a permit.  Also, if you go to sell your home and work was done without a permit, you will have difficulty selling your home.

12. What will you do if the project goes awry?

Many contractors are wary about taking on a botched DIY job and you may be forced to remove all of your handy work.  All of the money and time you spent may be thrown away.

13. Is it safe for you to do this project?

(If you are not familiar with roofing or do not have fall protection restraints, you may not want to venture into a roofing job. Similarly, if you know nothing about electricity—leave it to the professional. Some jobs can be fatal if not performed correctly. Your health and safety should be the primary concern. Never enter into a DIY project that would jeopardize either.)

14. Will you be able to obtain the materials you need? Who will be your source of supply? Will they deliver?

The quality of some of the items you purchase at a big box store is often times lower than the same items you can purchase from building suppliers.

15. Are you attempting to do-it-yourself for financial reasons?

If so, have you looked at all of your costs, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you need to purchase? If you are new to the DIY game, you may also want to look at the cost to correct any mistakes you may make—i.e., the damage factor. Will it still be a cost-saving venture?

If you have to take vacation time to do the project, what is the value of what is lost? 

16. If you are trying DIY for the satisfaction of a job well done—can you ensure that the job will be “well done”?

If it doesn’t come out right, how will you feel? Will you be able to afford to redo any unsatisfactory work?

Did you answer YES to some of the questions?

Be honest — How many did you really say yes to? If you answered yes to 8 or more of these questions, NARI says you may attempt a DIY project. But, before you run for the nearest hardware store, revisit those questions you marked “No,” and carefully consider the potential problems you will face in those areas if you proceed with the project.

Hiring a professional, like Leading Edge Homes,  might be your best choice. A remodeling project can be  one of the most important investments that you can make in your home.

Work with an experienced roomologist (contractor experienced in room additions and home renovations) to plan and design your home improvement project. The planning phase is equally important to the completion phase. If you can imagine it, we can design it.

For all of your home remodeling , contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes Inc. – It’s Time To Think About Hurricane Preparedness

The Dog Days Of Summer Means –

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE

 

Leading Edge Homes - Home Improvement for Hurricane Season

HURRICANES – STAY AWAY

The dog days of summer are already here.  We seem to have skipped Spring and gone right into Summer.  What does that mean for Florida residents?

It’s time for the media to bombard us with hurricane preparedness news and alarm us about every tropical wave, depression, and potential hurricane – even if it is weeks away. It’s enough to make sane people crazy.

OVER TEN YEARS SINCE THE LAST HURRICANE

Mother nature has been extremely kind to us during the past ten years. The last hurricane to make landfall in Florida was Wilma on October 24, 2005.  For many of us, that is a life time ago, and for new homeowners and new Florida residents, they may have never experienced a hurricane.

Although I am not a fan of the constant reminders of how to prepare for a hurricane, it’s not something to be ignored.  Procrastinating on getting your home ready can make a hurricane that much more difficult to endure. Everyone should have evacuation plans in place and makes sure their homes are as secure as possible. The Palm Beach County website http://www.pbcgov.com/dem/hurricane/ has a guide to help you get prepared… just in case.

ARE YOUR HURRICANE SHUTTERS WORKING PROPERLY?

But more importantly, now is the time to install hurricane protection or check your hurricane shutters and make sure they work and close securely. If something is broken, and is easier to repair it now rather than when a storm is approaching.
The Sun Sentinel posted a guide to choosing hurricane shutters.  Below are the highlights of the article:
STEEL or ALUMINUM HURRICANE SHUTTERS

Attached to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks.  The panels are corrugated, and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH STORM PANELS IS THAT MOST HOMEOWNERS OFTEN DON’T CHECK THEM WHEN THEY BUY A HOME. MANY DISCOVER TOO LATE THAT THE PANELS ARE MISSING OR WERE CUT IMPROPERLY OR ARE TOO HEAVY TO INSTALL!

PROS
Most inexpensive of the permanent shutter systems.

— Removable, so they don’t change the look of the house when not in use.
— Strong, and can provide excellent protection for both doors and windows.

CONS
Require storage

— Large panels are difficult to handle; hanging can require more than one person.
— Sometimes don’t line up properly.
— Have sharp edges and working without gloves can lead to serious injury

ACCORDION HURRICANE SHUTTERS

These one- or two-piece hurricane shutters are housed beside the windows or doors when not in use. They unfold accordion-style to cover and protect during a storm.

PROS
— Permanently affixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
— Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.

CONS
— Can look bulky and out-of-place on some houses. 
— Glide on wheels, and have the potential to break more easily than some of the other systems.

BAHAMA HURRICANE SHUTTERS

These one-piece louvered shutters attach directly above the windows and prop open to provide shade for the window. Bahama shutters are storm-ready when lowered and secured to the wall.

PROS
— Permanently affixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
— Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
— Provide permanent shade and privacy, even in the open position.

CONS
— Have traditionally been weaker than other systems, but the newest models protect well.
— Design limits their use. They can’t be used to protect doors.

ROLL DOWN HURRICANE SHUTTERS

These shutters attach above the window. They roll up and store in an enclosed box when not in use. They are lowered either manually by a hand crank or automatically by push button, and lock in place for storm protection.

PROS
— Are permanently affixed above the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
— Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
— Offer some of the best protection, and make an excellent theft deterrent.

CONS

— Most expensive of the popular shutter systems.
— Push-button-operated roll-down shutters require a battery backup system so the shutters can be lowered and raised during power outages.

HURRICANE IMPACT GLASS

This glass can withstand hurricane debris and eliminate the need for hurricane shutters. It costs more, especially to retrofit an older house. Modern code requirements, which already require hurricane shutters or other protections on new houses, make the glass a more practical option at the time of construction.

PROS
— Eliminates the need for hurricane shutters.
— The most practical hurricane glass is similar to a car windshield, with a durable plastic-like layer sandwiched between glass. The outside layers break, but the center prevents a hole. BUT IF IT IS HIT MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE SAME SPOT IT MAY BREAK.

CONS
— Must be installed by a window contractor.
— The frame must be replaced along with the panes to meet code.

LEADING EDGE HOMES CAN CHECK YOUR HURRICANE PROTECTION BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

If you need new hurricane shutters or want to make sure yours are ready for the hurricane season, contact Leading Edge Homes, Inc. at 561-795-2551.  Like a good boy scout “BE PREPARED!”


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

Home Repairs: The Time To Contact A Home Remodeling Contractor is BEFORE You Purchase a Home

PUTTING THINGS OFF NOT WHAT IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE

Home inspectors should have home remodeling and construction experience.

Home inspectors should have home remodeling and construction experience.

“I FOUND MY DREAM HOME AND IT’S IN GREAT CONDITION…”

Those were the words of a potential client. The client contacted me because she and her husband wanted to make some modifications to their dream home before they moved in. But…

I FOUND MOLD AND OTHER PROBLEMS

This morning, I met the couple at their “dream home.”  They were excited because their “inspector” found nothing wrong with the home.

To their surprise, I pointed out the leaks under the windows, the mold growing around the air conditioning vents, and many other things that the inspector never told them about. Without having superman vision, or the ability to remove drywall legally (they couple had not closed on this home yet), I couldn’t tell them whether the leak was from the windows being installed improperly (which the inspector never told them), from the roof, or from how the second story was attached to the first story.

THE COUPLE DID ALMOST EVERYTHING RIGHT

Although the couple did their due diligence and hired a home inspector, not all home inspectors are created equal.

In Florida, home inspectors must be licensed. Anyone who passes a 120 hour course that teaches you how to inspect a home and then passes a National Home Inspector Exam and pays the associated fees can be a home inspector. There are no requirements for field work, construction experience, or remodeling experience.

SAVED BY CONTACTING A HOME REMODELING CONTRACTOR

Fortunately, the couple asked me to come out to discuss their remodeling project and now have a better picture of the condition of their home. As a State Certified Building Contractor I am licensed to also inspect homes.  Having construction and home remodeling experience makes me look at a home with a different eye.

The couple is now contacting mold companies to inspect the home before they complete their purchase. It may not be their dream home after all.

HOME INSPECTIONS FAIL TO DO THEIR JOB ACROSS THE COUNTY

Coincidentally, this article “WHEN A DREAM HOUSE BECOMES A MONEY PIT” came across my news feed today. This New York Times article details the worst nightmare for a couple who purchased their “dream home” and discovered their inspector failed to find and/or tell them about problems with their home.

THE BEST ADVICE

The article’s closing paragraph said to best:

Were the Hickses to offer advice to home buyers, Mr. Hicks said, “you should forge and manage your own relationship with your inspector,” and make clear you want to hear the bad news.  In houses that have undergone extensive renovation, he urges that buyers ensure all the necessary permits were obtained. “I don’t know how I’ll ever buy a house again,” Ms. Hicks said. “I can’t imagine trusting anyone.”

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions about the a home you are purchasing, the design process for building a home, or a project you are considering, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. 

For all of your new home, home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

HOME REMODELING: ARCHITECT OR CUSTOM BUILDER?

PLANNING A HOME REMODEL –  

ARCHITECT or CUSTOM BUILDER?

Using a design-build contractor may save you time and money.

Using a design-build contractor may save you time and money.

One of biggest investments you’ll ever make—and not just in terms of money—is remodeling your home. Whether you are updating your kitchen, remodeling your bathroom, or adding space to improve your family’s lifestyle, you need to invest time up front to make sure you the process goes smoothly.

THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL HELPS CREATE THE BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR HOME REMODEL

The right professional will help you create the blueprint for a home that shows the world who you really are. But if you’ve never worked with an architect or custom builder before, it can be hard—or nearly impossible even—to know where to start.

ARCHITECT…

Some people look at architects as the only way to go. They imagine that they are the only ones who can design projects and bring in the grand design and beauty to a project. An architect is a designer who can help you envision a house that’s completely unique. It is true that architects are also highly-trained. In Florida, an architect must have

  • A minimum five-year Professional Bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
  • Proof of passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) or a predecessor examination (exempted portions by means of education and/or experience are not acceptable).
  • Completion of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Intern Development Program (IDP), state intern development program equivalent to Florida’s requirements or complete DBPR AID-4004 Practical Experience Form (IDP Equivalency) certifying two (2) years of licensed practice as an architect.

BUT… AN ARCHITECT DOES NOT NECESSARILY KNOW HOW THINGS WORK IN THE FIELD

Just because architects are trained in design, it does not mean that they understand the building process, especially when it comes to room additions.

TRUE STORY

Last week I went on a first visit to a potential client for a room addition. Like many people, they thought they needed to go to an architect first because they assumed that builders, like Leading Edge Homes, Inc. are just worker bees and know nothing about design.

They paid several thousand dollars for incomplete plans. Worse yet, the architect’s drawing were not usable. Some of the issues included the heights of windows wouldn’t fit in the wall sizes, the means of egress were incorrect, and the architect did not properly address the joining of the new roof to the existing roof. The architect also did not address the issue of needing to upgrade the smoke detectors to meed the current electrical code; nor did he address the fact that the air conditioner was not large enough to cool the additional space.

ADVANTAGES OF A DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTOR

A design-build contractor is more than someone who knows how to follow blueprints. Although they do not have a degree in architecture, they may use the same same design software as an architect, including AutoCAD.

Because a design-build contractor works out in the field, it is easy  for them to think out of the box and know the limitations and restrictions for completing your home remodel.

Whoever designs your project needs to know the site conditions, how the home is currently built, and how to design your dream around existing conditions.

 

BEFORE YOU CHOOSE YOUR DESIGNER

Take some time to think about your project and what you really want from a design. How much time do you want to spend in the design process before starting to remodel? Determine what your budget will be to complete the entire project.

Once you’ve decided whether you want to work with a design build contractor like Leading Edge Homes, Inc. or an architect, the next thing to do is find the right individual within that field. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals, visit online portfolios and project sites, and set up informational meetings with a few people.

Regardless of whether you choose to work with a custom builder or an architect, make sure you ask enough questions up front to know you’ve found a person you’ll enjoy working with, because you’ll be spending a lot of time together. Look for someone with good listening skills who shares your vision for what your home should look like. Feel free to ask for references. Then, before you sign on the dotted line, check with your state to ensure your architect or custom builder is licensed in his or her field.

FOR ASSISTANCE IN PLANNING YOUR PROJECT

If you have questions about the design process or a project you are considering, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

For all of your new home, home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

SMALL ROOM ADDITIONS: THE SOMETIMES SHOCKING STICKER PRICE

FACTORS THAT ADD TO THE COST OF YOUR ADDITION

Room Addition Costs

The cost for your addition may surprise you.

Hands down, when you need to more living space to improve your life style, the option to add a room typically beats the cost of selling your existing home and then purchasing a new one.

What you may not realize that even though you are only adding a 100 square foot sitting area, you may have to update other parts of your home.

Budgeting for Your Addition – Changes You Might Have to Make That Are Not Part of the Addition

Depending on the age of your home, you can count on any room addition having to meet the current adopted building codes. This includes, but is not limited to changes in the electrical code including new smoke alarm systems, updated hurricane protection and bracing, and meeting the International Energy Conservation Code with insulation, Window U-Values, and the efficiency rating of your plumbing and mechanical equipment.
Yes, it may surprise you that you have to upgrade your smoke detectors for all of your bedrooms, even though you are adding a family on the opposite end of your home.

Minimum Charges Add to Costs

You may not realize, but there other fixed costs that make the price of the addition seem higher than new construction.
There are structural engineering fees, permitting fees, possible county impact fees, and subcontractor minimums for your addition.  For example, concrete finishing will cost $450 whether the slab is 100 square feet or 1000 square feet because the finishers have a minimum charge. That’s $4.50 a square foot vs. 45 cents a square foot.  Minimums like this exist for most trades.

True Story

A potential client wanted to add a 100 square foot sitting room to his home. The calculated cost for the addition was almost $400 a square foot.  Ouch! I told him I wouldn’t recommend doing the addition.  The subcontractor minimums and the cost for upgrading the home to meet current code made the cost prohibitive for little return on his investment.
Adding a small amount of space doesn’t mean less cost!
Before you think about adding onto your home, seek out professional advice from a professional home remodeling contractor like Leading Edge Homes, Inc.
If you, or someone you know, are planning on an addition, please call me at 561-795-2551 and I will be happy to discuss your needs and identify for you the important considerations and requirements that may impact your overall room addition costs.

For all of your home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Kitchen Maintenance: FLOOD THWARTED BY ANTS

GARBAGE DISPOSAL LEAK THWARTED BY ANTS

Garbage Disposal Leak Thwarted By Ants

 

 
Over the weekend, to my mother-in-law’s displeasure, were hundreds of ants walking along her ceiling, around her family room, and into her remodeled kitchen.
She had not remodeled by choice a year and a half ago… but because her ice maker line sprung a pin hole leak that turned into the flood of the century for her. Her cabinets, made out of particle board, immediately swelled up and the cabinets were a total loss.
If it were not for those pesky ants, this could have been an instant replay two years later.
While searching for ant killer (sorry ants) in the cabinet under the sink, she reached in only to find every package was wet… but the ant killer was NOT leaking. Lucky for her, the ant killer was in a bucket, so the water did not damage the cabinets.

WHERE WAS THE WATER COMING FROM?

Under-sink leaks can do a lot of damage.  The water can be coming from the drainpipes, the supply hoses, the garbage disposal or even the faucet itself. The source is usually apparent as soon as you crawl under the sink with a flashlight.

In my mother-in-law’s case, it was her garbage disposal.

DISPOSAL COULD HAVE MULTIPLE LEAK LOCATIONS

While the water draining from your disposal may look like it’s coming out right from the bottom, sometimes that’s not the case.

The leak could be coming from one of 5 common areas, as pictured here:

Garbage Disposal in a Lake Havasu City home

  1. The sink flange — where the sink and the disposal unit directly connect
  2. The dishwasher hose — where the hose and the disposal connect
  3. The drain — where the drainage pipe and the disposal connect
  4. The bottom — water actually draining from the very bottom of the disposal
  5. The sides – if the disposal has rusted or corroded

FINDING THE SOURCE OF THE LEAK

  1. Unplug your garbage disposal. If the area around the electrical socket is in any way damp, turn off the breaker for that section of the house beforehand. Don’t risk getting shocked.
  2. Remove everything from under the sink and place a bucket, deep-bottom pan, or small trash can underneath the disposal to catch any water that may come out. No sense cleaning up twice.
  3. Get the plug for your sink and place it in the drain.
  4. Fill the sink with water until it’s a little less than halfway full (not even close to a majority of this will be coming out of the leak, don’t worry). Then, place a few drops of food coloring in the water. The color doesn’t matter, just so long as it makes the water stand out against the black of your disposal unit.
  5. Observe if there are any leaks coming from under the sink. If there are, you’ve found the problem: the sink flange.
  6. If there are no visible leaks, remove the plug from the sink and use a flashlight to observe where the water is coming from (checking the 4 places in the image above).

PROBLEMS AND FIXES

1 THE SINK FLANGE 

Likely problem: If the leak is visible before you unplug the drain, it usually means the seal between the sink and disposal has broken.

Fix: You need to detach the disposal from the sink, remove the plumber’s putty and then reseal the flange.

2 & 3 THE DISHWASHER HOSE

Likely problem: The seal between the disposal and one of these lines is likely broken.

Fix: You’ll need to replace the seal. This will vary depending on the disposal unit you have and the plumbing in your home.

 

4 DISPOSAL BOTTOM

Likely problem: Broken seals inside of the garbage disposal itself.

Fix: You can replace the seals inside of the disposal. However, if one is broken now, it won’t be long before another wears out and needs to be replaced. So it’s usually more economical and easier to replace the garbage disposal.

5 CORRODED DISPOSAL

 Fix: You’ll need to replace the disposal
DO NOT ATTEMPT REPAIRS YOURSELF IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHAT TO DO!  CALL A LICENSED PLUMBER!!!

PREVENTING A FLOOD

If you can, place the items under your sink in a bucket or water proof container

My mother-in-law averted a disaster because her items were organized in a water proof container. Yes, it had water in it, but the water never touched her cabinets.

Periodically check for leaks.

Every month (or week) check under you sink to make sure there are no leaks. This is as simple as looking with a flashlight, running your hands under the cabinet, or checking the bucket (see the above suggestion) to ensure there is no water in it.

If you are not as lucky as my mother-in-law was and have a flood:

  1.  Turn off your water
  2.  Contact your insurance company and call a water extraction service
  3.  If need be, contact a public adjuster

and then, when you are ready to have your house put back together and want a professional remodeling experience, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

For all of your home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

HOME REMODELING: OOPS IT HAPPENED AGAIN

BUT HE SAID I DON’T NEED A PERMIT

Leading Edge Homes - A Home Improvement Contractor You Can TrustIt happened again. Yesterday, I received a call about installing a tub for a potential client. What I thought was going to be a simple quote to see where the tub was going to be installed, turned out to be like opening a can of worms.

The job entails more than installing the tub… it involves redoing the entire bathroom.

What Went Wrong?

The biggest mistake was that the client believed her contractor that permits did not need to be pulled to make changes to the bathroom. Had a permit been pulled, none of the following issues would have occurred:

  1. The bathroom is too narrow for adding a bidet next to the toilet. According to the plumbing code, a minimum of 60 inches is required from drywall of one side wall to drywall to drywall of other side wall.  They only have 57 inches.
  2. The tile was installed before the bathroom door, now the opening is too short for the door.
  3. The door they bought swings the wrong way.
  4. The plumbing waste and supply lines were cut, patched, and brought out of the floor and wall in the wrong locations.

What Has to Happen Now?

This mistake will be costly. Drywall has to be removed, the floor has to be cut up to correct any plumbing violations, the doorway needs to be re-framed, and either a new toilet/bidet all-in-one unit needs to be purchased or the room needs to be made larger to accommodate both a bidet and toilet.

This would not have happened if the client hired a professional remodeling contractor instead of an unlicensed, uninsured “handyman”.

Other Consequences

If the client left everything as is, and went to sell her house, she might have difficulty passing a home inspection. A good inspector would notice that the plumbing was not per code, an appraiser would probably discover that the bath remodeling was done without a permit, and the homeowner could be fined for doing work without a permit.

If you want a professional remodeling experience or a second opinion, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvetment project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

HOME REMODELING: YOUR CONTRACTOR IS MORE THAN A BUILDER

Ten Hats (or titles)Your Remodeling Contractor Wears  

Home remodeling contractors are more than a builder...

Home remodeling contractors are more than a builder…

It may be hard to believe… but your home remodeling specialist does more than construction.  He also is a…

Therapist.

Remodeling is stressful –  there are delays, dust, etc.  Sometimes clients just want to vent about something that happened at work.  If we think we can somehow segue into getting them to finally deciding what calming color they would like us to paint their new bedroom, we’ll probably hang in there.

Mediator.

There are many parties involved in a project – homeowner, sub-contractors, inspectors, materialmen.  When disagreements or issues occur, someone has to keep the peace or straighten things out.  Since the contractor has the most at stake, he usually must take on this role.

Marriage Counselor.

Often husbands and wives can not agree on design, window placement, colors, and the many other decisions that must be made on the typical project.  Often times they don’t communicate clearly with each other.  A good contractor never takes sides, but coaxes a decision without ruffling any feathers.

Financial Advisor.

Contractors are used to dealing with banks, insurance agents, and the mortgage process.  Use their expertise, especially when they recommend having 10 – 20% of the contract price available in a contingency fund to take care of any unforeseen problems that may arise or upgrades you may add along the way.

Secretary.

There are many notes that contractors take before and during a project, not to mention texts and emails that must be acted upon.  A contractor must keep an accurate record of all communications to successfully complete a project with happy homeowners.

Realist.

Clients sometimes get carried away with their wishes before and once a project has started.  It’s the contractors job to explain the financial and time implications for each requested change.

Real Estate Advisor.

Contractors sometimes see as many houses in a neighborhood as Realtors do.  They can often tell you if you are overimproving your house, not to mention how much the project you are considering will cost.  Honest ones will tell you if it would be more cost effective to move than improve.

Your Home’s Best Friend.

Contractors are very observant people.  If we see a clogged up HVAC filter, we will tell you.  If we hear grinding bearings in a pool or irrigation pump, we will tell you.  If we smell a burning electrical component, we will tell you.  We are “house whisperers”!

Translator.

Engineers, carpenters, block masons, plumbers, electricians, cabinet makers – they all use terms that are foreign to most homeowners.  Contractors speak many “languages” and know exactly when to explain when that look on a homeowners face says “Huh?”

Builder.

When not wearing one or more of the hats explained above, contractors get to put on a toolbelt and actually construct something.  Although a cell phone might seem to be our most used tool, we really do know how to use a hammer and circular saw.

Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: BEING YOUR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTOR CAN COST YOU

So You Want to Be Your Own Contractor

Are you sure you want to be your own general contractor?

IT WILL BE LESS EXPENSIVE TO DO THE WORK YOURSELF — REALLY?

One of the most common misconceptions about home remodeling is that it will be less expensive to do the work yourself or act as your own general contractor.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE DOING A DIY HOME REMODELING PROJECT

There are many things to consider before beginning a home remodeling project on your own.

SUBCONTRACTOR LICENSE VERIFICATION

First, you need to verify that every subcontractor or tradesmen you hire has the correct license and carries insurance.  If a person does not have Worker’s Compensation Insurance, or an exemption, then you are liable for their lost wages and medical bills if they get hurt while working on your home.

WHAT IF THE TRADESMEN DAMAGE YOUR HOME?

What happens if one of the tradesmen damages your home?  Your homeowner’s policy will not cover the damage caused by them.  A general contractor carries both general liability and builder’s risk insurance policies to protect you.

PERMITS… PERMITS… PERMITS

Although you can typically pull a building permit for your job if you live in a single family home, will the subcontractors you hire be able to pull their permits?  If you live in a multi-family dwelling, you will not be able to pull your own building permit.

Failure to pull a permit can cost you three times the original cost of a permit if the building department catches you.

If you decide to pull your own building permit, you will have to schedule your inspections, may need to take time off from work to meet with building inspectors, and you will have to take responsibility for all the work performed on your home.

WILL YOU BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTIONS? – TAKE A VACATION DAY

You may have to rely on the electrician, plumber, mechanical contractor, and roofer to pull their own permits and schedule their own inspections.  You still may have to take time off from work to make your house available to them and their building inspectors.

How much is your time worth?  When you schedule subcontractors and inspectors to come to your home you must ensure access to your house

BUILDING CODES… HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?

Do you know the latest building codes?  If you do not build to the current codes or hire subcontractors who do not build to the current Florida Building Codes, you could end up wasting money having to redo work.

PRICING…  YOU WILL PAY RETAIL FOR YOUR SUBCONTRACTORS

You may think you are saving money by contracting with trades directly, but they have multiple sets of prices.  One for contractors they work with all year long, one for the occasional contractor, and one for the public.   The public pays the highest price.

WHICH COMES FIRST… THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

It is critical to know the order in which subcontractors need to perform their work.  If you get the order wrong, you may need to remove a subcontractor’s work.  This will not only cost time, but money as well.

These are just a few of the potential issues that you may run into if you decide to act as your own general contractor.  Before following this path, consider the risks, the time you may waste, the monetary losses you could face, and the added stress of completing your home remodeling project.

 

Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
To ask Todd a question, contact him at 561-795-2551 or visit the Leading Edge Home’s website to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

Home Remodeling / Room Addition: Building Up vs. Building Out

Is It Less Expensive To Build Up Than Out?

The short answer is no – building up on an existing house is always more expensive than building out.  Sometimes, however, you have no choice if there is no room on your lot to build out.

Why is Building Up More Expensive?

Foundation Must Be Fortified

Usually the existing foundation has only been designed to support one story and would have to be added onto in order to support two stories.  In addition, interior load-bearing walls might need to be added necessitating demolition of parts of the existing floor for installation of additional footers.

You Must Add a Staircase

Either part of the existing house space would be lost, or real estate outside would need to be built two stories tall, to provide space for a staircase to access the second floor, and there’s the cost of the staircase itself as well.

Part of the Roof Must Go

Then there’s the cost of removing part of the existing roof and reworking electrical, mechanical, and possibly plumbing systems.

 

There’s more, but by now I think you’ve got the point.

If you have specific questions about any home improvement project, please call me at 561-795-2551 or email me at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and I’ll be happy to share my knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. is a Florida certified building contractor specializing in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust. Contact them at 561-795-2551 or visit their website to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.
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