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What is a Whole House Remodel?

As you go through life, the needs of your household tends to change. You may even discuss selling your home, but you may want to consider a whole house remodel instead. Remodeling your home might be a good way to bring it up to date and even increase its value? But what exactly does it all entail?

In general, a whole house remodel involves the overhaul of the entire home. The scope of each project can vary, with some remodels demolishing the entire interior space and others working on certain areas piece by piece

You’ve probably seen examples of remodels on TV with the many home renovation shows out there. While these are great for inspiration, there is a lot more involved than what is squeezed into an hour-long program. But don’t let that discourage you! Below we will tell what a whole house remodel is and what to expect when you take one on.


What is a Whole House Remodel?

A whole house remodeling is a process of changing your entire home’s décor, layout, and functionality. The scope varies in each project. Some remodels require the removal of the whole interior, while others are more focused on certain areas. The process does not always include major renovations but instead can involve simple changes like turning a guestroom into your home office.

Basically, if the purpose of the area has been altered, it’s been remodeled. This can benefit many households, as it gives you the opportunity to restructure certain spaces that aren’t being used efficiently and make sure they work for your family’s needs.


How is a Remodel Different from A Renovation?

While the words renovation and remodel are often used interchangeably, they are two very different projects. A renovation changes the look and feel of a room, while a remodel changes its functionality.

Renovations generally include things like updating paint, installing new flooring, and switching out items like knobs, faucets, and light switches. This also involves updating certain areas of the home, like replacing rotted wood and repairing the roof.

A whole house remodel reconfigures the home’s layout, giving each space a new function and design. For example, changing the cabinets in your kitchen is a renovation. Turning a galley kitchen into an open concept is a remodel.


Does a Remodel Require Gutting the Home?

Not necessarily. While you may want to gut some areas, other spaces in your home more than likely won’t require it.

The design you prefer and what your family needs will influence the scope of the home remodel. For example, a larger kitchen can allow for better workflow and more cooking space. Another possibility is to convert your basement area into a habitable space to make it easier for your home’s flow and function. You could also use the opportunity to redo any other living spaces that need help.

However, these projects don’t mean you have to gut the space completely, and it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can take control of your to remodel by deciding if you will be addressing one area after another or all simultaneously. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of different arrangements before you decide how to approach your remodel project.


Steps of a Whole House Remodel

The timeline of a whole home remodel can vary in duration. This change is due to the fact that different contractors may take on different jobs depending on their preferences. However, the order of steps remains relatively the same. After discussing your budget and vision with the design team, a good contractor should be able to provide you with a solid estimate.

Below is a general idea of the steps you can expect from a whole house remodel.


Start With a Plan

Before you get knee-deep into a whole house remodel, there are multiple things to consider and various choices to make. It can be very difficult to put everything on hold in the middle of a project because that’s when the pesky decisions start coming up. Consider what you want to improve or change before making any changes by thinking about why you want to do it, researching how it will affect the outcome, and discussing options with others.

When you start thinking about the design of your remodel, it’s important to prioritize what you need in it right now. Will watching TV in your living room interfere with the flow of the space? Or would a second bedroom be more important? It’s also worth considering if these features might come with a big price tag and how they will fit into your budget.

The size and shape of your home will impact how you design and furnish it. Do you need to work around the space you already have, or can you add more? Whether building an additional room or a separate story, make sure permits are applied for first.

You also might want to hire a contractor when doing a whole-house renovation. Home design is an overwhelming task. A contractor can take a look at your home and tell you what might work or not work, as well as provide advice about design, styles, and the most up-to-date tech that may be of interest. When you need to hire sub-contractors for your remodeling project, they help you find the right professionals. This can be especially important if you need someone for a specialty area, like plumbing or electrical work.


Pre-Construction Preparations

When starting any home renovation, there are few important factors that need to be considered. The first one is whether or not you will live in the property throughout the remodel, and if you cannot, it’s best to give your keys and move out for a short period of time. Some people choose to find temporary accommodation while the work is being done, such as renting an Air B&B or staying in a rental apartment for a short while.

Moving out for your home improvement project can help the work progress faster. The worker’s crew will be able to complete multiple jobs in each room simultaneously. However, some people would rather stay in their own homes, so it’s something to think about.

Before you start your remodeling project, make sure you empty all the contents in the rooms being remodeled. If you need to move any large items, such as sofas and dining tables, you’ll need to find a space for them in your garage or shed. You could also consider renting a portable storage container instead. This way, you can keep your items safe in the driveway for the duration of the renovation.


Demolition Days

Before any work can start on your home renovation, the first step is usually to take out anything you no longer want or need. The contractor will often only do the demolition initially, so they don’t have to come back multiple times for other fussier tasks. This typically involves the contractor bringing a large truck or parking a roll-off dumpster in front of the home so they can move all the construction waste out right away.

This part of the job can be quite dusty. Generally, the demolition area will be sealed off using plastic sheeting to keep dust levels low. This ensures that most of it stays within the deconstruction section and doesn’t drift into other parts of your home. If you have allergies or are sensitive to dust, this is when you might consider finding alternative living for a few days.


Rebuilding and Restructuring the Floorplan

The first stage of a full remodel entails making changes to the floorplan and showcasing the homeowners’ new space. This includes adding any structural elements needed for removing walls, as well as opening up areas in the home to create new spaces. Old floorplans are often changed to have an open layout, which can have a dramatic impact on the space.

While the walls are open, the contractor will typically work on items inside the walls, like electrical, plumbing, gas, and HVAC. This is also when you will see a lot more foot traffic, with different sub-contractors being brought in to work on various items.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may want to rewire your home or update things like the electrical panel and existing pipes. Trying to make these changes later can be difficult and costly.


Set Up New Walls and Flooring

Once all the structural work is completed, the contractor will install any necessary insulation and start closing up work by installing new drywall onto the open framing of your home. This stage of the project can also be dusty, so plan accordingly.

Once the walls have been drywalled, you’ll need to paint the whole home. Depending on your desired finish, this process may require up to three coats of paint. This process goes fairly quickly but can take longer depending on the number of colors you’ve chosen.

The order of floor installation will depend on whether you and your contractor prefer to install it after painting, before finishing other aspects (e.g., wallpaper), or while the other projects are underway. Some contractors like to wait until the end of a full home remodel to install the flooring to avoid scratching it during the project, and others will do it earlier and cover it with cardboard, so be sure to discuss this in your plan.

Depending on your preference, floor installation can be considered an integral part of your overall design plan and bring a room together. Installing carpet only takes a day, while laminate or wood flooring could require a few days, and tile floors could take as long as a week.


Adding Cabinets and Countertops

Most full-home remodels include the kitchen and bathrooms, so the next step will be to install cabinet and vanity installations and countertops for both of those. The other components may include closets or additional work, depending on the vision of the client.

Kitchen cabinets can take a long time to manufacture, so it is important for the client to decide on the design and color as early as possible. The more that is known during the remodeling process, the easier it will be to plan ahead and order cabinets with enough lead time. 


Install Major Appliances

The last major step is to hook up the major appliances. Plus, at this point, you can finish installing trim like baseboard and casing around the room.

This is also the time to focus on tiles and fixtures such as bathtubs, faucets, and shower hardware. Electrical fixtures such as outlets, switches, and light sockets should also be installed at this point. Installing tile is a time-consuming job that’s usually done by a professional.


Add the Finishing Touches

At the end of a full house renovation, the contractor will come through and fix any items that don’t look right. They will also adjust cabinetry, caulk around any gaps, touch up any scuffed paint, etc. Checking each room and making a list of things that need some repair is a great idea. This way, you can incorporate what you find and make sure the entire project is done to your standards.

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Doing a Whole House Remodel

Remodels can make your home truly yours. With an A-grade custom design, you get more of the features you actually want and need to be happy in your home without feeling like you’re scrimping.

If you choose to have your whole home remodeled, you can work with architects and designers to redesign each room. And skilled contractors can be used to complete the job with your preferred finish. Your contractors can help you keep things consistent from the start and plan your entire project.

The main downside of a whole house is remodel the living situation. If you plan on living in your house while it is being fully remodeled, you’ll need to get used to the noise, dust, and inconvenience of living in a construction zone. You’ll need to reschedule your day-to-day activities around the construction, and you may also need to find alternative housing for some period of time.


Final Thoughts

There are a lot of steps and planning that go into significant home remodeling. Whether you’re doing a handful of updates or gutting the entire space to rebuild from scratch, contractors can help with each part of the process.

Now that you know what a whole house remodel is, it might be a good idea to consider whether you will start your home improvement project or sell and move to a new home.  Element Home Remodeling is a Mountain View home remodeling contractor specializing in whole house remodeling projects. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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