My parents recently embarked on a major renovation of their house on the beach. They went through a pretty long process of deciding on the architect and choosing design points. They also spent quite a bit of time deciding on a general contractor. This is their retirement home, so they were very particular with how they want everything to turn out.
I have a basement renovation as well as a new roof coming in the near future and I thought that a post about major work done on the home would be worthwhile.
I'll start with defining the scope of the work. It is super important to have an idea of what the entire job will look like when it is complete. For my roof, that is pretty simple. It has an old roof up there now. The endstate of the job will be a new roof and no remaining debris from the work. I live in Orlando now and I found a good contractor with a good reputation, Stratus Roofing, a roofing contractor in orlando. My parents have a place in Corpus Christi and they go with Roofing Corpus Christi for their work.
When it comes to residential roofing it really is important that you do your research on finding the right roofing contractor. Google is where everyone starts this process unless you already know of someone from family or a friend. I would take a good look at each roofing company's reviews on yelp, google, and angies list. Make sure they are licensed and insured as well. You should ask for their license number. You should also ask for recent examples of their work. Any good contractor will be proud of their recent work and readily be able to show your photos.
My basement project is a different story. I'll need to really draw up my idea for the endstate of that project. There will be a full bathroom, a bedroom, a living area, and I am contemplating a wet bar. The bar would require a bunch of additional plumbing to be roughed in prior to flooring and sheet rocking the walls. I plan on doing some of the finishing work myself so I'll need to make sure I communicate to my contractor(s) that I'll be doing baseboards and painting.
The big decision will be on whether or not to hire a general contractor or sub out the whole project myself. The advantage of a general contractor is that I don't have to worry about nearly as much. If I hire all of the subs, I'll need to schedule them in order and check the quality of their work. I'll also be responsible for the permits and inspections. I would save a little money though.
The key to managing all of these types of projects is to have a clear idea of what you'd like to see as an end result and what it will take to get there. This will save you many headaches and wasted time along the way.
I really enjoy maintaining my yard and ourdoor space in general. Cutting the lawn on a beautiful Saturday morning just feels right to me. I've recently tried one of the battery powered electric Lawnmowers and they are really surprisingly effective. They have very low volume, but do a great job. A couple of months ago I did my pre-winter final trimming of my bushes and I hired a local Arborist to do my higher level tree pruning. My electric trimmer made the bush work eash and my kids enjoy being outside and helped with the cleanup. I live in the Greenville, SC area and got my tree trimming done by The City Arborist. They are really great. I like to get the trees cut back professionally each year to make sure everything stays looking nice, as well as ensuring the trees are healthy going into the spring.
It has been pretty cold here lately so we haven't spent too much time outside. I'm definitely looking forward to spring (it effectively starts in late Feb to early Mar here). My kids and I plan on maximizing our time outside and I'm getting my plans for outdoor area maintenance together.
I love my time spent in my yard. The trees behind the house are unkempt whereas those in the front are quiet well pruned. I've done my research into where people truly spend their time and the clear answer is inside their homes. My father gave me my first advice when it came to buying a home. His advice was to buy a home that was ugly on the outside and beautiful and functional on the inside. His reasons for that advice are sound when you truly think about where your time is spent. I love my time outside, but I go to work in the mornings, come home and play with my kids, work out or train jiu jitsu some days, eat dinner, put my kids to bed, spend the rest of the evening with my wife, and go to bed. Let's think about where that time is spent and do some math.
Wake up to leave for work is 1 hour of helping get the kids ready for school and getting myself ready to leave for work. Work and commutes to and from are 10 hours of my day (more on how that will change later), on the days that I do not train, I spend from 5:30pm until 11pm with my family. and then I am in bed. When you look at percentages, I spend 42% of my day at work or commuting. I spend 31% of my day in bed. I spend the remaining 37% of my day with my family. Most of that time is spent indoors.
It is an interesteing study for people like me to undertake. Where is the realy value in keeping a fulfilling and welcoming home?
The value comes in spending the time and money to keep a space that is engaging where you spend the most time with your family.
In my next post I will get into some functional practices for keeping your yard and garden well and functional. I know.... I just talked about some craziness regarding the indoors as highest value added, but I like my yard... so there it is.