What You Should Know About Home Renovation in Houston

10:46 Jul 2023
Home Renovation in Houston

Home renovation currently is very popular in Houston due principally to a low level of housing inventory and new home construction prices steadily increasing.

As a result, owners are implementing internet searches such as home remodeling near me to upgrade their existing house.

Home renovation is a fantastic alternative to new home construction if you want the current trending modern look of the day for a far less overall cost.

In Metro Houston, Texas the cost of new house construction is a major investment if you have the 12-18 months to design a house on your lot.

This is due to a number of factors such high land cost, rising construction cost and an increasing demand for single family house close to the downtown area of Houston.

As houses age they require more than general maintenance. Major home improvement components like air conditioners, roof shingles and appliances begin to fail.

Although each of these can be a major expense, the replacement of these home replacement products offers homeowners an opportunity to upgrade other areas of the home during the home renovation.

This practice provides continuity for a major home renovation in the design and construction improvements.

In many cases where the owner has been in the house for a lengthy period of time, they can use their increases in the homes equity to finance these improvements.

For major renovation projects many lenders will use the ARV (after repair value) to access the equity amount.

This allows the owner to use the minimum out of pocket capital if they can afford the increase in the new mortgage payment.

Since a home renovation is such a competitive alternative to new house construction, we will discuss the essential items of preparing to renovate your house.

The task associated with house remodeling can be complicated and time consuming.

There is also a sequential order that these tasks should be implemented which can be confusing to those that have not experienced home remodeling.

To learn about the home renovation process from design through completion visit our link. 

Home renovation requires a home renovator, a home designer and a financial plan

Home Renovation in Houston

Selecting a Professional Renovator

The best place to start for a homeowner is hiring a reputable renovation contractor. This can easier say than done, because house renovators are not made the same.

Not conducting your due diligence process for the proper renovator is a common mistake in the home renovation process.

There are essentially 3 business models of renovators, the self-performing contractor model, the small crew contractor & subcontractor model and the general contractor model.

The primary difference between the self-performing renovation contractor and the small crew contractor is that the small crew contractor will operate with employees and/or subcontractors.

The general contractor renovation company typically operates with strictly subcontractors. The GC may have supervising employees, but will normally subcontract each item of the scope of work.

Selecting the best renovator for your project greatly depends upon the size, complexity and the quality required.

Researching each contractor’s experience and qualifications is essential to determine a right fit for both the owner and the renovation contractor.

This can begin with researching a collective group of renovators on Google.

Looking at the contractor’s website, reading online reviews and reading their published work will go a long way in creating a short list of relevant remodeling companies.

The most effective method of identifying the short list of renovation contractors is to prepare a list of questions to ask them. The following link is such as FAQ list.

Preparing to discuss items like the construction schedule, qualifying conditions and details of the scope of work to develop a written proposal.

Once you have your renovator it’s time to either bid your construction plans or design your construction plans.

If you have had an architect prepare design plans and engineering, the short list of renovation contractors can submit a detailed proposal.

If the owners do not have home plans for soliciting bids, you will be required to have plans prepared.

The owner will need to hire a design build contractor or have the selected general contractor take responsibility for the design plans.     

Updating Home Design

One of the motivating factors in a home renovation is the ability to update the home design. Introducing new products, open floor plans and the latest in interior decorations provides owners with the rewards of a home renovation.

Keeping up with all the home renovation process can be a bit overwhelming. We will break this down into the high priority design features that need to be carefully considered during the architectural design phase.  

 Designing for Lifestyle – One of the most important factors to think through clearly is how do you and your family plan to use your house.

House design should be designed around the owner’s lifestyle.

How the family uses the house should be the paramount driver for how the space is developed.

If the owners entertain, they should allow the space appropriately for gatherings.

If the owners have children, they should have an area for studying and entertaining friends.

If the owners have hobbies or like to exercise, they should plan a home gym and art room.

Increasing Functionality – One of the more overlooked added value design features is increasing the functionality of the homes space.

A common area for this is the kitchen. Older house’s kitchens were closed off with many walls and commonly undersized.

The current demand for modern kitchens is larger open areas for gatherings and bistro style serving areas.

Trending Architectural Designs – Your house design will have greater resale value and serve the owner better if the owner introduces trending architectural design features that enhance the functional and ecstatic value of the space.

That is not to say that the owner should introduce architectural features for the sake of design features, but rather add them to an area because the bring out the best of the space. 

Home Technology – Technology is here to stay and no more present than single-family homes. An entire cooling/heating and lighting of a house can be operated through aniphone network.

No longer do smart homes need to be elaborate and overly complicated. The advances in solar energy, LED lighting and net metering have made house technology pay for itself. Houses can be easily operated remotely.

Home Renovation in Kitchen Area

Benefits of Home Renovation

Understanding the benefits of a home renovation helps defines both the owner’s construction goals and justify the financial commitment to achieving these goals.

The renovation company can assist in developing the financial analysis for evaluating the monetary benefits.

In some renovating projects the improvements like a kitchen or bathroom remodel do not require an in-depth financial evaluation.

These projects if done in as a moderate percentage of the total house improvement value range are more about the emotional fulfillment of the improvements.

The financial feasibility practice should be an accepted practice of any major home renovation that has an impact on the overall value of the property by 20%.

When the remodeling improvement exceeds the 20% value range, it is prudent to consider all available options to the owner.

These options can be buying an alternative house, building a new house or postponing the project until a better alternative is defined.

But for those home renovation projects that are financially feasible and have a positive effect on the properties overall value, it is important to understand their impact.

These benefits are items that have a direct impact on the return on investment, the energy consumption / cost, routine property maintenance and the overall service life of the house.

Return of Investment – Any substantial renovation improvement should have the return of investment considered as part of the decision making.

Every major home renovation has an effect on the overall value of the property. The question an owner should evaluate is what return of the invested capital will be returned at the time of sale.

This does not mean that this should be the only factor considered but the owner should be mindful of the anticipated return on capital.

In most cases any short-term return on capital above 75% should be considered as a reasonably good return on investment.

A return on investment should be measured over at least a 5-year period of time. Remodeling homes and expecting a return on investment in less than 24 months is unrealistic.

It is also reasonable to expect that other economic events can have an impact from year to year on the actual ROI.

Energy Efficiency – As the cost of energy continues to climb and the importance of house energy efficiency becomes more important.

House energy efficiency is measured in individual products and collectively as a house. In Houston the greatest consumer of electricity is house air conditioning.

By making the house more energy efficient the owner reduces the cost of electricity required to operate the house.

Measuring the efficiency of the air conditioning system involves many contributing factors such as windows, insulation, thermostat settings and of course the HVAC equipment. The home refrigeration system is measured in SEER terms.

The higher the SEER factor the better. Insulation is measured in R-factors and windows are measured in U-factors. The lower the U-factor the better.

It is the collective calculation of all these factors that provides a value established by Energy Star that gives a home the seal of approval.

Another aspect of house energy efficiency is the source of energy the house uses as consumption.

As technology has advanced, houses have been introduced to alternative energy sources other than the electric grid.

These include solar energy, wind and geo-thermo energy sources. These alternative energy sources require a capital investment for the required equipment to produce energy.

These systems can be outright purchased or leased to reduce the cost of monthly electrical expenses.

Deferring Maintenance – One of the overlooked benefits of a major remodeling project is that they often include multiple home products that either require routine maintenance or service obsolesce.

A home renovation ultimately reduces the maintenance cost and allows the owner to save money by buying replacement products at a bundled price or more competitively purchased from having the time to shop prices.

Increase Service Life – Your house is a collection of independent products that are assembled to create the house.

Much like an automobile, as the house gets used and over time products begin to fail or malfunction. Proper maintenance can often extend the service life of the products and ultimately the service life of the house.

Unlike an automobile most homes increase in value over a period of time provided they are maintained.

Home Renovation

Whole Home Renovation vs Partial Remodel

One of the most challenging decisions for an owner to make is to conduct a partial remodel or a whole home renovation.

Yes, a whole home renovation is substantially more expensive than a partial remodel, but sometimes a simple kitchen remodel is not sufficient to capture the intent of the design theme.

This is often the case when owners are changing architectural themes.

If you have a traditional interior design and you are attempting to incorporate a modern design feeling into the space, it may not carry the overall design impact on the balance of the traditional design areas.

If you find yourself in such a dilemma where you cannot afford a full home renovation but need to do something with the kitchen, it is best to at least completely design the whole home renovation design.

Phasing construction improvements can be executed in different phases using the continuity of the renovation design plan.

This keeps your renovation efforts consistent with the house design plan and allows the owner to make the improvements as they can afford.

Tackling a house renovation can be both challenging and rewarding but must be approached with a long-range game plan.

A complete house remodel requires the commitment to be deliberate in your decision making and a collaborating approach with professionals that are like minded.

Having a general understanding of the renovation process and how your renovator operates will reduce business surprises and make the house renovation far less stressful.

Working with a remodeling company requires daily communication, patience and a cooperating effort from all concerned.

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