Monthly Archives: September 2020

When is the Time for a Complete Renovation?

When evaluating a potential construction project, it is important to assess it to see if it will just be a minor construction update or if it will be a complete overhaul and renovation of a building. These are vastly different projects that will take a different set of skills and different parts of your attention.

When it comes to doing major and minor changes and renovations and remodels, it is easy to get lost in the jargon and get your wires crossed. There are many differences, like the amount of time they will take and the cost of the project. There will also be differences in the actual type of project that falls into each category. Here are things to know about each of them and what to consider when making this decision.


It is easy to see the difference between a major project and a minor project. Those words are commonly used opposites with obvious definitions. A major project is going to be huge and make a dramatic change to space. A minor project is going to make simple and less noticeable changes.

Renovating and remodeling are not as clear cut opposites, although we understand they refer to changes. Like the words major and minor, they also refer to differences in the amount of work that a project entails.

Renovation Vs. Remodel

Renovation is a complex word, but in its simplest definition, it means to restore something to a better state or update something out of date to something more modern. With a renovation, you are only making alterations to something.

Remodeling, on the other hand, refers to when you actually change the structure or shape of something drastically. While these are the technical definitions, it is interesting to note that in construction linguistics, the terms actually mean the opposite of their definitions. A renovation is making huge changes to the layout of a room. It can also mean when you completely gut a room and start over.

Remodeling, when used by contractors, means to change a couple of big things, but mostly focusing on updating the aesthetics or design. Remodeling can include new paint, window treatments, or adding crown molding. It can also mean something a little more intense like refacing cabinets or swapping out countertops. All of these changes don’t alter the structure but instead focus on the visual appeal of the room.

Cost Differences

Obviously, renovation is going to come with a much larger price tag than a simple remodel because it involves more work. This can be misleading because remodels can also be very costly, depending on the work you are doing and the materials you choose to use. You can easily spend as much on a remodel as you could on a renovation depending on the details of the project. This is especially pertinent to areas like the kitchen where updating appliances can lead to spending thousands of dollars. Redoing bathrooms can be equally as expensive.

The size of the project can also contribute greatly to the cost. You could do a remodel of a small kitchen that costs much more money than replacing everything in a living room. In general, you can$10,000 to $20,000 on minor remodels with major renovations costing upwards of $50,000. This will vary depending on local markets, but even with allowances for market differences, you can still expect to see an increase in the value of your home.

Why Does It Matter?

Does it really matter when you are planning a project to know these word definitions? Technically, you can plan and carry out a project without this knowledge, but knowing it can make traversing through the process easier.

Talking to contractors and updating the plan will go smoother if you know the right terminology to use. Not doing so can lead to miscommunications and the project not ending up exactly how you hoped it would. Knowing the right words to use can make you feel more at ease and confident in your abilities.

Choosing the Project

No matter if you choose a remodel or a renovation, it is important to look for warning signs that it is time to do some work on your home. You want to ensure you can get the most out of any projects you do, so make sure you look for these signs that it is time to take the plunge.

If your home is deteriorating, then it is time for a project. You can tell if the daily wear and tear has gotten to be enough to warrant a project if the tiling system in any room starts to detach, the roof is leaking, the paint is chipping, the plumbing fixtures are damaged, or the floors creak.

You may also want to do a home project if you have the funds to back it. You need to be financially prepared before you take on a huge project. If you do have some extra funds, then using them to invest in your home by doing a project can increase the value of your home and be a good way to spend that money.

You may want to change your home if you need more space or less space. Families are always changing. New babies are born, smaller children grow older and want their own space, then they move out when they reach adulthood. All of these changes require different things of your home, and home projects can help you meet the needs of your ever-changing family.

You may also want to do a remodel on your home if your home looks dated. Updating your home to look more modern will not only help you feel more at home, but it will also help it to sell better if you need to sell it. You may be surprised to see what a huge difference it can make to spruce up your home and not only make it more modern but make it more your style. You may begin to see a positive change in the atmosphere of your home and your daily life as you become more comfortable and relaxed in your space. 

Top 5 Things to Know When Creating a Construction Budget

A construction project is a huge drain on your time and money, so it is important to ensure that you use your resources as well as possible. In addition to materials and labor, you also have to worry about permit fees and the interior finishes. Creating a budget before you start construction will save you a lot of money and help the project to go smoothly. 

With so many moving pieces during a project, it can seem like a daunting task to take the time to create a functional and accurate budget for the entire project. Taking on this task will be well worth the time spent if you take the time to do it right. Good money management skills can make the difference between falling behind schedule and finishing quickly within the budget. Here are several things to consider when working on your budget. 

1. Be Accurate With Your Estimates

Creating a large estimate for your project is not going to be possible without first breaking the project down into manageable pieces. The little areas of constructions like permit fees and materials to buy add up quickly, so making an accurate measurement for an itemized budget will help you to make sure you are not underestimating the total cost. 

It can be very easy to make a budget with inaccurate estimates if you are not careful. Contractors want to win the bid, so sometimes their bids can be lower than what actually pans out. Other complications can also raise the bid number if problems are uncovered during construction. 

Working with a professional who knows what you can expect during construction can be a huge help when making a budget. A consultation can put your mind at ease because you will know that you have accurate numbers for your budget. There is also construction estimation software if you would prefer to run the numbers yourself. 

2. Find a Good Project Management Software

Managing a large project with so many different moving pieces can be overwhelming, especially if it is not something you do very often. Using the right software tools can help you stay on budget, and it gives project managers a way to coordinate effectively. 

There are many budgeting and accounting tools that can help you both create an initial budget and update it as you work. There are features that will allow you to keep track of the invoices and expenses that you incur along the way. Keeping track of all the details during your project will help you to estimate future expenses and any changes you will need to make for your project. 

When choosing a software to help you manage your project budget, you should consider which features and tools are available and what you will use most on your project. At the very least, you are going to want to find a service that will help you manage payments, track invoices, and store documentation. This will help keep your budget realistic. 

3. Be Flexible During Construction

Some construction managers fail to take into consideration that the project is going to change, and the budget will need to be flexible. Not cushioning the budget to allow for these changes can have disastrous consequences, and a lot of added stress in your life. 

It doesn’t matter how much you plan and design a project before you start; you cannot foresee everything that is going to happen. Projects will always need to be adjusted as modifications are needed to compensate for unexpected changes. Sometimes these changes are going to be small, like adjusting the height of a counter or a change in materials used in a project. Sometimes those changes will be bigger, but adjusting with those changes is necessary. 

It may seem like creating a budget when it is going to change is a waste of time, but it is still going to help you keep on track—seeing all the numbers laid out before you is going to help you adjust other areas of your budget to compensate for overages in other areas. It is a good idea to understand about the changes and not be surprised by it at the end of the project. 

4. Know the Difference Between Hard and Soft Costs

There are different types of construction costs, and you cannot make an accurate budget without understanding the differences. Hard prices of construction costs involve the physical aspects of the project. This would be things like HVAC, mechanical, electrical, site preparation, and plumbing. These are straightforward and are the first things we think about when we list the costs of a construction project. 

Soft costs are a little harder to see and account for when making a budget. Even though they are harder to see, it is important to not forget about factoring them into the budget. Soft costs include financing, insurance, taxes, LEED certifications, and fees related to management, design, and legal documents. 

In addition to these hard and soft costs, demolition of existing structures, environmental compliance, land costs, and surveys also need to be added. Once you consider all of these expenses, you are prepared to create an accurate budget that will help you during your project. 

5. Utilize Historical Data for Budgeting Purposes

Using historical data to predict the costs of construction projects is possible and can help you with your project. Every project is unique in its details, but can still be benefited by looking at similar project projections. There will be past projects with similar goals and objectives, and looking at their trajectory will give you an idea about the course of your own project. 

You can analyze past projects to look for discrepancies in their budgets to make yours more accurate. This will help give you a general notion of any changes you should anticipate. When you look at past projects, you want to make sure that you take into consideration inflation and natural changes that happen into the construction industry. 

Bonus Tips

Any project that is successful will need the input of experts and have a schedule. Having a mentor or manager for your project will give you insight into the construction industry that you will not get any other way. Making a schedule will help you stay in budget and make adjustments as needed effectively.