You can see it. You have envisioned your dream space… your ideal kitchen, that awe-inspiring spa bath. You can all but taste the haute cuisine you are executing effortlessly with your Wolf range or reach out and turn the sleek handle of your Delta thermostatic shower system to enjoy a refreshing burst of perfectly balanced energy.
But then… reality intrudes like a bucketful of cold water. A remodel can be demanding under the best of circumstances; when you factor in some more complex challenges, it can become an emotional roller coaster. The best course of action: enjoy the ride! When you know what to expect – and what to do when confronted with the unexpected – your project will proceed more smoothly and seamlessly.
What are some common remodeling challenges that boost the intimidation factor on remodeling projects?
A common question homeowners ask is, “Can we tear down that wall?” Yes… technically, you can tear down any wall you like. That’s the simple answer. The realistic answer is that it depends on the complexity, difficulty, and cost you are willing to pay. For example, if it is a load-bearing wall, your builder will need to take precautions to support the structure as it is removed and then add another form of support in its place. Another issue that can make this particularly difficult as remodeling challenges go, is that the wall you want gone could be housing water pipes, air ducts, waste and vent lines, and/or wiring. Tearing it out in this case also encompasses moving these components – which means additional time and cost.
If you envision a different layout or want to open up a space like the homeowners for this recent ACo remodel who wanted to expand their kitchen, consult with your remodeling team. Depending on what’s going on behind the walls, it may be a simple step or a complex multi-step process. Either way, doable – but something for which you want to plan.
As mentioned, you may have to move some mechanicals (e.g. HVAC, electrical outlets and switches, cable, smoke and security alarm wires, etc.). If you want to change the layout of your space or move, say, a range from one wall to another or take down a wall altogether, you will have to consider the complexity and difficulty of relocating these vital cables, wires, switches, and outlets – and make sure they are properly identified before you start.
This isn’t something you want to figure out later! You need a full assessment of what’s in place, where you would like it, and whether or not that is feasible. The good news is that where there’s a will there’s a way. Discuss your goals with your remodeler at the onset of your project to make sure they have a proper strategy to make it work.
Here’s the fun part. Some people can look at a space and imagine the possibilities, regardless of the current layout. Your designer/remodeler should be one of them! If you want to change the footprint of your space – whether to allow for a more open feel, create distinct spaces for privacy, expand the space, or achieve any number of other goals – discuss your vision with your remodeling team.
There are some “guidelines” you may want to keep in mind: for example, while you can position a range/oven on an interior wall, you’ll have to run ductwork to an exterior wall. Given your goals, is it better to plan for placement on the exterior wall? Plotting out where your major appliances and features will go (e.g. range/oven, refrigerator dishwasher, washer/dryer, shower, etc.) can make it easier to find your flow.
Again, a conversation – or, rather, many! – with your team is essential in achieving what you want and ensuring that it is feasible given your timeline, budget, and objectives.
Preserving your home’s character is both a remodeling challenge and an opportunity. Whether you are the proud owner of a stately craftsman home or a sleek, cutting-edge modern abode, one thing is certain: your home has character! If your goal is to preserve as much of its charm as possible, you will need to factor this into your remodeling plans. While this is your space and you can do what you want, you may wish to retain some distinctive features, such as hardwood flooring, millwork, original tilework, fireplaces, etc. – while upgrading elements that could use some 21st century efficiency and technology, including windows/doors, HVAC and appliances, and cabinetry.
With the right remodeling team, you can ensure your home retains its unique appeal while ensuring a comfortable, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing living space. When your home is built to last and/or is “future-proofed,” you can add updates that will take it into the next decades with style.
On a related note: there are times when you wish to remove architectural elements in order to update your space or reimagine its entire appeal/purpose. Consider which you want to retain, whether it is original brickwork or hardwood floors, and which need to go in order to make your home more functional, timely, and timeless. For example, in this recent ACo project, we transitioned a 2000-era bathroom with pillars that gave a traditional luxury vibe to a more open airy space that delivers modern streamlined luxury. This look will more easily translate into subsequent upgrades over the years while giving the homeowners a more contemporary appeal today.
Some surprises are fun: a birthday party, an unexpected bonus, a freak snow day when all you have to do is make cocoa and decide what to binge watch. But others… not so much. Let’s say you just want to add a pantry space and new cabinetry to your kitchen. You notice a little brown spot on the ceiling – and all of a sudden, you have a plumbing project on your hands. The old pipes have been leaking undetected for some time, and you need to address this before proceeding with your original vision. Surprise.
While we are “measure twice and cut once” type of people, we know that life happens. So do surprises during the remodeling process, no matter how well planned. To account for unexpected challenges, and build peace of mind into your project, ACo covers up to $1000 of potentially hidden change orders. This is our guarantee to you.
We also guarantee that the results will be worth it and that you will love where you live.
Remodels can be a rollercoaster. Or they can be the most boring adventure park ride you ever experienced. In this case, “boring” is definitely the most exciting option. ACo has honed our process to ensures a stress-less remodel. We empower you to overcome the intimidation factor and transform your home by creating spaces that epitomize comfort, convenience, efficiency, and style.
Ready to talk about your remodeling challenges? Connect with an ACo Designer online or in person at our design gallery + showroom at the Hub & Spoke Design Center.