A Luxury Renovation Will Transform The Home You Already Live In And Love.
The ultimate compliment a client can pay to a home that we have remodeled is: “It seems like it was always meant to be this way. How did we ever live in it before?” At Meridian Homes, we hear those sentiments from our clients often, and they couldn’t make us happier. We are proud of our reputation for transformative luxury home renovations in Maryland (Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Cabin John, Potomac), Northwest Washington DC, and in Northern Virginia (McLean, Great Falls, Arlington).
Our design/build solutions allow families to stay and grow in our community’s most desirable neighborhoods. First, we make sure we understand you and your and expectations: What are your real reasons for remodeling? What are your practical and esthetic goals? We’ll look at how your family lives in your home now…and talk about how you want that to change. Of course, we’ll also look at structural considerations to be sure we all understand the construction and budgetary implications from the very beginning of the design process.
Whether you are adding an expansive kitchen and family room or reimagining a modest ranch as a gracious multi-story colonial, you can count on us for thoughtful design that meets your vision, impeccable craftsmanship and concierge level client service through every step of the process. Some of the oldest residences in this region are new again thanks to Meridian Homes. Yours can be the next.
How To Turn Your House Into The Home Of Your Dreams
Remodeling your home can feel like an exciting and completely overwhelming prospect all at the same time. We’ll take you through the remodeling process so that you know what to expect from the planning phase through the completion of construction. Being prepared is the best way to ensure that your renovation will meet your needs and your expectations.
Planning For Your Remodeling Project
Establish Your Goals
The first step in the home remodeling process is to determine clear objectives for your project in terms of functionality and aesthetics. Here are some questions to consider so you can get started:
- What is the purpose of the renovation? In other words, do you need more space for your growing family or does the existing square footage in your home simply need to be reconfigured or updated?
- How do you want the areas you are remodeling to function for you? For example, do you want your small kitchen to be expanded to include more storage space and an island with seating? Would you prefer to have a separate soaking tub and spa-like shower instead of the outdated tub/shower combination you currently have?
- Is your personal style ultra-modern, very traditional or somewhere in-between?
- How will the newly remodeled areas blend with the style of the rest of your home?
Determine Your Budget
Whether you’ll be remodeling a room or two or you are considering a whole-home renovation, you will need to establish some financial clarity by developing a budget. Be proactive by researching your options with financial institutions if you will need to take out a loan. Then, create a prioritized wish-list for your remodeling project in case your budget will not allow you to do everything at once.
Consider The Impact
Don’t forget to take a look at your calendar and think about how the timing of your renovation will impact your plans. If you’d rather not have construction going on while your kids are at home all day during the summer break, then have the design phase complete by the end of August and be prepared to start construction once school begins again in September.
Planning well in advance is essential so that your remodeler can meet your desired timeline. Remember that unanticipated snags can sometimes occur during the construction phase, so assume that your project may take a little more time than originally expected and build some flexibility into your schedule.
How To Choose A Trusted Remodeler
An essential part of planning for your remodeling project is choosing the right team for you. Your remodeler should be able to fill the role of trusted advisor, reputable expert and friendly remodeling partner. When your project is completed on time, on budget and just the way you expected it to be, you will be thankful you took the time to do plenty of research upfront in selecting your remodeler.
Identify Remodeling Companies
Begin by exploring remodeling companies’ websites in depth. Take a look at the photos of their past work and see if they’ve won any awards or have earned other accolades. If they offer client resources like informational blogs and eBooks, be sure to read them. Check out their social media pages; read their reviews and focus on comments about client service, construction quality and timeliness.
Often, the best way to find a trusted remodeler is by referral. If you have friends or colleagues who have renovated their homes, ask them some specific questions:
- Were their projects completed on time and on budget?
- Did the finished projects meet their goals?
- Was there regular, ongoing communication throughout the process?
- Were they satisfied with the quality of the construction?
- Did the remodeler provide top-notch client service?
Interview Prospective Design/Build Remodeling Companies
Once you’ve identified a few reputable design/build remodelers, set up some interviews. Ask each company about their overall business philosophy and inquire about their design and construction processes. Make sure you fully understand their communication protocols and how they staff their projects. Learn about their fee and cost structures. Request client references and reach out to hear about their experiences. Don’t forget to check out each company’s licensing and insurance to ensure that it is all current and comprehensive.
When you meet with a reputable remodeler, you should expect him/her to ask you some questions. This interaction will inform you about what to expect in terms of client service in the future. The remodeler should want to fully understand:
- What are your reasons for remodeling?
- How does your family live in your home now and how do you want that to change?
- What are your functional and aesthetic goals for the renovation?
- What is your budget?
- What is your overall time frame for your project from start to finish?
Choose A Remodeling Firm
Once you’ve identified the right remodeler for you, it’s time to determine if the goals that you have established for your renovation are achievable.
How To Decide If You Should Remodel Your Home Or Move
Figure Out If You Can Remodel And Stay
If you love your location, your neighborhood and your neighbors, then it may make sense for you to remodel your current home to meet your needs. Ask the builder that you’ve chosen to determine if your remodeling dreams are feasible and your budget is realistic. An experienced remodeler should know if the local regulations will allow you to build that big addition you want or if you can take out the load-bearing wall between your kitchen and your family room. It’s also prudent to do some research on your own to make sure that you aren’t over-improving for your neighborhood, which may make resale difficult in the future.
Decide If You Should Move
You may need to move if your current home will not meet your long-term needs even if it is remodeled. For example, will the ceiling height on the main level always be too low or will the tiny basement not be able to accommodate the extra bedroom and bathroom that you want? If you’re going to spend a lot of money, time and energy and still not have the home that you want, it’s time to start looking for a new place to live. It can be hard to find the perfect home in the perfect location, so if you find one that fits most of your needs, consider remodeling what doesn’t quite work for you. Just be sure to consult with your remodeler before you buy the house to see if what you want to do is achievable and affordable.
What To Expect During The Design Phase Of Your Home Remodeling Project
Define The Scope Of Work And Sign A Design Phase Agreement
Meet with the remodeler that you have selected and discuss every aspect of your remodeling project. Clearly convey your priorities, goals and your budget. The remodeler should document and formalize the scope of your project and give you a detailed Design and Specifications Agreement. Once that agreement is signed, you will provide a deposit and the design phase will proceed.
Nail Down The Details
At this point, you will select all finishes and materials for your project. Keep in mind that your selections should fit within the parameters of your budget. After your selections are finalized, your remodeler will provide you with architectural plans, a comprehensive set of specifications, an estimated price and a construction timeline. Carefully review and then approve all Design and Specifications phase details that were provided to ensure that it all meets your expectations.
How To Avoid Exceeding Your Budget
Make Selections Early On
The best way to avoid exceeding your budget is to pre-select all finishes and materials during the design phase, prior to any construction beginning. Request detailed pricing on all of your selections so that you can choose materials that are within your budgetary parameters.
Expect Exacting Specifications
The agreements that you sign should be very detailed and exacting. Understand that the cost and timing of your overall project will be affected if you make changes after construction begins. Any changes that you do ask for should always be documented and agreed upon before work proceeds.
How Local Regulations and Permitting Processes Can Impact Your Project
Understand The Regulations In Your Jurisdiction
Be aware that every jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations that could greatly impact your remodeling project. Know that the time it takes for the permitting process also varies by jurisdiction and this could affect your overall timeline. Be sure to research your homeowner association regulations regarding renovations, if applicable, and review them with your remodeler during the design phase so that there are no unpleasant surprises later.
Stay Within The Guidelines
Your remodeler should understand and convey to you how local regulations may impact your renovation project. For instance, if a tree in the middle of your backyard cannot be removed per a specific regulation, that may affect the size of the addition you are planning. In some cases, your remodeler may need to consult with engineers or other specialists to get clarification and further information. In the end, your remodeler will be responsible for coordinating and securing all required permits and approvals.
What To Expect During The Construction Phase Of Your Home Remodeling Project
Enter Into A Construction Agreement
Once the design phase is complete, you will enter into a Construction Agreement that incorporates:
- Approved architectural plans
- Detailed specifications including all selected finishes and materials
- Agreed upon timeline
- Finalized pricing
Obtain All Required Permits
Your remodeler will obtain all required permits, based on local regulations. Be aware that the time frame to get these permits varies by jurisdiction.
Establish Communication Channels
Establish communication channels with your remodeler (email, text, phone). Your assigned Project Manager should be updating you regularly as construction progresses and you should receive timely responses to your questions and comments. Your remodeler should encourage a collaborative process so that your expectations are fully met.
Prepare For Construction By Ordering All Materials
Before construction begins, your remodeler will start to order your selected materials so that the agreed upon timeline can be met. Occasionally, items may be backordered or unavailable and you may need to choose substitutions.
Move Out Of Your Home Or Certain Areas In Your Home
In the case of a whole-home renovation, you will need to move out of your home and remove all of your personal belongings. If only certain rooms in your home will be remodeled, then you will need to remove all personal items from those spaces.
Implement Dust Control
Your remodeler should implement dust control measures to protect areas that are adjacent to the construction.
The deconstruction or demolition process begins at this point. Some materials may qualify for donation to certain charities, so be sure to discuss this potential opportunity with your remodeler and your accountant.
Once the deconstruction process is complete, construction will start.
Hold Regular On-Site Progress Meetings
Your remodeler should invite you to regular, scheduled, on-site progress meetings to:
- Review and analyze project status
- Discuss outstanding action items
- Preview upcoming construction activities
Complete The Construction
Your project should be completed on time and on budget.
Perform Builder’s Quality Control Walk-Through
Your remodeler should perform a quality control walk-through during the end phases of construction.
Schedule A Client Walk-Through
A walk-through should be scheduled with you, the client, to identify any tasks that still need to be addressed.
Complete Identified Tasks
All outstanding tasks should be completed by the remodeler and verified with you.
Conduct The Final Inspections
Final inspections will be done by local officials and coordinated by your remodeler. All ‘Use and Occupancy’ documentation should be obtained, if required.
It’s now time to move back in to your newly renovated home or the remodeled areas of your home. Enjoy!
Engage Builder For Optional After-Care Services
Find out if your builder offers optional After-Care Maintenance Services on an as-needed basis so that you will know whom to call when you need work done in the future.