Home Remodeling Trends

Renovation Guide

Most of us think our homes could benefit from a renovation, either modest in scale or monumental. No matter the scope, success lies in smart planning. Our three-part renovation guide will arm you with all the information you need to master a successful renovation of any size.

PLANNING Consider how you live within your home. If you’re renovating for yourself rather than resale, think about how you use the different spaces before you talk to an architect or work on design

What time of the day do you use the different rooms?

Who uses them and who will use them in the next five years? What storage do you need? Do you have a budding cellist who needs space to practise and store their instrument? A husband who desires a quiet spot to sprawl his newspaper out on a Sunday afternoon? Do teenagers need a chill-out space to watch TV?

Is the bedroom primarily for sleeping, or is it your reading refuge?

Do you use the kitchen island solely to prepare food or do you jostle with children finishing their homework or guests chatting to you while you work? How do you want your home to flow – open plan or easy to close off? Indoor/outdoor flow or focused internally?

Creature comforts

Consideration of how you want to use different rooms will encourage you to think of the comforts of living, such as lighting, speakers and surround sound, and underfloor heating. From the outset, decide what you want in the way of heating, plumbing, drainage, lighting, insulation, HRV, double glazing, storage and so on. Then plan and budget.

A Beginner’s Guide to Home Remodeling Costs

The first house my wife and I owned was brand spanking new – right out of the box. We walked in to fresh paint, clean carpets, new appliances and a cute little covered porch right off the back door. Everything was so perfect. We had no home remodeling costs to speak of.

A few years and two kids later we decided it was time for some more space. So we moved into our second home for our expanding family.

This house was nice and definitely an upgrade when it came to space. But it was not new. It had issues.

The carpet was old. EVERYTHING in the kitchen was dated. The deck was falling apart. And there is no way I will ever forget the rust-toned, orange paint in the upstairs hall bathroom.

The To-Do List

In order tackle all the projects, we made a renovation to-do list. Needless to say it became quite long. In fact, even after a decade of living at the home, several of the projects, like finishing the basement, were not completed.

Best Home Renovation & Remodeling Books

Renovating your home can be a challenge but it certainly doesn’t have to be. With these books you’ll have a much easier time planning, scheduling, and executing a simple home remodel completely stress-free.

Renovation(4th Edition)

In this newest edition of Renovation you’ll learn from 100s of contractors and experts with years of experience in the field. This guide can prove useful for anyone whether they have prior building experience or not.

Doors, windows, roofing, skylights, and pretty much anything else you can think of are all covered in this book. Each chapter covers a different topic including materials and techniques for beginners.

What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You

It’s easy for a new homeowner to get taken for a ride when hiring for remodeling work. But you can learn a lot before you even start the process by reading What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You.

This lengthy book covers all the main concepts like design, planning, architecting, and budgeting. Many homeowners know about these concepts vaguely but do not have enough practical knowledge to put this to good use.

Home Remodeling Costs

Performing a whole-home renovation is by no means a small or inexpensive task. However, with a little planning and forethought, homeowners can ensure that this remodeling project stays as affordable as possible. With that in mind, below is a primer on the cost to completely renovate a house

What factors affect the cost to gut and remodel a house?

There are multiple factors that will impact how big you can expect the final bill for your remodel to be


Generally speaking, renovating older homes costs more than newer ones. Older homes are more likely to have underlying problems that need to be dealt with during construction. The renovation work required to get older homes to meet current building codes may also be more extensive.


Similarly, the more square footage a home has, the more expensive it will be to renovate. HomeAdvisor found that the average cost of renovating multiple rooms in a 1,000-square-foot house is $19,000. At the same time, the average cost to renovate a home with 4,000 square feet was $100,000.


The cost of your remodel will also be affected by the cost of living in your area. HomeAdvisor states that remodeling and refurbishing a home is likely to cost $21,000 to $90,000. However, a similar project, would likely only run between $13,000 and $56,000. The base costs for materials like appliances and countertops, as well as the labor costs for a general contractor may also be more expensive depending on where you live.

Planning Guide: Home Additions

You can’t just tack on a new room to your existing house and call it an addition. Get tips for adding square footage to your home, from designing a new space to hiring the right contractors.

An addition isn’t the only answer when you want more space. Consider alternatives so you know if a major renovation is right for you.

Additions can be built in any direction and come in all shapes and sizes. Consider the project’s purpose and design a space that works for you

A successful addition looks like part of the original structure. Get expert tips for extending the roof and foundation, choosing finishes and integrating your home’s operational systems.

An addition is a major undertaking that involves tradespeople, specializing in everything from roofs to foundations. Create and manage a winning team to complete your project.

Great Ideas For Choosing The Right Type Of House Floor Plan For Home Renovation

Hacks for Storing Items During a Renovation

A fast growing number of homeowners are considering renovating their homes instead of relocating. Remodeling a home is fun and exciting – because the remodeling process promises a new home and enables you to realize your dreams. However, renovating a home is a daunting procedure that might oblige you to camp out in a single spare room, such as a makeshift kitchen or bedroom.

Hire a Reliable Storage Firm

It is important to consider stashing your belongings in storage so as to accelerate your home renovation. Make sure to pick a company you can fully trust to provide the utmost security for your stuff

Designate an Empty Space for Storage

If there is a space in your home that you do not use often – such as a vacant corner of the basement or a guest room – it can make an excellent solution for storing items during the remodeling process. Keep in mind it will only be used temporarily until the remodeling project is done, so you don’t have to worry about giving up that space in your home forever. Designating an empty space for storage is the most cost-effective solution as far as remodeling a home is concerned.

Rent a Portable Container

A complete home remodel might call for renting a portable storage solution that allows you to get all your stuff out of the way while keeping it on site. Renting a portable storage container paves the way for easier remodeling, especially if the container in question can accommodate loads of boxes, furniture, as well as any other bulky stuff in your house. Portable storage containers provide a perfect way to store all your items in a safe or secure location until the remodel is complete.

Create an Inventory of Your Items

This might seem like an extra work, but creating a detailed inventory of your belongings can ensure all items are accounted for during the renovation process. Creating a detailed inventory can also prove useful when it comes to relocating your items to their new home.

Things To Know Before Starting A Home Renovation

Your Timeline Is Important.

One of the first things Travis did when putting together the renovation scope of work was to create a timeline. It’s a timeline that outlines what gets done when (his dad is a home builder so we had some confirmation) and the order of work. For example, rewiring the electrical should happen before plaster because they need to open walls to access certain areas, and painting should be done before flooring and scheduled towards the very end. If you plan on managing the project yourself, having the ordering and timing in place before you start will make it a lot easier to have flow and a checklist that isn’t overwhelming.

Whatever Your Budget Is, Double It (For The Most Part).

If you asked us what our budget was in April, it would have been half of what it is today. The budget isn’t always doubled, but with older homes you often find “surprises” when pulling back the layers. In our case, there have been a few necessary safety upgrades in electrical and plumbing which are the two most expensive categories in a home. As we got deeper into things, we also decided to update the bathtub, toilet, and opted for a nicer kitchen sink. Combine this with a few other factors, it’s good to always have some breathing room in the budget.

Having Word-Of-Mouth Referrals Is Important.

One of the key parts of this renovation was asking friends and neighbors for referrals. All of our subs have come recommended from someone we know personally. If you’re thinking of updating your house, I’d start by asking around for the best electrician or plumber, as they’ll be the first people you want to schedule

You Can Source Everything Online.

Thank the heavens for the internet. We bought our sink, our tub, the lighting, the drain, and every other piece you can imagine online. Yes, we went into a few stores to have an idea of what we wanted but let me tell you, the internet is king. Sites like Wayfair, Houzz, and Amazon have so much available online (and often at a better price!).

You Can Save A Ton Of Money By Doing What You Can On Your Own.

Our biggest save: doing the work ourselves. Travis has spearheaded this project like none other, spending weekends learning how to remove tile and plaster walls. If you have the time, I’d recommend doing as much of the less-technical work as possible. It’s a big money saver and allows you to allocate some of those savings to hiring professionals for the highly-skilled pieces (electrical, plumbing, tile, etc).

Best Renovation Websites For Living Out Your Dream Home Fantasies

viewer knows that renovating is far easier said than done. That doesn’t stop any of us from mentally making a few changes to our homes — whether we own them or not — even though we don’t intend to hire a contractor anytime soon. Or, perhaps a renovation is actually within reach, but you’re not pleased with the generic inspiration found at your local home superstore


Best for: Plotting your new, high-end dream home. Though the site has broadened its mission away from simply providing remodeling ideas (who would of thought?), you can still find great images waiting to be added to your “Dream Life” pinboard.

DIY Network

Best for: Finding practical advice and finding projects by budget. The network that brought you multiple Vanilla Ice-pegged reality shows has an exhaustive website that borders on overwhelming at times — but they know their stuff.

This Old House

Best for: Fantasizing about a simpler, self-reliant life in a meticulously restored Victorian that was once nearly uninhabitable. It’s specific, but you know what we mean. We imagine the editors finding their bliss at salvage yards, or trading recommendations about screwdrivers all while turning an old found door into a stately table. And we look up to them for that.


Best for: Seeing how a real family renovated (and continues to renovate) on a tight budget. While the blog can be a little wonky at times, the content is good.

When and Where to Buy Home Renovation Materials

I worked for a roofing company in college, and my boss liked to tell the story of a material mishap he suffered shortly after starting his business. He’d been working hard installing a new asphalt roof for a customer who was away on business. There he was putting down the final shingles when she pulled up to the house. “It looks nice,” she shouted from the driveway. “But it’s the wrong color.”

That lesson has stuck with me all these years, along with the implied importance of getting material orders right on a remodeling project. Recently, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed general contractors about the mistakes that lead to the biggest delays and cost overruns on a project. On their list of culprits, materials arriving broken or different from what was ordered was second only to existing structural damage.

Settle on a Style

If you plan to buy your own home renovation materials, you really need to know your style. My wife and I spent hours on sites such as Houzz, Pinterest, and Remodelista, creating a digital ideabook of photos to help pinpoint our design preferences. Our tastes skew traditional, with a few modern flourishes here and there, so we fall in the so-called transitional camp of home design.

Rules to Showroom Success

You do get more handholding from the staff members at a dedicated kitchen and bath showroom, many of whom are certified designers. But as I learned, there are still steps you can take to make the process go smoothly.

Make an Appointment

You can usually walk into a showroom off the street, but you’ll save time by making an appointment. If you know people who have worked with the showroom in the past, find out who the best designer on staff is and set up your meeting with him or her. 

Don’t Rush the Process

If it’s a major project—a full kitchen or master bathroom remodel, for example—plan to spend several hours in the showroom. There are hundreds, if not thousands of products to sort through, and you need them to coordinate. That takes time and patience—and probably even a follow-up visit.

Bring Your Ideabook and Floor Plans

The inspirational photos will help the designer home in on your style more quickly. The floor plans will provide all of the necessary specifications. That is especially important with bathroom projects, because tubs, vanities, and sinks come in a wide range of sizes.

Know Where to Save and Where to Splurge

Set your priorities going in. For example, tile can get crazy expensive, but we knew that a simple 4-inch subway tile in a white gloss finish would create the classic look we want for the bathrooms. That gave us more spending power on the master bathroom vanity, a nice double-bowl unit from La Cava with basins made of porcelain, a material that performs well in CR’s bathroom sink ratings. Instead of the stainless steel console, we opted for a white custom vanity to provide more storage in the bathroom. 

Think About Secondhand

If you’re up for the hunt, there are some seriously first-rate products on the secondhand market. We visited Green Demolitions. where a 43,000-square-foot showroom is filled with luxury products salvaged from high-end homes. Go to for the latest finds (wares can be shipped anywhere in the country) or try your luck at the local salvage shop in your area.

Home renovations that are worth the cost

Homeowners often spend a lot of money on renovations expecting to recoup more than they likely will. But some projects offer better returns than others.

“It is important to make investments that will be the best use of your money,” said. “We don’t want to put in custom details that are only for your specific use. Think about things that will be valued by a range of people.

With a full kitchen renovation, homeowners can recoup about 59% of the cost, and a new master suite will typically return 50%, according to a study from the the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. But the highest returns come from less flashy projects.

Installing hardwood flooring, for instance, will get you back even more money than you put into it, returning about 106% of your cost. Replacing the HVAC — or heating and cooling system — will recover 85% of its cost, while an insulation upgrade will recoup 84%.

Highland has a five-bedroom, two-story, brick Colonial on the market that, having been “lived in hard” by a family for 21 years, would list around $250,000. The owner was willing to do $50,000 in renovations, including a new kitchen, updated bathrooms and new flooring throughout. After the renovations were done, the home was listed at $415,000 and is now in contract.

What Is The Difference Between Eco Friendly And Regular Home Remodeling

How to Choose the Best Home Remodeling Contractor

Whether you want to resale your home or to give it a new look, you will always want to make sure that the right contractor handles the task. Only a well-experienced contractor is capable of giving your home that wonderful look that will make everybody passing by want to stop and have a look at it.

The fact that there are many home remodeling contractors will always make it hard for you to choose the right person for your project. However, if you use the internet, the process will always be easy because you will have all the necessary information that will make it possible for you to find the right person.

Online Reviews

The reason why you need to spend quality time looking at the online reviews is that this is the place where you will find important insight about the contractor. When people use services from a particular contractor, they will always want to go back and comment about the quality of the services that they got. If the services were not satisfactory, you will find this mentioned and it will give you a hint on what to do next.


Before you decide that you are going to work with a particular company, it is wise to ensure that they have the necessary certifications with them. A license and insurance is a must. A good home remodeling contractor should have a license to show that they are qualified to offer the task that they claim to offer. An insurance cover, on the other hand, is supposed to take care of the unexpected if they happen.

The Reputation

A home remodeling contractor can only have a good reputation if they have been offering quality services to their clients. You can only know if a contractor has a good reputation by reading online reviews. It is here where you will find all the comments about the contractor. Best home remodelers will always have many positive reviews.


When planning a home remodeling project, homeowners face a long list of worries and concerns. How much will it cost? Will it take too long? Is this really the right move? But there is one question that homeowners could benefit from asking more often: how do I hire the right contractor?

According to the CFA (Consumer Federation of America) and NACAA (National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators), contracting is the top complaint among homeowners doing home improvement. Another survey found that almost half (48%) of all respondents would not hire their contractor for a future project

Being homeowners ourselves, we understand the pain of spending hard earned money on substandard work. That’s why we created a highly effective method for weeding out the bad contractors until you find the right one.

This method consists of 5 essential P’s: People, Process, Portfolio, Price and Past Clients. Based on these, you can create a 0–50 ranking system that drastically reduces the risk of ending up with the wrong contractor and throwing your money down the drain. The first step is to narrow down your choices of contractors to a manageable number. 3-5 is ideal. These final contenders can be found by asking friends and family for referrals and selecting those in your local area.

It is important to remember that you are hiring people with whom you are going to spend quite a lot of time with. You will frequently talk to them, discussing various options. You will work together trying to make decisions on various issues. The project period is sort of a marriage. If you do not connect with your contractor, the whole thing may end up in shambles with you suffering the most.

How To Choose A Home Remodeling Contractor

It is a sad truth that contractors have a reputation for being untrustworthy. A couple of bad apples have given contractors a rotten reputation. But many contractors a good, honest workers that are dedicated to making remodeling projects easy for their clients

Know What Kind of Remodeler You Need

Many people might not know this, but not every contractor is the same. Depending on the project you envision you should select the type of contractor that will most likely be able to make that vision a reality.

For example, designers are good for projects that entail colors, shapes, light, and design elements, whereas an architect can better handle construction and structurally changing the layout of a home. Companies that are design/ build contractors, like Post & Beam Design/Build, can handle both elements of a remodel. We can build an addition to your home while give you suggestions on what design works well.

Read the Reviews

A good way to determine what kind of service a company delivers is by reading the reviews, both on and off their site. Can’t find any? That is never a good sign when a company hides them.

Make Sure They Are Licensed or Certified

Anyone can claim to be a contractor, put up a website, and take your money. Researching more about a contractor and their qualifications can save to the frustration and heartache of dealing with a fraud


Get Recommendations

Word of mouth is the best way to find a trustworthy contractor. If you know someone who has had a good experience with one, start there.

Look at Credentials

Once you have your recommendations, start checking them out. Visit their website or make a phone call. Make sure they have all appropriate licenses and insurance certificates as well as any designations from professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association

Check References

Contact former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. Better yet, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? Remember that when you’re hiring a remodeler, you’re buying a service and not a product. Quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project. It’s a good idea to even check with your local Better Business Bureau. If you can’t find any information on them with the BBB then they are most likely complaint free.

Interview Candidates

Once you have your list of candidates narrowed down, you can and should start the interview process. Start by calling them and asking questions like:

• How many projects do they work on simultaneously (leading to how much time they will spend on your project and how long it will take to complete)

• Do they have employees or sub-contractors? If subs, how long have they been working with them?

• Do they pull permits and handle all the required inspections?

• How many projects have they done that are like yours?

• Do they produce a schedule for your jobs, and if so will you have access to the schedule?

• How are change orders handled?

• How are selections made?

Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Home Remodeling Contractor

There are many important decisions to make when it comes to remodeling your home: Which architectural style best fits your personality? Should you go with cool and calm tones, or opt for big, bold colors? What is your timeline? How about your budget? All of these questions are important, but they take a back seat to choosing the best home remodeling contractor for your specific renovation project.

Homeowners who are planning a remodeling project typically take similar steps when searching for a contractor to work with. They ask friends and family for references, use search engines to find local firms, browse profiles and project photos on Houzz, Instagram, and Pinterest, check out customer reviews and testimonials on Yelp, Google, and BBB, and more.

Make no mistake – the distinct between these two is important. Any remodeling contractor worth their salt should have a well-designed website that features high-quality project photos, industry awards and affiliations, client testimonials, and more. They’re also likely to have solid reviews, both online and from in-person references (if this is NOT the case, you can cross them off your list right away). If nearly ever contractor presents themselves as the best, how do you determine which one to ultimately work with?

The Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel Team

Use Google and Bing to find out which home remodelers in your area consistently show up in the search engine results, then dig deeper into their Houzz, Yelp, Google+, and BBB profiles. Look for high-quality images, before and after photos, and any industry awards or certifications they may have. Pay close attention to their online reviews, and in particular, how they respond to those reviews. Does the company respond to each and every review that is left for them, both good and bad? If they have any negative reviews, do they handle those promptly and professionally?

Confirm that the 3 or 4 contractors you’ve identified are fully licensed and insured. Licensed remodeling contractors have to adhere to strict industry standards and regulations. The risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor include shoddy work, permitting issues, code violations, and financial liability for injuries or accidents. Once you have the contractor’s license number, you can confirm details such as license status, general business and bonding information, and the companies workers’ compensation policy, among others