My Handyman's Professional Home Renovation Guide

Are you about to rush into major Ann Arbor home renovations? Following the right steps for remodeling projects is important for avoiding future stress. Every Ann Arbor home has its own unique challenges. Careful planning and consideration are necessary for an amazing remodeling experience. Every hour you spend on preparation decreases the likelihood of future frustration with home renovations.

Major, custom Ann Arbor home renovations definitely require a thorough planning process, but even a small bathroom remodel should be driven by informed decisions. You should plan your entire project before anyone swings a single hammer. Ann Arbor homeowners that take the time to consider their potential projects are much happier than those who rush to get started.

Do you know what an effective home renovation plan looks like? My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea does. As local Ann Arbor home renovation experts, we're here to help with the entire process—from planning to completion. That means offering both expert advice and outstanding home improvement services.

Before you start hiring remodeling contractors or renting power tools, let's talk about all the important factors you should consider during a planning stage. We'll even break down some popular projects, so you can see some examples of which specific considerations a particular room might require.

Step-By-Step Ann Arbor Home Renovation Guide:

Step 1: Consider Form & Function

Every room in your home should have a specific function based on meeting your needs. The best finished basement in Ann Arbor is one that meets the specific needs of the people living in that home. With rooms like a bathroom or kitchen, this step shouldn't take long, but you might want to spend a few extra minutes thinking about what to do with an unfinished basement.

Consider what you want a room to do, whether or not it's currently doing that, and which challenges might prevent an area from working to meet your needs. You'll be glad you did. A home office might not be a great option for your basement if it's going to sit right next to your laundry machines.

Step 2: Inspection

Carefully inspect any areas you plan to target for custom home renovations. Look for existing plumbing, wiring, and other hidden systems. You should also keep an eye out for any hidden damage or subtle issues. The worst outcome for any custom building project is an undetected issue that gets covered-up, resulting in costly repairs that could have been avoided.

Carefully move all major appliances and large furniture to look behind them. Confirm the location of existing plumbing lines, wires, and ventilation. Check for any leaks or other hazards. You might not like what you find, but it's better to know about those issues now than to wait for them to become obstacles later.

Step 3: Draft a Detailed Floor Plan

Once you know about any potential problems and you've confirmed the location of all important systems, create a detailed floor plan for your new areas. You could consult a professional design service for a floor plan, but that's not necessary for most Ann Arbor homeowners. All you need is a pencil, a ruler, and some paper.

Start by marking out the boundaries of a room and any existing fixtures, appliances, or walls. This drafting stage is particularly important for basement renovation projects — particularly if you plan on completing wall construction for an unfinished basement. However, even a bathroom remodeling project will benefit from a detailed floor plan. Creating a plan helps you consider what's already working, what should be replaced, and which new additions you want for your home.

Step 4: Create a Budget

Bathroom remodeling costs rise as quickly as water in clogged toilets. Without an existing budget, it's difficult to keep costs under acceptable levels. Budgeting is an essential part of the remodeling process, and every experienced team will tell you that working without a budget is dangerous for anyone in Ann Arbor.

Project budgets are helpful for visualizing your entire project cost and establishing priorities for your home. Ensure that you include an extra buffer zone for unexpected costs. You should also research specific material costs and fees for any services that you expect to use.

Break down every individual cost into its own category, so you can see exactly where you'll be spending money. Don't forget to refer back to your budget regularly and track ongoing costs as your complete stages of your home renovation. The most important part of creating a budget is sticking to it.

Step 5: Call Your Local Service Professionals

Once you've built a comprehensive budget, start calling local Ann Arbor service providers for estimates. This is a great opportunity to read customer reviews and look at any online galleries that show examples of local work. Confirm that they’ll provide you with both quality workmanship and excellent customer service.

Once you’ve spoken to a few companies, weigh your options. Which companies provided the most services? Will you have to work with more than one team of service professionals? If you hire a company to remove a wall in your home, it's beneficial if they can also handle your other renovation tasks at the same time.

Specific Home Renovation Projects:

Ann Arbor Bathroom Remodeling & Kitchen Renovations

Room size: Are you working with a half-bath or is this bathroom attached to your master suite? Is your kitchen big enough for an island? Room size should affect everything from the layout of your fixtures to the specific tiles that you choose. Larger tiles often make smaller bathrooms and kitchens feel larger.

Existing connections: Carefully consider where all of your pipes, fixtures, and outlets are currently sitting. Create a layout that fits with your existing plumbing connections and consider whether you'd rather move any existing wiring or outlets. Ensure that new outlets sit in a safe position relative to your plumbing fixtures.

Ann Arbor Basement Renovations

Moisture: Basements are naturally cooler and attract moisture. That means your home's foundation walls should be sealed properly. Both your insulation and your basement drywall should be moisture resistant. This problem is even more significant if you plan on having a laundry room or bathroom in your finished basement.

Wall construction: If you plan on creating separate rooms, those walls will all require framing and drywall construction. That's why having a layout is so essential for basement renovations. When you're planning for wall construction, check any overhead beams or plumbing systems that might interfere with walls.

Wiring & plumbing installation: Basements don't get much natural light, and most finished basements in Ann Arbor usually have a laundry room, bathroom, or both. Unless you're planning to run upstairs to use your bathroom or do laundry without light, you'll need to consider where any new outlets or fixtures should be installed, and any necessary wiring or piping to support those new installations.

Ann Arbor Wall Removal & Major Layout Renovations

Load bearing walls: Load bearing walls are more difficult to remove. If creating a perfect space requires removing a load bearing wall, there are many special considerations and procedures. It's much more costly, and sometimes it's simply not possible.

Hidden pipes & wires: Some walls are full of wires and pipes that connect to other parts of your house. If you're removing a wall that hides those essential systems, you'll need to avoid damaging them during the renovation process, and you'll need to relocate them into different nearby walls.

Do You Need Help with Ann Arbor Home Renovations?

My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea handles everything from kitchen remodeling to exterior remodeling services. If you're ready to find professionals for your improvement projects, we're ready to help! Our dedicated team is full of experts that offer services for custom carpentry, wall construction, and much more. We'll help with every stage of your basement renovation.

For more information or a convenient consultation, call 734-666-3021 today! We proudly serve Ann Arbor and nearby areas like Saline and Chelsea.