What to Do at the End of a Remodel

a5-1-300x192When thinking about the remodeling process, it’s easy to imagine the work that goes into the design stage and the build stage.  It’s also easy to imagine the excitement you’ll feel when it’s all finished and you get to enjoy your remodeled home!  However, the end of the remodeling process is not just celebrating; there is some work that needs to be done here, too.

  • It sounds so simple, but one important step that often gets overlooked in all the excitement is making sure everything works! Turn on and run all appliances, all lighting fixtures and outlets both new and old…occasionally a breaker will accidentally get tripped that controls other parts of the house. Also test new faucets, showers and other water sources.
  • Spend a couple of hours sorting through all the paperwork and warranty cards. Fill out and return the warranty information as soon as possible. This is an important step in case of a problem or manufacturer’s recall. Keep all manuals and brochures for future reference.
  • Along with the manuals and brochures, make sure to retain additional pertinent information including blueprints, permits, paint and flooring names and colors, contractor’s contact information, punch lists and receipts. Dedicate a specific drawer, file or box for easy access.
  • Make sure you keep all leftover materials such as tile, wallpaper and paint.You never know when a repair will need to be made in the future.
  • Call your insurance agent and add the cost of the remodel onto your homeowner’s policy. This needs to be done any time a major purchase is made for your property.
  • In addition to checking the manuals, don’t hesitate to ask your design-build project manager for detailed maintenance information. Discuss specific cleaning products and maintenance schedules.
  • Double check with your city or county building department that all required documentation has been correctly filed. Sign off on any remaining paperwork and always keep copies for your records.

For more information on the remodeling process from start to finish, contact us at Renewal Design-Build.

Historic Decatur - Modern Craftsman

Renovating a Historic Home Doesn’t Mean Tearing it up and Starting Over

Historic Decatur - Modern Craftsman

There’s a major difference between renovating and rebuilding. Renovating a historic home takes a lot of time and involves keeping the historic appeal while updating the necessities. I’m going to thoroughly compare the two throughout this blog post. Please remember that my opinions are my own, and we may disagree. But that’s perfectly okay, I’d still love to discuss your project with you and bounce ideas, regardless of your methods.


When you renovate a historic home, the goal is to maintain the historic appeal of the home while improving the efficiency, and lightly updating the home itself. Most people who renovate do their best to find period pieces to replace broken or damaged pieces. The architecture of decades past is so very multifaceted that it is often very difficult to find pieces that work well without having them crafted.

Which brings me to the next topic of conversation: finding qualified crafters and tradesmen. Some people in the Atlanta area still practice old woodworking and metalworking techniques and can custom make pieces you need.


Maybe rebuilding is a strong word for this, but a lot of people go into a historic renovation and end up with a completely different structure with just a few of the historic elements left intact. This is more of a renovation extreme, or maybe a renovation/modification process. You still end up with a very nice home with some historic elements when the project is complete, but it isn’t exactly a renovation.

The Bottom Line

Historic home renovation involves a bit of something old, something new. The basic structure of the home should stay intact as much as possible. Replace rotted or damaged wood, but try to make it a seamless transition from old to new. Everything you replace with a modernized look and feel transitions the home into an entirely new entity. Try to stay as close to the original as possible if you’re going for a true renovation or preservation.

If you need any help or advice about renovating your Atlanta area historic home, please feel free to call us. We’ll discuss your project with you and offer advice based on our expertise and experience. If you feel overwhelmed with your renovation project, please don’t hesitate to call us for help. Hire us to help with one part of the job that has you scratching your head, or the entire home. It’s your call!

Planning a Home Addition? Let’s Discuss Where and How to Successfully Build.



I’ve said this in other blog posts, but I’ll say it again because it’s so true; home additions should always improve your lifestyle and increase the level of happiness in your home life. That being said, many people know what they need to build, but not necessarily where it needs to be built. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it yourself, but your house has a natural flow. Upsetting that flow may decrease the effectiveness of your HVAC system and increase your heating and cooling bills. Today I’m going to cover home additions, and where to add space to your home.

Please keep in mind that building up is more cost effective because your basic structure is already stable. What is building up? Think about it literally. The term building up literally means adding an upstairs story to your existing home. Your foundation is already there, there’s no need to dig footers to extend the foundation as long as you’re building straight up.

What about the foundation, will you need to strengthen it to hold another story? Not in most cases. Most foundations are strong enough to easily withstand the pressure of a second story. Don’t attempt DIY building projects before consulting a contractor, though. Just in case!

Building out does require an extended foundation, so you have to dig more footers, pour more concrete, and take up more yard space. What is building out? Building out is the process of adding another room to your existing home, whether it’s in front, behind, or to either side.

What about building down? Do you have existing basement space underneath your home? Build down into that space to create a finished basement. Cost on this type of home addition depends entirely on the amount of space you have available. If you only have a few feet of crawl space, you’ll need to dig an entire basement, which will, of course, run into a lot of money spent!

Other Factors

Historical neighborhoods and homeowners associations often have a lot of restrictions to building onto your home. Find out what the restrictions are before you even begin the planning process. No need to make plans if they don’t allow additions at all.

Building codes, buried pipes, and other potential hazards can plague building onto your home. Make sure you have a good understanding of all of the legal requirements before you begin a project like this as a DIY project.

Choosing a Contractor

Contractors are pretty plentiful. If you aren’t sure who you should hire, ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family for recommendations. Once you have a list of recommended builders, start looking them up online to see reviews, before/after photos in their galleries and everything you can find out from their website and social media websites. Narrow the list down to your favorites, and call them. Ask detailed questions, and schedule two or three consultations with the ones you feel most familiar with. Consultations are usually free, so get to know a few different people you’ll potentially get to know very well through the addition process. Feel free to call us for a consultation! We love Atlanta, and we love helping people reach their building and remodeling goals.