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Survive remodeling

Whether you are buying an older home, or fixing up your current home, a remodeling project is likely in order.  Improvements made to your home can be done to increase the resale value or just to make it more livable for you and your family. Projects come in all sizes and for all rooms.

Refresh your home : 500 simple projects & tips to save money, update, & renovate
[editors of the Family Handyman].
New York, N.Y. : Reader's Digest, c2011.
Originally published as Family Handyman home improvement 2010.
     
Mortar and murder
Jennie Bentley.
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, c2011.
Avery Baker was once a New York textile designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Finding a property's hidden potential has rewards and challenges-especially when a mystery surfaces from behind the walls of a centuries-old house on an island that has more than its share of deadly secrets.
     
Small kitchen solutions
Better Homes and Gardens.
[Hoboken, NJ] : Wiley, c2011.

Bring big style to a small kitchen

In these tough economic times, more and more people are downsizing their living spaces to smaller, more functional homes. But as typical living quarters become smaller, it doesn't mean that those dwelling in smaller digs need to sacrifice style along with space.

Small Kitchen Solutions is packed with example kitchens, galleries of ideas, and tons of projects for readers to bring a big punch to even the smallest kitchen.

  • Includes before-and-after photos and design plans
  • Helpful advice from professional designers
  • Projects showcase a variety of styles, from traditional to cottage to contemporary

Packed with tips and tricks from the pros for designing small kitchens that really work, this idea book is perfect for DIYers of any skill level.

     
Small bath solutions.
 
Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, c2011.
Bring big style to a small bathroom

In these tough economic times, more and more people are downsizing their living spaces to smaller, more functional homes. But as typical living quarters become smaller, it doesn't mean that those dwelling in smaller digs need to sacrifice style along with space.

Small Bath Solutions is packed with example bathrooms, galleries of ideas, and tons of projects for readers to bring a big punch to even the smallest bathroom.

  • Includes before-and-after photos and design plans
  • Helpful advice from professional designers
  • Projects showcase a variety of styles, from traditional to cottage to contemporary

Packed with tips and tricks from the pros for designing small bathrooms that really work, this idea book is perfect for DIYers of any skill level.

     
Eco house : practical ideas for a greener, healthier dwelling
Sergi Costa Duran.
Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2010.
A comprehensive resource on ecological health in the home and how to achieve it.Called the "new architecture for the new world," sustainable building is firmly established as an important influence on residential design. Eco House is a complete guide to the structural features and interior and exterior elements that make a house healthy for its residents and for Earth. From solar roofs to sinks that flush the toilet by recycling their gray water, there are any number of options, expensive and inexpensive, that can turn a home into an "eco-house."The book covers all of the essentials of sound bioclimatic design: Structures that works with sun and wind directions Optimum ventilation and heat recovery Green roof insulation and cooling Solar heating Geothermal heating and cooling Radiant heating Pellet-fuel heating and ventilation Photoelectric power Turbine wind power Rainwater-cistern and gray-water plumbingThis practical reference also takes readers on a room-by-room tour of hundreds of eco-friendly lifestyle options, including how to clean with chemical-free products.Home owners can make one change or plan an entire refit to take their house off the grid -- nothing is too little. In addition to the well-known measures, such as straw bales and solar panels, Eco House describes the many newer options available, providing photographs and illustrations as well as a directory of manufacturers. These include thermal and acoustic bricks, living walls, vegetable-fiber insulation and solar-sourced indoor lighting.This is a fascinating volume packed with descriptive photographs and the most current expert information. Builders, contractors, designers and home owners will find it inspiring and practical.
     

Before you decide to start a project to change the way your home looks, decide what the budget you will follow. Consider the cost of materials, tools, and labor.  The size of your home remodeling project will depending upon the amount of money you have to spend.

Using a remodeling professional

Before you hire a remodeling professional:

Review contract closely

Agree on days & hours when work will be conducted

Decide where workers will park, if they can use radios, where they clean up

Create a space for workers tools

Plan to observe, but don't slow workers down

(more tips)

Whether you spend a few hundred dollars on paint, or several thousands of dollars to tear down walls and create new rooms, similar steps need to be taken. After you have decided on the amount of money in your budget, next you have to decide whether you will hire a contractor to do the work, or do it yourself.

Timing is another consideration. How long will the remodeling project take? Do you need to move out of your home while the project is being completed? Can the remodeling project be completed before a family reunion for your annual Thanksgiving dinner?

Designs for your remodeling project can cost even more money than the materials used.
Using a professional architect to design your remodeling project can add time to the completion of the project. However, it can also greatly increase the style and final outcome of the remodeling project. As part of the design work, don't forget to check for needed licenses and permits. 

Once the budget and design are completed, needed materials must be selected and bought. This step of the home remodeling project can extend the time needed to complete the project. However, time spent on purchasing the "right" materials will help ensure that the final results are satisfying.

To survive a remodeling project you will need planning and patience.  But the result can improve the efficiency of your home, customize it to your lifestyle, or add thousands of dollars to its resale.  Now is the time to consider your next remodeling project.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff