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Help us sequence our remodel! We can't agree on how to attack our project.?

Help us sequence our remodel! We can't agree on how to attack our project.

There is an ongoing (sometimes frustrating) discussion in our house. Do we remodel the downstairs space (kitchen, family room, dining area, guest bath, and entry) in pieces, or as one giant project. Here is a rundown on what we want to do:

-Change the shape of the fireplace and resurface

-Wire the wall above the fireplace for a TV

-Add a ceiling fan to the family room (NOT because they're beautiful, we live in SoCal and we rely on the AC a lot….trying to be more energy efficient)

-Porcelain tile the entire space

-New base boards everywhere

-New fixtures in the bath

-Replace/resurface the kitchen cabinets

-New kitchen countertops

-Add additional kitchen cabinets (lower)

-Remove some kitchen cabinets (upper)

-Remove the drop ceiling in the kitchen, so the ceiling is all the same height in the space

-Add can lights in the new kitchen ceiling

-New furniture in the living room

-New paint

We are NOT doing any of the work ourselves. Total space: Aprox 400 sqft.

The debate is: Do we do projects as the timing / funding comes available, or do we wait until we have the funds and time to do everything in rapid sequence. My husband would like to do the fireplace, TV, bathroom and tile, then wait until we have the money to tackle the kitchen. I would prefer to hold off all work until we can do everything. It will take us 18-24 months to have all the money available. We could do the fireplace, tile, and bathroom now, but not have the money for the new furniture.

Your thoughts?

Most of the time when projects are separated into phases costs are higher as well as the time to complete the project(s) in entirety. Trade contractors coming in to do their portion of the job such as demolition, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc. only have to treat the project as one rather than separate multiple projects if done at different times. This means more time for costing the job(s), additional set-up and staging times, multiple material gathering/ordering, additional and duplicate dust and demolition protection for the other parts of the home, and more trips to the project(s) since it is being done in stages. These are all substantially reduced in time and effort if done at one time. Sometimes that is the only way it can be done because of financing available but it almost in all cases is monetarily better to do it as one project even if it means waiting and saving.

Since it is better to do it as a single project I would recommend it done in the following progression:

1. Provide dust and demolition protection for associated areas of the home where the work is being done as well as where the demolition will be transported to the outside.

2. Do all the demolition – the fireplace as necessary; the kitchen counter tops and back splash; the kitchen cabinets as needed; the dropped kitchen ceiling; the bathroom areas needed wherever fixtures are being replaced; baseboards; and finally the old flooring

3. Carpenters in for altering the fireplace as required and the kitchen ceiling mended as needed for proper recovering with drywall

4. Plumber in for replacing fixtures within walls of bathroom and any preparation plumbing required for new faucet and fixture going into new counter tops. (Rough Plumbing)

5. Electrician in for wiring needed for TV above fireplace (low voltage such as cable as well as high voltage for power outlet); ceiling fan wiring in family room with new switching; and new lighting in kitchen with new switching. (Rough Electrical)

6. Drywall installer and finisher in for fireplace; kitchen; bathroom; and any place that was removed for needed new wiring, and new fixtures. Install; tape; and texture to match existing and/or prepare for new tile/finishes at fireplace and kitchen

7. Carpenters/Mill-worker in for cabinetry in kitchen and new sub tops for new counter tops

8. Tile contractor, stone mason, and/or counter top installers in for fireplace redo, kitchen counter tops and back splash; and any work needing to be done/repaired in the bathrooms from the new fixtures

9. Painter in for priming and painting new drywall still exposed at fireplace, ceiling in kitchen, any openings repaired resulting from the electrician or plumber, and all baseboards that will be installed at a later date. Painter responsible for protection of all new surfaces he is working around.

10. Plumber back in to trim out new fixtures in bathroom and kitchen. (Finish plumbing)

11. Electrician back in to trim out new fixtures at fireplace, family room, and kitchen. (Finish electrical)

12. Flooring contractor in to put down new flooring and new baseboards which were previously painted by painter

13. Painter back in to do any necessary touch-ups at all involved areas and newly installed baseboards. This being very minor and accomplished with very little required additional time and material.

14. Protection materials for rest of house removed and final clean-up of work areas, access and egress areas for the work and associated areas.

15. Install new furniture in living room. This could be done anytime after the project is finished and would have no effect on savings involved if all done as part of the entire project unless you could secure a discount from a vendor that could also be sell you your lighting and possibly plumbing fixtures with your furniture.

This would be a typical sequencing of a project that you are planning if done at one time. If done separately you could incur an additional overall cost ranging from 10% to 25%.

Good luck.

General Contractor working in SoCal for 35 years.

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