See the Possibilities, Make a Positive Difference 503-632-8801 diane@dp-design.com

Remodeling A 1970s Home For Special Needs

A family of six lived in a 1970s home that needed major remodeling, Here are the challenges and solutions that would transform the home totally:

Challenges and Solutions

#1: The youngest son has muscular dystrophy and cannot get to the large basement playroom without being carried by the father.

A residential elevator would allow the son to travel easily to and from the main floor to the basement. The best location for the elevator shaft was at the rear of the home, with entries to the elevator in the living room and the play room.

#2: The front had an uninviting stone wall that hid the entry door.

Removing the wall and changing the front of the house would make the home more inviting for guests.

#3: The existing kitchen was too small, especially for entertaining.

The kitchen would be moved to the existing family room, so the existing kitchen could become the dining room, allowing the homeowners to entertain more frequently.

#4: The existing master suite was typical for a 1970s home, with a small shower and a one-person lavatory. Closets were small, with limited storage. The only linen storage was a small closet in the main hallway.

An addition solved all of the problems. The master bedroom is bigger, and there are two large closets with lots of storage. The new bathroom has a two-person shower, a separate toilet room, and large separate lavatories. There’s also a 6-foot wide linen closet.

BONUS: The addition also created a great bedroom for the oldest daughter in the basement area that gave her the privacy she needed; it has a wonderful view of the garden.

#5: The youngest son’s bedroom and the guest bathroom needed to be remodeled to be accessible. The bathroom also needed to look nice for guests.

Transforming a 30” door into a 36” door required borrowing space from the existing small linen closet. The bathroom remodel became part of the master suite addition, making room for a 5-foot wheelchair turnaround, and easy access to the tub/shower and the toilet.

*DESIGN TIP: A “handicap” bathroom doesn’t need to look or feel like a hospital! There are many beautiful products available that blend with a home’s style and the family’s preferences.

The Design And Value Engineering

I worked with the family for about three months to develop the preliminary plans and prepare virtual-reality renderings to show them what their remodeled home could look like. They loved it! Before we got involved with choosing products, I recommended a contractor who could provide a detailed estimate. We call this “value engineering.” This would help the couple know what their investment would be. Estimates this early in the process helps homeowners make important decisions about the scope of their project before they get too excited about their project.

The preliminary estimate, with allowances for products and finishes, approached $500,000. Talking with the couple honestly, we all agreed that if they remodeled this home, it would most likely be their final home.  The reason: they wouldn’t be able to get any return of their investment when comparing their home to neighboring properties. They admitted that it was important to go through the initial process like we did, although it involved an investment of about $3,000. But it helped them make the important decision to look for a home that had all of the amenities they needed and wanted. Fortunately, they found a new home in a neighboring community that had everything, including a residential elevator! Their investment in the new home was more than their total investment of the existing remodeled home would have been.  But considering the disruption of their lives during a major remodel, they decided it was worth selling their home and moving to the new home.

A Special Bonus For The Homeowners

What we didn’t realize was that the proposed plans and virtual-reality renderings that I had put into a binder for them would help to sell their home in three days for the full asking price! This was confirmation that it’s hard for most people to visualize the possibilities and see past the existing reality. I’m so grateful to have a career, where my ability to see the possibilities helps people to move forward.

Design Tips From This Project

It’s best to get a contractor involved early in the process, to provide value engineering for the project, and verify that what you want is within your budget. Most contractors charge a fee for this service, but many apply all or part of the fee towards construction of your project. There will be tradeoffs involved, but tit’s important for you to:

* Establish a realistic, reasonable budget.
* Make informed decisions about the scope of your project and all products.
* Be flexible, and be open to the possibilities.

 If you’re thinking about remodeling your home. if your family has special needs,  but you’re confused about the possibilities, call me today! With virtual-reality renderings, I can show you what your home can look like!

Remodeling Budget Discussions Are Difficult For Everyone

A Remodeling Budget Can Be Hard To Determine

Set your remodeling budget before you begin construction

Your remodeling budget will allow you to do everything you want, or it will limit you and require you to make serious tradeoffs. Every remodeling project is different, although there may be similarities. If you’ve never remodeled a home before, you may feel overwhelmed and fearful of making expensive mistakes. Here are some tips to help you get from where you are now to understanding and setting a realistic remodeling budget. (more…)

Bathroom Investment Is As Individual As Your Fingerprint

Bathroom Investment in Remodeling: How to Save MoneyYour bathroom investment is as unique as your fingerprint

Bathroom investment in remodeling is more expensive, per square foot, than kitchen remodeling! According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report for Portland, Oregon, the range of bathroom investments for remodeling is $18,560 – $58,944, averaging $560/square foot (low = $530/square foot; high = $590/square foot).

The range of investments for kitchen remodeling is $20,808 (minor remodel), $104 /sq.ft. – $122,359 (major upscale remodel), $612/sq ft. What “ups the ante” for your

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LED Lighting = $avings!

LED Lighting $aves Our Environment While $aving You Money!LEDs save our environment, provide great lighting, and save you money!

LED lighting technology was in its infancy ten years ago. My, how we’ve come a long way — and the future looks even brighter!

In 2005, LED lighting was available, but there were limitations:

  • Not dimmable
  • Color was a cool blue-white

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Bathroom Plumbing Can Have Hidden “Gotcha’s!”

Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures Are Designed To Save Water, BUT . . .Bathroom plumbing fixtures can save water, but some are water hogs.

. . . some bathroom plumbing fixtures may require a larger water heater, or an auxiliary on-demand water heater. This can seriously affect your investment in a bathroom remodeling project, adding as much as $4,000 to your investment. And it can affect your utility bills. The bathroom plumbing fixture that’s a major influencer of hot water needs is a large tub, whether it’s a hydrotherapy whirlpool, an air bath, or simply a soaking tub. A generous two-person tub that’s 48″ x 72″ x 24″ requires 100 gallons or more, depending on how full you want it to be. (more…)

Remodeling Reality Shows Can Be Misleading!

Have Remodeling Reality Shows Got You Frustrated Or Angry?

Remodeling reality shows can be misleading

Remodeling reality shows can be fun, inspiring — and frustrating!

 

Misinformation Is Rampant!

Remodeling reality shows are still popular, despite the bad press they’ve received.  I don’t know about how you feel, but it frustrates the heck out of me, because these programs spread misinformation to Homeowners. There’s a glut of home remodeling shows on several channels. Although they are fun to watch, they should be viewed as entertainment and not as serious “How-To” guidelines. There are several categories of misinformation that get my blood boiling:

•  The time it takes to do a project
•  Overall cost of the project — what consumers would pay for something similar
•  Realistic cost of labor and materials — how much the Homeowners actually paid
•  You’ll save a lot of money if you do the work yourself!

The Time It Takes To Do A Project

The audience has no way of knowing how much of  the actual filmed project ended up on the editing room floor. This can cause serious problems for D-I-Yers and remodeling consumers who think that a bathroom can be remodeled in a week or less. A standard 5×8 bathroom remodeling project can take four to six weeks (or more), from demolition to completion. And the time frame they tell you doesn’t include the time required to make decisions or get permits before construction starts!

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