Guide to Remodeling

Remodeling is all about fixing things. Whether it’s a floor plan, a kitchen, the number of bedrooms, or the amount of natural light in a home, if the building you’re going to add onto weren’t inadequate in some way, well then, you wouldn’t be there in the first place. In this collection of articles from Fine Homebuilding, we’ve given you a primer on what you need to know when planning a remodel.

Everything that goes into new construction goes into most remodels -- and then some. Along with all the new construction details, there are also concerns about tying into the old building. Systems such as electrical, plumbing, even foundations have to match up and work together.

The same thing goes for the architecture. We’ve all seen bad-looking additions or remodels where the new construction looks as out of place as eyeglasses on a cat. We included 10 project articles that will show you on a variety of house styles how it’s done right.

Controlling costs is another biggie in remodeling. Due to the uncertainty about what might be behind the enclosed walls, figuring accurate estimates for remodels can be tougher than for new construction. To that end, this collection includes sound advice from San Francisco architect John McLean.

And for the final dirt on the topic, we’ve included lots of information about controlling the dust and debris that are a big part of every remodel. Keeping a project neat and clean goes a long way toward keeping your client happy because if that relationship gets broken, it might be impossible to fix.

Essentials

Working With Old Wiring Online Membership Required
Careful testing is your hedge against frayed insulation, faulty splices and missing ground wires
Protecting A House During Construction
A scratched door, a chipped tub, or a broken window can sour a project in a heartbeat
How Much Will it Cost?
An architect's reality checklist helps you to project the true costs of a new home or remodel before it gets to the drawing board
Wiring a Master Suite Addition

Adding On

Wiring a Master Suite Addition Online Membership Required
Adding circuits for a new bedroom and bath offers lessons in rough electrical work and integrating new and old wiring

Remodel PlumbingOnline Membership Required
How to connect the new pipes to the old ones

Working With Old WiringOnline Membership Required
Careful testing is your hedge against frayed insulation, faulty splices and missing ground wires

PEX Pipe: Is Copper On the Way Out?Online Membership Required
Cross-linked polyethylene tubing is cheaper to buy, is faster to install, and won't corrode or explode

An Addition FoundationOnline Membership Required
Grafting the right foundation onto a house that's neither square nor level

A Home for the Next 50 Years

Projects

A Home for the Next 50 Years
Updated Arts & Crafts detailing enhances a home remodeled for baby boomers who plan to stay

From Ranch House to CottageOnline Membership Required
In Palo Alto, a remodeled house strives for the architectural sweet spot between frugal and unaffordable

Relocating a Bungalow KitchenOnline Membership Required
Expanding the kitchen into a neglected porch fills it with daylight and a view of the private, wooded backyard

Lake Cottage OverhaulOnline Membership Required
This lakeside remodel developed a new form within the same footprint

Make the Most of a Small AdditionOnline Membership Required
A first-floor master suite maintains the scale of the house and creates a courtyard out back

Ranch Makeover, Bungalow Style
Eight signature design elements transform a brick ranch

Big Gable Hides a Boring RanchOnline Membership Required
A change in a ranch's ridgeline transforms a suburban house without disturbing the neighborhood

A Hillside Cabin’s Unlikely AdditionOnline Membership Required
A three-story tower solves steep-site problems by bringing the house to the cars

Home RemediesOnline Membership Required
A batch of small changes revitalizes a tired floor plan, and a 400-sq.-ft. addition crowns the house with a graceful new roof

Adding a Second StoryOnline Membership Required
You can save time and avoid weather worries by building the new roof before tearing off the old one

How Much Will My Kitchen Cost?

Controlling Costs

How Much Will My Kitchen Cost? Online Membership Required
Use an architect's reality checklist to calculate approximate remodeling costs before any design work starts

How Much Will it Cost?
An architect's reality checklist helps you to project the true costs of a new home or remodel before it gets to the drawing board

Dust Control

Dust and Debris

Dust Control Online Membership Required
Nobody will notice your flawless miters if the home is covered in filth. Here's how to clear the air and contain the mess.

Keep a Dormer Addition Clean and DryOnline Membership Required
A well-planned construction sequence contains the debris and keeps the rain out of the house

Protecting A House During Construction
A scratched door, a chipped tub, or a broken window can sour a project in a heartbeat

Q & A: Quick and not-so-dirty dust containment

Tip: Filter fans