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Condo Owners: Read This Before You Remodel!

Congratulations on being a condo owner. Your king of your condo castle.
Until you try to remodel it.

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Condo Home Owner Associations have control over the types of alterations that can be made and the materials that can be used. If you don’t follow their rules, you could be forced to undo the work. Or worse.

As an owner of a condo, your own 2 types of property.

  • Property that you own, it’s in your name and you’re responsible it’s maintenance. In a condo that includes, the flooring, sheet-rock, fixtures and your appliance.
  • The other property that you own are called common elements and include walls, wiring, plumbing, front doors, windows, floors, and ceilings. But your property is within the confines of a condo corporation, and so, they too, have a certain responsibilities and say over what happens in, around and within your condominium.

As a condo owner, you have to walk a fine line of what you want to do with your home and what you’re allowed to do.

Working with home owner associations or the property management companies they hire can seem to be slow and annoying. You may be tempted to just say “I own this condo and I’ll do what I want with it!” Please don’t be a condo owner who remodels a bathroom or kitchen only to have the HOA or condo owners association find out and demand an inspection.

They might find something that is against the rules and condo owners can be charged fines and forced the to stop their renovation project and be have to start over – beginning with paperwork.

Here are some things that you should consider before you get started:

  • Get a copy of your condo’s status certificate and read it thoroughly. The certificate has all the rules governing your condo, including whether special permissions are needed, what can be altered in the unit (your condo) and what the common elements are. Common elements are the parts of the condo taken care of by the condo corporation (often things like front doors, windows, balconies, plumping, electrical, even AC and heating units in some cases) and these most often have to be left as-is.

  • Ask questions in writing. Status certificates are often written by lawyers – so it’s not unusual for certain things to appear less than clear. If you have questions about what’s allowed or what you need permissions for, ask your condo owners association or management company…preferably by e-mail.

  • Consider a contractor like Renowned Renovation with condo experience. Why? Many have rules about when construction work can be done, and these times are often limited to 9 – 5 on weekdays only. These hours are designed to minimize the impact on your neighbors, If you have a job, maybe you can get the time off to complete your project during the day, but chances are, you’ll need to hire someone. Look for professionals who understand the constraints normally in place with condos. Ask for a list of condo owners we have worked with in Dallas. We can also provide references from condo owners association and condominium property managers.

  • Your condo management company or COA will require you put all your plans in writing and confirm them with the corporation or association. There are certain things – like knocking down a wall – that will absolutely require proper planning and permissions. Other things will depend on what’s in your status certificate. If you’re unsure, ask – and if you need to, share your plans in writing and get the formal approvals you need before you begin. Be sure to investigate whether mid-job inspections by the condo corporation are required. These are the things that a professional condo remodeling company like Renowned Renovation will handle for you.

We will make all the arrangements with on-site staff. We like to start off on the right foot by properly booking parking (if available), the freight elevator for materials (if available) and giving your condo’s security, doormen or other staff a heads up on who is going to be coming and going from your unit. If your renovation involves access to the building’s main electrical or plumbing system, we make all those arrangements ahead of time.

We make sure workers are in-the-know. Since you won’t be around to hover over the work, we make sure the people doing the renovations firmly understand the rules (like when quitting time is) and what to do in an emergency. For example, make sure the breaker for the fire alarm (don’t want to set off the whole building by accident!) is pointed out and the number for yourself and security in the building are provided.

We act in your place to be a good neighbor. You don’t need your neighbors’ permission to do approved work in your condo (nor should you try to seek it!), but we can all admit it’s annoying to live next to a construction zone. When your project is wrapping up, we can drop off cards to your neighbors thanking them for their patience. If you’re smart you might have us do this before the remodeling project begins … accompanied with the gift of ear plugs.

How to Hire the Best Remodeling Company in Dallas

How to Hire Best Dallas Remodeling Company

 

If you live in Dallas and intend to remodel your home in the near future, it’s in your best interest to hire the best Dallas remodeling company you can. Hiring a remodeling contractor is like hiring a doctor for your house. You want the most experienced. The original builder is long gone and what is behind the sheet rock is really an unknown. As a homeowner you need a team of professionals who understands the local Dallas area, how the local homes and condos were originally built and knows how to deal with any remodeling issues that can and do occur. 

When you hire the best and brightest in the industry, you all but guarantee that everything goes as smooth as possible during renovations. Otherwise you’ll feel upset and cheated if your newly remodeled home doesn’t look as beautiful as expected or the unexpected change orders drive up the cost.

Hiring the best company to remodel your Dallas home isn’t going to be the easiest thing to accomplish if you don’t know what to look for.

To help you make the perfect choice, we’d like to share our seven step verification process. If you follow these steps as we lay them out to you today, you’ll have no problem finding the best Dallas home remodeling company that money can buy.

  1. Visit the Local Dallas Remodeling Company’s Website
    Before you begin calling companies to provide an appraisal, it’s best to start out on the web instead.Why begin the search online?Well, it’s easy to get a feel for the company by looking at their website. You can find out about pricing, availability, and you can read testimonials and look at pictures of previous job sites.This information is invaluable during the elimination process. Just by the website alone, you’ll be able to eliminate potential remodeling companies if you aren’t satisfied with the look and feel of their site. Look for personal bio’s and research who is going to be in your home.
  1. Make Sure Each Local Dallas Remodeling Company Has a Physical Office
    This may seem like a strange request, but it actually makes a lot of sense after we explain it.Fly-by-night Dallas remodeling companies spring up from time to time. In an effort to prevent getting burned by an illegitimate business, we tell our readers to make sure the companies they consider have an actual physical address.Take some time to stop by their location and verify that it’s real. You don’t necessarily have to walk in if you don’t want to, but make sure the actual office does exist.
  1. Read Online Reviews for Local Dallas Remodeling Companies
    The easiest way learn valuable information about a company is to read online reviews from previous customers. First, look them up on web. A general search will turn up a lot if they are established. The website should also showcase detailed testimonials with photos of the project; before, during, and after the renovation.And check out their reviews while you are there. If you read about too many negative remarks or complaints, you’ll know that this isn’t the best company to remodel your home.Search each Dallas remodeling company in Google and see what pops up. If there are negative reviews, read them and find out where the company went wrong. And if there are positive reviews, read them as well and find out why this previous customer was so happy with their service.
  1. Ask for References to Call. And then Call Them.
    Don’t just hire any Dallas remodeling company without calling references first. You might end up finding out the hard way that the company you hired wasn’t as good as they seemed.Instead, call the references that they provide you. Ask them about their experience with the remodeling company.Find out if they installed quality bathroom and kitchen equipment. Ask the previous customer if they were happy with the overall experience.If your phone calls to references are positive, keep this remodeling company in mind because they sound like a keeper.
  1. Ask to Visit a Job Site Near You
    The best way to see a remodeling company action is to visit them at a job site.During this visit, pay close attention to everything that they do. Make sure you are 100% satisfied with their work before ever hiring them.
  1. Do They Have an App for Homeowners to Monitor Their Projects?
    At this point, many Dallas companies are providing homeowners with an app or project management software that allows clients to monitor the remodeling project.An app is an amazing tool because it lets you check in on the job’s progression from wherever you are. If you’re at work and curious about the status of your home, you can log on to the app and find out what the remodeling company is currently working on and who is currently on your project.
  1. Do They Offer a Warranty?
    Every remodeling company worth its weight in gold is ready and willing to offer their customers a warranty.In this warranty, the company will guarantee their work. And if you are unhappy with their work for any reason, they will fix defects in workmanship for free.The longer the warranty, the better off you’ll be. On average, you should expect the remodeling company’s warranty to last for at least a year.

Conclusion

Do you recognize the value of our seven step verification process? If you use this process while choosing your next Dallas remodeling company, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect solution to meet your needs.

Do yourself a huge favor and give this verification process a try sooner rather than later. Or just call us first because when it comes to hiring in the best remodeling contractor in Dallas—we wrote the book. Or at least we listened to our clients when they referred us to their friends and then we wrote the book.

Any Questions? Just Call (972) 232-7122.

Make the Most of Your Kitchen Storage Space

Add Kitchen Storage Space when Remodeling

Add Kitchen Storage Space when Remodeling

The kitchen is often considered the most important room in the home, especially around the holidays. It’s where the family meets, eats and even entertains. But when your kitchen counters are covered with appliances, spices and utensils, working or entertaining comfortably can be a tall order. Use these five ideas to better organize kitchen storage space.

1. Creative Cabinetry — Underutilized spaces, such as counter ends and corners, are ideal for adding storage. Everyone knows about Lazy Susans, but what about corner or curved drawers?

2. Spice Storage — Whether you show them off or tuck them away in a drawer, there are better ways to store spices than sitting them on the kitchen counter. Stick them to the refrigerator using magnets or make your own spice rack out of a wooden pallet.

3. Wall Hangings — While many households limit pegboard use to the garage, Julia Child, the undisputed queen of the kitchen, used them for storing cooking utensils. Pegboards have the advantage of being inexpensive as well as trendy.

4. Knife Placement — The traditional wooden block keeps your knives contained, but it also takes up valuable counter space. Consider adding a magnetic strip to hold your knives or installing a slim knife drawer under your cabinets.

5. Dish Display — If you found that perfect ceramic platter while on vacation or you have an expensive set of china from the wedding that you rarely use, don’t waste cabinet space hiding them away. Instead, add display shelves and show off those conversation pieces.

If you need help designing your new kitchen give us call. We are a full service interior remodeling and renovation company that specializes in residential kitchens and bathrooms.

Demystifying the Cost of a Luxury Bathroom Remodel

Looking to remodel your bathroom? According to HomeAdvisor.com, you can expect to spend between anywhere between $13,000 and $20,000 on a luxury bathroom remodel. Where does that money go? Is it necessary to do it all at once? With these questions in mind, we’ve demystified the cost of a luxury bathroom remodel based on common luxury bathroom remodeling projects.

Sink

Installing a new sink could cost anywhere from $190 on the low end to $6,500 on the high end. Luxury sinks, however, don’t always come with a four-figure price tag. Countertop sinks, for example, start at just a few hundred dollars.

Bathroom Cabinetry

Installing new bathroom cabinets can take a huge bite out of any bathroom remodeling budget with prices running anywhere from $1,200 to $13,000. Refinishing your existing cabinets could give your bathroom a luxury look but at a fraction of the cost.

Luxury Bathtubs

According to BadeloftUSA.com, modern freestanding bathtub can redefine your existing bathroom, giving it both a focal point and transforming the room into a luxurious and irresistible retreat. HomeAdvisor.com estimates the price range for a new bathtub installation to be from $400 to $8,000. Freestanding tubs fall somewhere in the middle, yet they’re about as luxurious a choice as you can make.

Bathroom Flooring

Here’s another area where prices fluctuate dramatically. HomeAdvisor puts the range between $800 to $7,000. No matter which materials you choose, flooring is a big job and is often best done as part of a larger bathroom remodeling project.

Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

Upgrading your bathroom lighting fixtures can cost anywhere from $120 to $4,000 or more. This type of project can be completed relatively quickly by competent doit-yourselfers or with the help of a handyman or electrician.

Other Quick Fixes

New bathroom faucets, bathtub fillers, or even a fresh coat of paint are other quick fixes that could add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. Costs, of course, will vary based on the choices you make.

Remodeling a bathroom is not an all-or-nothing proposition. As the list above shows, it is possible to break bathroom remodeling projects down into smaller individual projects. You don’t necessarily need to wait to get started on creating the luxury bathroom you’ve always dreamed of. Splurging on even one item, such as a freestanding bathtub, could be all it takes to transform your bathroom into one of luxury and relaxation.

The Six Types of Kitchen Layouts

Planning for Kitchen Remodeling?

Having trouble choosing the right kitchen layouts for your new home?Continue reading

Kitchen Update – Dallas Mid Rise Condo

The new owners of this 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Condo in The Terrace Condominiums , a luxury mid rise condominium building in Victory Park located at 2323 Houston St, which exemplifies Dallas luxury and style contacted Renowned Renovation to update their Kitchen.

 

We worked with the original designer and he provided us the specs for the flooring, paint colors, silestone counter-tops, backs-plash, and lighting as you can see below.

 

Do You Need Replacement Windows?

Replacement windows may not be your top priority when it comes to home improvements or remodeling your home, but getting your windows replaced is at times a need that you cannot ignore. Whether you’ve bought an ancient home the windows of which need replacement, or your windows have finally given in to the sleet and rain after completing their lifetime, there are instances where replacing your old windows is the only option for you.Continue reading

Dallas Kitchen Face-Lift: Lights Up Older Kitchen

A Kitchen face lift might be best option of the three different ways you can bring new life into your home’s kitchen. You can give a kitchen a face-lift, renovation or a complete remodel. The difference between the three is time and money. A face-lift for your kitchen normally involve stalling new counter-tops and updating your cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or refinishing them to bring back the original luster.

Contact us for a free estimate today for a kitchen face-lift, a kitchen renovation and/or a full kitchen remodel. Renowned renovation is here to help you make the right decision. Will help your dreams come true for your kitchen!

Here are three pictures of a Dallas Texas kitchen that we recently gave a face-lift to.

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As you can see the cabinet’s went from Dark Wood to a much more modern light color. New counter tops were installed, replacing the dark counter tops you see in the picture.

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The Dallas homeowner wanted to keep all of the existing appliances sinks and faucets.

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Home Improvement Return on Investment

So you have your wish list ready for your home renovation?

Hold on!Continue reading

Need a Mortgage Loan for Dallas Fixer-Upper: Consider FHA 203k Loans

What Are the Pros and Cons of  FHA 203k Loans?

Renowned Renovations is a FHA 203k approved Remodeling Company, which is required for a FHA 203k loan.

The main benefit of FHA 203k loans is that they give you the ability to buy a home in need of repairs that you might not otherwise have been able to afford to buy. Plus, the down payment requirements are minimal, and often you get decent interest rates (note that the interest rates and discount points will vary by 203k lender, so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a good deal on the loan).

The downsides are that not all properties qualify, there are limits on the funding you can get and applying for the loan isn’t easy. For example, to apply for the loan you may need to hire an independent consultant to prepare the exhibits required (to get the loan, you have to provide a detailed proposal of the work you want to do and cost estimates for each item). Get more information on 203k loans.

About 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance

Limited 203(k) Mortgage

FHA’s Limited 203(k) program permits homebuyers and homeowners to finance up to $35,000 into their mortgage to repair, improve, or upgrade their home. Homebuyers and homeowners can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or an FHA appraiser. Homeowners can make property repairs, improvements, or prepare their home for sale.  Homebuyers can make their new home move-in ready by remodeling the kitchen, painting the interior or purchasing new carpet.

203(k) Mortgage

The Section 203(k) program is FHA’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single-family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization, as well as to expand homeownership opportunities.

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