The best way to prepare for a
remodel project is to create a construction plan. Having a complete
construction plan enables you to view your entire project at a glance. It
helps you identify potential problems, provides sense of the time involved,
and establishes a logical order of steps. Without a construction plan, its
easy to make costly mistakes, such as closing up a wall with wallboard
before the rough-ins ha been inspected.
The general steps shown here follow a typical construction sequence. Your
plan may differ at several points, hut thinking through each of these steps
will help you create a complete schedule.
1. CONTACT THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT
To avoid any unpleasant—and expensive—surprises, discuss you project with a
building official. Find out about the building codes in your area and what
you’ll need to obtain the applicable permits. Explain how much of the work
you plan to do yourself. In some states, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work
must he done by licensed professionals. Also determine what types of
drawings you’ll need to get permits and whether you’ll need engineer’s
drawings and calculations.
2. CREATE YOUR DRAWINGS
Make your floor plans and elevation drawings. This step also Involves most
of the design work for your project; you may want to get help from a
professional for this phase.
3. GET THE PERMITS
Have your final plans reviewed by the building inspector, and make any
necessary adjustments required to obtain all of the permits for your
project. This is also the time to schedule inspections. Find out what work
must he inspected and when to call for inspections.
4. HIRE CONTRACTORS
If you’re getting help with your project, it’s best to find and hire the
contractors early in the process, as their schedules will affect yours. It
may be necessary for some contractors to obtain their own work permits from
the building department. To avoid problems. make sure all of the contractors
know exactly what work they are being hired to do and what work you will be
doing yourself. Always check contractors’ references and make sure any
contractors are licensed and insured before hiring them. ‘l’his is also the
time to order materials and arrange for delivery.
5. COMPLETE THE FRAMING AND MAJOR MECHANICAL CHANGES
Begin the construction work with any major structural or mechanical changes.
Move mechanical elements and reroute major service lines. Complete any
rough-ins that must happen before the framing goes up, such as adding ducts,
installing under-floor drains, or replacing old plumbing. Complete the new
framing. Build the rough openings for ‘ windows and doors, and install the
6. COMPLETE THE ROUGH-INS
Bun drain, waste, and vent (DWV), water, and gas supply lines. Install
electrical boxes, and run the wiring. Complete the HVAC rough-ins. Jot down
measurements of pipes and locations of wiring, for future reference, Have
the building inspector approve your work before you close up the walls,
Install any fixtures that go in during the rough-in stage (others will come
after the wall surfaces are installed).
7. FINISH THE WALLS AND CEILINGS
After your work has passed inspection, insulate the walls, ceilings, and
pipes. Install fiberglass insulation used as fire blocking. Make sure
protector plates for pipes and wires running through framing are in place.
Add vapor barriers as required by local code.
Make sure everything is in place before you cover up the framing, then
finish the walls and ceilings. If you’re installing wallboard, do the
ceilings first, then the walls. Tape and finish the wallboard. Install other
finish treatments. Texture, prime, and paint the wallboard when it’s
convenient. If you are installing a suspended ceiling, do so after you
finish the walls,
8. ADD THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Install doors, moldings, woodwork, cabinets, and built-in shelving, and lay
the floor coverings. The best order for these tasks will depend on the
materials you’re using and the desired decorative effects.
Install any new plumbing fixtures you have chosen for bathrooms, and
complete the drain and supply hookups. Make electrical connections, and
install all fixtures, devices, and appliances. Get a final inspection from
the building inspector.