What Should Go on Your Home Renovation Checklist?
Renovating your home gives you a unique opportunity to bring your home “back to life.” Though many people may equate home renovation with adding a new coat of paint to the kitchen or purchasing a new sectional for your living room, home renovations can be much more radical and completely change the aesthetics of your home, the healthfulness of your household, the accumulated environmental footprint of your house, and the way you inhabit your space.
No sacred guidebook or set of rules governs how to renovate your home. Rather, it is important to start by setting forth your goals and ambitions for your home renovation. Defining your personal goals, objectives, and ambitions for improving your home is the best starting point for any major home renovation.
For example, if you are worried about the chemical residues in your home, perhaps your whole house renovation should focus on creating different strategies to deliver the purest indoor air quality with a minimum of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you want to find realistic ways to reduce your carbon or environmental footprint, maybe your home renovation will focus on installing renewable energies, investing in energy efficiency upgrades, or achieving net zero energy status. Or maybe you simply want a different layout for your home and the ability to add some extra square footage to incorporate those luxury rooms you always dreamed of having in your home.
With Conrado Home Builders, we have decades of experience in helping homeowners completely transform their existing homes through our luxury remodeling services. When you hire us, you will get a company with 35 years of experience in building the best custom homes in the Bay area. We also offer our clients the ability to completely remodel their current homes.
Whether the project is a whole house renovation transforming a small, nondescript bungalow into a first-class 5,500 sq. ft. craftsman jewel-box or transforming a 1950’s energy hog Mediterranean-style home into a net zero, passive structure, our remodeling teams bring hundreds of years of collective experience to every remodeling project.
Below, we briefly outline three different “directions” that your whole house remodel may take. Though every whole house renovation or luxury remodel will be different, we then offer a few ideas for a checklist that could help you direct your home renovation in that direction.
Health-Based Whole Home Renovations
Incredibly, the air inside our homes is often significantly more polluted than the air outside. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentrations of some common air pollutants may be 2 to 5 times higher inside our home than typical outdoor concentrations. Because we spend around 90 percent of our time indoors (and most of that in our homes), finding ways to improve our indoor air quality is one of the best ways to improve our overall health.
Unhealthy and polluted indoor air quality can have several different causes. In some cases, airtight building envelopes that do not incorporate adequate ventilation or air exchange can lead to stale, contaminated air becoming prevalent in the home. Furthermore, in the past decades, there has been a rising tide of synthetic building materials making their way into the home. Even though most homes have gotten rid of the asbestos insulation and lead-based paint, hundreds of different toxic chemicals from your building materials may be off-gassing into your home.
For homeowners who want healthier homes, some home renovation items you should put on your checklist should include:
- Update your air filtration and ventilation systems: One of the most straightforward ways to improve your indoor air quality is by installing the highest quality and latest technology mechanical ventilation systems. Here at Conrado Home Builders, we can help you determine if an ERV or HRV mechanical ventilation system is right for you.
- Get rid of building products that may be off-gassing VOCs into your home: The EPA states that “unless a lead-based paint inspection shows otherwise, you should treat paint in homes built before 1978 as if it contains lead.” Besides lead-based paint, older homes are generally filled with building products loaded with toxic chemicals. When you hire us for your home renovation or luxury remodel, our teams will carefully and skillfully remove old, dangerous products when we deconstruct the home we renovate.
- Replace old building components with new, VOC-free, and healthy alternatives: Fortunately, homeowners today have a wealth of options regarding healthier building materials that do not compromise indoor air quality. With Conrado Home Builders, you can rest assured that we will only use the highest-quality, sustainable building materials that will not off-gas chemicals into your home. You get a safe home in which you and your family live, with indoor air quality that you can trust will not make anyone sick. For example, we always recommend using VOC-free paint, formaldehyde-free plywood, adhesives, sealers, and non-toxic insulation. All of these products go a long way in keeping your home’s air healthy to breathe.
Environmental-Based Home Renovations
For homeowners who want to find ways to lower their carbon footprint, a luxury remodel is also a great way to drastically decrease the amount of energy your home uses. Older homes are notable for being energy hogs. Many of the mechanical systems are outdated and energy inefficient, but the building techniques may not have focused on airtight and super-insulated building envelopes. Here at Conrado, we have a decades of experience in helping homeowners build near carbon zero custom homes. Suppose you want a home renovation that prioritizes lowering your energy usage and reducing your home’s environmental impact. In that case, some items on your checklist for a whole house renovation might include:
- Install renewable energy systems: With the cost of solar, and other residential renewable energies plummeting, it has never been easier (or more affordable) to install a renewable energy system that can meet all of your residential energy needs. We can help you determine the best renewable energy technologies for your home.
- Improve the thermal performance of your home: Re-building the home envelope to be super airtight and upgrading to high-efficiency insulation is the best way to drastically improve the thermal performance of your home.
- Upgrade to the most energy-efficient devices and systems: Getting rid of your energy-hog HVAC equipment, old incandescent lighting, and other high energy-consuming devices is another way to improve the sustainability of your home. Here at Conrado, we can help you find the latest techniques and smart home technologies designed to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Commit to using local building materials whenever possible: A whole house renovation is always going to require an enormous amount of building materials. In order to reduce the embodied energy footprint of that renovation, Conrado can help you find local building materials. Over years of being the leading custom home builders in the region, we have developed relationships with hundreds of providers for local building materials. From locally sourced stone to the best-salvaged wood, we can provide the highest quality materials sourced from the nearest place.
Livability-Based Home Renovations
Lastly, many people might simply want a home renovation that completely changes their home’s layout and floor plan. Tastes change with time, and what was considered “chic” and modish in the 1950s probably doesn’t cut it today. If you feel that your home is outdated and your floor plan is redundant and old-fashioned, some items on your renovation checklist might include:
- The incorporation of luxury rooms: Completely renovating your home gives you the unique opportunity to include unique luxury rooms that might not have been included in your home’s original floor plan. Wine cellars, walk-in closets, home spas, and home cinemas are just a few of the luxury spaces that you might want to include in your new home layout.
- Connection to outdoor living spaces: Today, many homeowners understandably want to take advantage of our friendly climate to incorporate outdoor living areas. With Conrado Home Builders, we can help you dream up, and build the best outdoor kitchens, living rooms, pools, tennis courts, and other exterior areas that connect perfectly to your home.
- Re-orientation of your home: Lastly, a whole house renovation may also give you the opportunity to better orient your home to take advantage of the natural elements. Opening up some large windows on the south-facing side of your home can improve passive solar heating in the winter, while strategic landscaping may also better shelter your home from the winds and rains.
Why Hire Conrado for your Whole Home Renovation?
When you contract Conrado Home Builders for your custom home build or luxury remodel, you will be getting years of accumulated experience and expertise in building and renovating the most legendary quality custom homes that money can buy. We pride ourselves on helping our clients turn their existing structures into the homes of their dreams.
We have decades of experience helping homeowners in Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, Woodside, and Atherton create near zero carbon neutral homes. Contact us today to find out how we can help you design and build the best home for you and your family.