remodeling

TIPS FOR REMODELING A FIXER-UPPER

Remodeling a fixer-upper looks fast and easy on the popular home improvement TV shows, but renovating a property in disrepair or in need of major updating is a significant undertaking. Buying and renovating a fixer-upper can, however, be a worthwhile project with some smart planning and preparation.

Build your fixer-upper team.

You may be impatient to get out there and start looking at properties right away, but an important first step is to put together a team of pros experienced in working with older homes. Having a general contractor, real estate agent, and home inspector on your side may come with a price, but the savings you may realize as a result of their guidance outweighs the costs. The contractor and inspector can steer you away from properties with problems you may not want to take on, while the real estate agent can advise you on the realistic value of a remodeled property based on local market trends and comparable homes in the neighborhood.

Take a close look at the basics.

A home may have a great location or very low price, but it’s what’s underneath that counts. These are the areas that need thorough inspection before you make an offer:

Foundation: Check for cracks and leaks in slabs. See if rain water is properly directed away from foundation walls and that soil slopes away from the house. If the home is off-grade, check that the house is level. Basements should be dry and without cracks.

Roof and siding: Look for roof leaks and missing shingles, and check the condition of flashing around the chimney. Siding should be inspected for loose boards, signs of water damage, or rot. Pay particular attention to siding if it appears to have been recently painted, which may have been done to cover up problems.

Electrical: Very old homes are likely to need repairs to or even a total replacement of electrical wiring. Ensure that there’s sufficient power in the system and that the current panel can handle any changes you have planned. Verifying the safety of the electrical system is first and foremost in any case.

Heating and cooling: Check the age of these systems and whether they are appropriately sized for the energy load of the home.

Plumbing: Checking for leaks is a given, but you’ll also want to check the water pressure at every point in the house. In very old homes, it’s imperative to check for the type of piping used.

Toxic materials: Asbestos is a known carcinogen — check for it in flooring, wall and ceiling plaster, and in pipe insulation. In homes built prior to 1978, the seller must give you an EPA-approved lead hazard abatement brochure according to federal law. Both of these issues can be costly to rectify.

Plan for success.

Before buying a fixer-upper, make sure you’re ready for the realities of the project.

Line up financing: Conventional loans may not be an option if the property doesn’t qualify for a certificate of occupancy, which proves that the home is habitable and is in compliance with local building codes. A fixed-rate mortgage also wouldn’t cover the costs of remodeling. Good options are Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loans and FHA 203(k) mortgages, the latter of which is designed to include repair costs.

Expect some chaos: If you’ll be occupying the property while it’s being remodeled, get ready to live in a construction zone. Be prepared for having certain parts of the house unusable for long periods of time and having to get creative about day-to-day tasks, such as cooking. If possible, think about renting or living somewhere else while the work is being done.

Leave room for error: Allow for at least some cost overruns on even the most well-planned remodeling projects. Have a contingency for unexpected repairs and prepare to be flexible on schedules when issues arise with unavailable materials or weather-related events that are out of everyone’s control.

Find a qualified contractor.

Remodeling a fixer-upper is challenging, but it’s also rewarding. You can keep the project running smoothly by working with an experienced, professional contractor.Every contractor in the Gi Construction network has been vetted to ensure that he or she is properly licensed and insured, and has the experience to do the job right.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

What our clients say about us

Excellent
Based on 64 reviews
Rob Ransom
Rob Ransom
30 January 2024
GI Construction - January 2024 I do not give 5 star ratings – As a process improvement professional, there is always room for improvement. 4 star is fabulous, but since this is an algorism I will deviate from my norm. In 2021 I had gone out to bid, only to find out that most construction and supply houses had prices that I found to be unacceptable. Products such as shower heads, faucets and cabinets were priced extremely high, they were also hard to get. So, we put this on hold and did smaller projects; outdoors, flooring, kitchen, etc. to show you we were getting introduced to construction projects. In October 2023, we went out to bid on renovating our 30-year-old, 2.5 bathrooms in Las Vegas. I reviewed many companies and found 3 that were reviewed well and had no issues with the board of contractors. After review of their costs and discussing how they would work the project, we decided on GI. They started the work when we had purchased all the materials that we needed to purchase, (shower heads, cabinets, basins, tile for the showers and floors, etc. They started their day at 7 am and worked to 3 PM. They take pride in the work and make sure it is done correctly. As an example, Jose (one of the tile guys) did the main bathroom shower and flooring. He worked his artistry in making it extremely beautiful. He would cut a piece for one of the benches, use it on top and take the other piece he just cut and place it in front, so it was a continuation. He did this on each of the benches and step over in the entrance. Just look closely at the main shower enclosure and you will see the quality. Problems yes! We were phasing in the project the main bathroom and ½ bath first, then the guest bathroom. After the main bathroom was completed, I turned on the hot water in the glass vessels we had picked out. I was waiting for the water in the shower to get warm. I turned around and saw the water was hot going into the vessel, so I turned it off – I thermal shocked the glass, it broke, fell to the floor, chipped the new tile and generally made things a mess! I called the team manager (Valentin) and told him what had happened, his response was “No problem - We’ll take care of it.” So, I reordered the glass vessels and got them re-installed. The tile I repaired with a chip kit I had used when we had redone the tile the prior year. The other issue we encountered was we lived in the home during the construction. Dust everywhere and constantly cleaning to keep the house livable. The bottom line to me is the quality of the people that are doing the work and their dedication to the customer’s complete satisfaction is one of the things that made this less arduous. The entire project took 7 weeks; 2 weeks delay due to our buying the wrong products and having to find replacement products. The GI team worked with us, guiding us to right suppliers and helping wherever they could. I will put pictures of GI Construction’s finished work and during the project. Hopefully you will be able to tell their quality. Just a side note: Valentin and his teams kept this project going Monday thru Friday. They don’t work on the weekends, but pulled a half day on Saturday a couple of times to meet my schedule. I can’t say enough of Valentin’s professionalism! The customer is always in the forefront of his mind, making them feel good, lowering their anxiety about the project.
Katherine Long
Katherine Long
20 December 2023
My experience with GI Construction was great. Construction Workers was very pleasant and timely.
kylan becho
kylan becho
14 November 2023
We reached out to GI Construction to do some work for our bathroom remodel and could not be happier with our experience. They were professional from start to finish, always on time, answered any questions I had throughout the project, and just did a great job overall. During our planning stage Isaac really took his time to ensure that the work they were doing was going to be both functional and practical. Both he and Valentin wanted to make sure that they were giving us the best possible product and went over every possible design to help us choose the best one for our needs. In a time where good, trustworthy contractors are hard to find, GI Construction sets a standard that should be held across the industry. Thank you GI Construction for all your work, it was worth every penny!
Rose Carter
Rose Carter
17 August 2023
We hired GI construction to take over a small bathroom remodel of a shower. The first contractor we hired did a horrible job, we lost money and had to terminate his services in the middle of tiling. Issac the owner and Valentin the project supervisor met with us and went over everything step by step giving us confidence that the nightmare construction would be turned around. So glad we chose GI construction, our walk in shower turned out beautifully! Long story short, don’t cheap out, go with a professional! My husband and I would use GI construction again. We love our new shower! Services performed: shower remodel
Jim O'Connor
Jim O'Connor
25 July 2023
We really wanted to have our master bathroom reconfigured to accommodate a nice walk-in shower and have an old jetted tub removed. After contacting several companies with little to undesirable responses we contacted GI Construction. Isaac responded to our house the very next day and observed what we envisioned. He was vey knowledgeable and forthright in his assessment of our project. We contracted with GI Construction and we couldn't have been happier with our choice. Valentin and Roberto came to the house to establish a plan for construction and a timeline. Roberto was a true craftsman and insured every aspect of our construction was done with strict precision. The walk-in shower and associated construction was done in a timely manner and with ultimate concern for our pleasure and acceptance. If you are looking for a "professional contractor" to do your construction project look no further than GI Construction - you won't be disappointed. We would highly recommend them for any project you may encounter. Thank You GI Construction for providing us with a beautiful and functional master bath !!
Gregory Will
Gregory Will
23 May 2023
Went through GI Construction by referral online. They were professional, answered my questions when I had concerns and when we were ready they scheduled the work and stayed on task through out the process. Kept us in the loop regarding any issues and did an fantastic job. They are honest and available when you need to talk to someone. Would highly recommend for their services. ** Thank you Isaac & Valentin for making our bathrooms look amazing!**
Jason Bagley
Jason Bagley
25 April 2023
After searching and obtaining many bids from different construction companies, Isaac with GI Construction provided us with a low cost, complete and solid option that did not hide or leave open any unknown fees. There methods of a simple TI were perfect for our needs as well as saving us thousands on unneeded expenses. I'd personally recommend GI for any project small or big.
Kimberly Allison
Kimberly Allison
9 February 2023
My project manager Valentin was so helpful and very responsive with any issues. Foreman Jorge went above and beyond to make sure I was happy with all the finish work and he and his crew stayed late on a Friday to finish the job. They even moved my very large headboard back in from the garage. All workers were professional and polite. I would definitely recommend this company and will be using in the future. Rodney and Kimberly Allison
Lucy Melugin
Lucy Melugin
6 January 2023
We worked with Isaac, the owner and Valentin, the project manager and their amazing crew. We couldn't be happier with the end project! We had a water leak from an upstairs tenant so the whole bathroom had to be redone and a wall in the bedroom on the other side plus we had some plumbing and wiring done as well. I would love to leave a picture but couldn't see where to add it.
RadBluff 2
RadBluff 2
22 December 2022
Working with G I Construction was one of the best experiences we have with contractors. The attention to detail, care for one's property and getting things right the 1st time is what G I Construction mission is. Top notch!
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