Some projects best done by pros

By Stephan Sardone

In this column, we often provide some DIY tips that are easy and practical for most homeowners to execute. But some projects are just too complex and should be handled by a licensed, professional contractor. 

At Sardone Design-Build-Remodel, we are here to help. We can work with you on the paperwork for cities and counties that issue permits and plans before beginning renovations and additions. We also have a number of the best local plumbing, electrical, heat and air, foundation, painting and roofing specialists as reliable partners. Let’s look at some popular remodeling projects best executed by a pro. 

Moving the laundry room. Almost all laundry rooms were previously located on the first level of the home. But it is very popular — and logical — these days to have your laundry room near your bedrooms. Those are often upstairs. This is an installation that would best be done by an expert. One exception is if you have or want to build a mudroom. Not only is it convenient way to store boots, shoes, coats and other items in one space, it may be the best place for your washer and dryer, so dirty and wet clothes don’t get into the main house.

Expanding your kitchen or bathroom. Remodeling your kitchen adds greater ease, space and value, but it must be done right. Cooking at home is popular and everyone these days seems to want an island, additional pantry space and possibly a breakfast nook. And homeowners are seeking the most functional bathroom possible. Reports say that increasing kitchen space can have a ROI of nearly 93 percent and bathroom space up to 62 percent. 

Building a dormer. Whether your attic is functional or not, dormers improve the look of the front of your house by adding curb appeal. But this requires a lot of exacting work on a roof and would best be tackled by an experience professional. And the cost of consulting a contractor to execute the project is really not that much more expensive than if you do it yourself.

Adding a second story. With all of the framework, access and support issues, you need a contractor to provide the know-how. No matter what you pay — and prices will obviously vary — it will add immediate value to your home with the additional square footage. And do you really want to try to build a staircase?

Putting a living area above the garage. Many of the same consideration for building a second story apply here. An apartment, home office or entertainment room is an easy job for a professional and, again, will provide extra square footage to your home. If you rent the space out, you can recuperate your costs quickly. Using it as a home office can provide tax advantages. But remember, you may want to budget for a covered carport that integrates into the look of your home, and a backyard shed or storage area to move the garage items to an area where they are still easily accessible.

Finishing your basement or attic. While adding additional room, there are usually many electrical, heating and cooling and lighting/window issues to consider. But when completed, you have an additional bedroom, workout space or media room. 

All of these improvements add value and convenience to your home. By hiring a professional, you can add peace of mind as well.