Is a Major Interior Renovation Right for You?

Renovated Mudroom
What is now a highly functional mudroom was previously a cluttered, unfinished storage space. For more on this project, see the Client Spotlight.

Many people associate an interior renovation with an expansion of the home’s footprint. In fact, major remodeling projects frequently don’t involve building an addition, but rather reconfiguring the existing space in a better way.

So if you’re feeling a little crowded in your home, a lack of square footage isn’t necessarily the issue. It could be that you’re simply not using your space in an efficient manner.

For example, consider the typical kitchen in an older home. Back in the day, kitchens were built solely with cooking in mind. As a result, they were just large enough to fit the essentials — oven, sink, some cabinets and countertops, maybe a small table. Over the years, homeowners have come to expect more from a kitchen. Today, the kitchen isn’t just a place for preparing meals; it’s also where the kids do their homework and guests mingle during parties.

Opening up space for a kitchen. Incorporating a little-used dining room into a kitchen or living room. Clearing out space to add a mudroom or pantry. Taking down a wall and adding a bathroom to create a master suite: These are all major renovation projects that can have just as much of an impact on your daily living as an addition. And only a general contractor like Custom is qualified to take on projects of this scope.

Getting the Historic Details Right
For some homeowners, an important consideration in an interior renovation is getting the historic details right. Since many of the communities we serve have older homes, we deal with this issue all the time.

A general contractor should have carpenters who excel in blending in the new with the old. That may mean, for instance, carefully matching the new baseboards or crown molding with that of the original home. In other cases, adding these classic touches to a newer home can help achieve the more traditional look that you crave.

Sometimes homeowners want a clear division between the old and the new. For instance, they might not touch the dining room but then renovate the kitchen to achieve an open, modern feel.


Be Open to the Possibilities
Some interior renovation and space reconfiguration projects might present extreme challenges, such as removal of load-bearing walls, major structural beam installations or significant relocation of the mechanicals (e.g. heating, plumbing, electrical systems). But that aside, the possibilities for a major renovation are pretty much limitless.

Having a homeowner who is truly open to all the possibilities goes a long way toward making an interior renovation a success. If you’re willing to consider taking down a wall here or removing a set of stairs there, all of a sudden you may have a completely different layout in your home.

Of course, once you head down that road, you’re looking at a really big project. Heating, plumbing, electricity and more will be impacted. While this adds to the budget, you can take comfort in knowing that your entire house is being brought up to code (unlike the typical older home that hasn’t been renovated).

Design/Build Makes Sense
Most people associate design/build contracting firms with additions and expansion projects. However, we believe the design/build process is also the most effective method for major interior renovation and space reconfiguration projects.

Another thing to realize: You need to commit to being a partner in a major renovation. The general contractor can’t do everything on their own. They need your input during the design phase, your product selections in a timely manner and certainly your patience while having workers in your house.

As for the general contractor, make sure they exhibit a vision for your project along with the ability to explain the design and construction processes and the budgetary details. They should also have lead carpenters who can manage the project well and make adjustments on the fly as challenges come up. And they should have a team of trade subcontractors who are experienced in remodeling as opposed to new home construction.

Only a handful of Greater Boston firms can meet all of the above criteria — and Custom is one of them. Call us at 781-648-2835 if you’d like to discuss an interior renovation in your home.