Wondering how to get started on your kitchen, bath, or addition home remodeling in Orange County?

I tell people that the first thing to do is to get some information about your city.

Every city is different.  They have different regulations and codes.

Take setbacks for example.  Your front setback is from the backside of your sidewalk to your house.  The side setback is from the property line to the house.  The property line is usually shown by a fence or block wall.  Of course the rear setback is from the rear property line to the house, again shown by a block wall in most cases.

Again every city is different.  Side setbacks are normally around 5 feet, however, Diamond Bar is different, they want the total setback to be 15 feet.  So you can have 5 feet on one side and 10 on the other.

Rears can vary quite a bit.  Some are as little as 10 feet some are up to 25 to 35 feet.  Phillips Ranch gets up to 35 feet in some areas if you have of large lot.

So call your local planning department and they can give you the details for your area.

Then, based off of that, preliminaries are going to be drawn up to scale so you can see exactly how your house lays out on the lot.  You’ll see how close you are to the property line.  You’ll see how much room we have the play with.

Once you have that information you can sit down as a family and decide exactly what you want to do with your house.   Whether it’s an extra family room or an extra bedroom and bathroom, you can draw up a wish list and get someone like myself to put that together for you with drawings that are done exactly to scale so you can see exactly how many square feet you will need, which way to view is, how the plumbing and electrical will tie in, and other factors that will bring the cost way up or down.

There are tricks to designing in a way that keeps the cost down.

It is important to me that designs give you what you are looking for in a way that makes you happy while keeping the costs as low as possible for your project.  How the addition is planned out dramatically affects the cost of building it.  Keeping the costs low for home remodeling in Orange County is my specialty.
The nice thing about getting these preliminary plans is that it will show your contractor everything that is needed for the contract and to actually get started on the job so he can give you an accurate bid.

When you call a contractor out of the blue and just say give me a price on the job, they have a tendency to do the minimum amount to put together their bid.  They go out there and figure that “OK, 15 by 15 room here, door there”, and not take into account that you may want a fireplace or a bay window or vaulted ceilings–things that bring the cost up and down.

You then find that you’re explaining different things to different contractors and the bids vary widely because they don’t take into account everything you want to have done to the house.

That’s the nice thing about the preliminary plans, it gets right down to it.  It shows exactly what you want to do and the contractors can see that you’re serious about your remodel and will stop working on other jobs where he is guessing what he has to bid on, and go to yours where it is a lot simpler for him.

This is a reason why so many people call a contractor and never hear back from him.  It’s because he doesn’t want to do a lot of legwork and guesswork to try and figure out what the client wants and then end up just wasting his time.  He would rather work with you because you have a clear vision.

The contractor also knows that you will be showing your plans to other contractors and so the bid will be much more competitive and fair.

Then once you get the best bids, you can see that the project is in your price range and then we can do the full working drawings.  There’s no sense in doing those full drawings less we know that the project is in your price range and we can move forward.

If you have any other questions about home remodeling in Orange County, room additions or home improvement, please give me a call. (714) 931-0295.