A well-informed renovation plan in New Jersey or New York includes everything from upgrading switch plate covers to designing high-performance, energy-efficient replacement windows and everything in between. If you’re working on a moderately tight budget, you may be considering staging your rehab to spread out the costs over time.
Proper planning allows you to gradually complete renovations in a way that makes the process less disruptive and keeps you on the right budget track. In much the same way that you must prepare walls by spackling small holes and patching major damage before painting, building an addition or expanding an existing room requires constructing (or modifying) the envelope first.
Stage 1: Designing the Envelope
A building envelope separates conditioned air from unconditioned air; in other words, the inside from the outside. For example, if you’re converting the attic in your New Jersey or New York Metro home into a spare bedroom, that means designing (or upgrading) the outer shell to control temperature fluctuations, moisture and air flow between interior and exterior spaces and reducing ambient noise transfer. Attic conversions may require installing extra insulation, vent fans and new floors designed to maximize climate control.
Hot humid climates like ours present especially demanding challenges for homeowners. Working with your general contractor or architect, make sure you develop a comprehensive plan that considers thermal-, air-, moisture-, and vapor-barriers. The general components associated with a building envelop include:
- Siding (or final exterior surfaces such as concrete, brick, wood, etc.)
- Insulation or other climate control barriers
Insulation reduces air movement, which improves air control, which is very important when you consider that as much as 20 percent of heat loss is attributed to air moving through convection loops and inadequate or inappropriate insulation choices. Controlling air flow ensures indoor air quality remains high and helps you control energy consumption and condensation.
As part of the building envelope, your replacement windows and patio doors should be considered during the first stage of your renovation. Along with improving structural integrity, your window features and performance directly impact moisture control, health and safety, indoor air quality, durability, comfort, energy efficiency and the attractiveness of your home.
Stage 2: Appliances and Fixtures
Although you probably won’t install kitchen appliances until you have flooring and cabinetry in place, it’s a wise decision to research brands and styles early. At the very least, you must determine what size footprint your appliances will need so you can plan around them.
Installing new duct work, or rerouting existing vents and pipes, before finishing ceilings and walls reduces expenses and ensures the process flows in an orderly manner.
Speaking of duct work, even if you install replacement windows and patio doors with superior energy efficiency ratings, your windows will only deliver maximum savings potential if your heating and cooling system is properly vented and well-maintained. The majority of your monthly utility bills represent energy used for heating and cooling your New York or New Jersey home. To get the most out of your climate control appliances, you need a system that is capable of efficiently conditioning the air in your home. A unit that is too small will have to work overtime, and ultimately cost more to operate and maintain. Buying a system that is too large is an unnecessary expense. Discuss your renovation plans with a reputable HVAC professional who will help you consider options.
If your plans include an addition, schedule an inspection of existing duct work. Sealing air leaks and replacing damaged vents and pipes improves energy efficiency. And, you’ll probably save money by scheduling a single home visit that includes checking your existing system and estimating renovation costs.
Stage 3: The Final Details and Stylistic Touches
When you’re designing your replacement windows, the fine details add decorative touches and convenience features. Staging allows you to delay some aspects of your remodel, but it isn’t realistic to forego adding desirable elements like grilles and preferred hardware when you order custom-built windows for your home. You’ll want to consider all components while designing your new windows from color choice and framing material to insect screens and window guards. Once they’re installed, you can start enjoying the view and saving money immediately, no future tweaking necessary.
If you really want that $2,000 light fixture or the imported tile reclaimed from a quaint villa in the Italian countryside to complete the perfect look and feel in your new kitchen, you can postpone that part of your renovation until your finances allow you to proceed.
Designing Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows for Your Staged Renovation
If you’re considering a staged home remodeling project, start with the envelope. Installing high-performance, ENERGY STAR certified replacement windows and patio doors is a great start toward improving your home efficiency. Give us a call toll-free at 1-888-826-2451 or take a minute to fill in the short form on this page to request more information.
Download our Free Guide to New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows
- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
- The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
- How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
- The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
- What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!