Home renovations can completely transform the look and feel of a house. But what goes on behind the scenes to make those renovations happen?
Pre-Renovation Planning and Permits
Before demolition crews start tearing down walls, extensive planning goes into a renovation project. Homeowners work with architects and designers to come up with a floor plan that fits their needs. Drafting software creates 3D renderings to help visualize the finished product. Once a design is completed, contractors provide quotes for the work. Permits from the local municipality are often required for major structural changes.
Demolition and Structural Changes
With permits in place, it’s time for demolition! Construction crews use sledgehammers, pry bars, saws, and other tools to tear down walls and remove flooring and fixtures. Nails are pulled, electrical wires are disconnected, and materials disposed of or recycled. Safety precautions such as goggles, masks and gloves protect workers from hazardous dust and debris.
Rough Ins and Framing
With demolished areas prepped and structural reinforcements in place, it’s time to frame out new walls and spaces. Studs made from wood or metal are anchored to the floor and ceiling. The wall framing defines room dimensions and window and door openings. Thick support beams frame the edges of large openings.
Insulation and Drywall
Before the interior finishes go in, the framed walls and ceilings get insulated for energy efficiency and sound damping. Fiberglass batts or rigid foam boards are friction fit between the studs and secured with staples. A thick plastic vapor barrier goes over the insulation to prevent moisture issues.
Next, drywall panels get fastened over the insulated framing. According to the good folk over at SPAX.us, flathead screws are driven into the studs to secure the 4×8 sheetrock in place. Tape and joint compound creates smooth seams between panels. After sanding smooth, the walls are ready for priming and painting. Some remodels use higher-end plaster instead of drywall for the interior finish.
While the interior drywall goes up, crews can shift focus to the home’s exterior siding, roofing, and detailing. Vinyl, wood, or fiber cement lap siding gets layered over weather barrier and exterior sheathing. Metal drip edge, gable vents and flashing protect vulnerable edges and joints.
If the roofing needs replacement, old shingles are removed down to the plywood or OSB decking. New architectural or 3-tab asphalt shingles get layered and secured with flathead screws. Skylights and vents are also installed. Chimneys may get repointed and refaced with brick or stone.
Interior Finishes and Fixtures
Moving back inside, it is time to transform the blank dry-walled spaces into beautiful, finished rooms. Trim carpenters install decorative baseboards, crown molding, door casings and chair rails using miters, coping and precision cutting. Tile setters apply subway, mosaic or natural stone tile in bathrooms and kitchens, grouting for a polished look. Hardwood, laminate, or carpet flooring go down room by room.
The final stage is all about the finishing touches. Painters do a final coat in the interior and exterior color scheme. New interior doors get hung and exterior doors installed. Hardware like knobs, pulls, hooks and bathroom accessories are put in place. Landscaping crews do planting, mulching, pathway installation and any hardscaping.
From demolition to move-in ready, home renovations are a complex process involving many players and meticulous planning. High-quality materials and proper installation methods are critical to create durable, functional, and beautiful living spaces tailored to homeowners’ needs. With this insider’s overview, you can better understand everything that goes on behind the scenes of your next big home remodel!