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North Shore Visions: Remodeling and Rebuilding in Massachusetts' Most Desirable Area

Everybody has a picture in their mind of what their perfect dream house looks like, and the North Shore area really lends itself to the notion. It’s thrilling to build something from scratch in this beautiful place. The whole idea of crafting your own vision for the home that has everything is a completely understandable fancy to ponder. Another way to go is to purchase a charmer that is just shy of perfect. This allows your imagination to run away with you for a remodeling project to tweak some classic structure just enough to improve it, yet without sacrificing the original magic that made you fall in love with it in the first place. That could mean anything from updating the kitchen to adding that entertainment center you’ve always wanted.

But before embarking on such dreams, one does have to take a moment to consider the practical elements of undergoing the process. Challenges are always going to appear when you’re thinking about undertaking a building or remodeling process. There will be architectural considerations at the outset. Budgetary issues need to be managed lest unwelcome expenditures disrupt the flow of the work. Then, of course, there is the matter of local laws and regulations you will need to be prepared for. With a little initial information, however, North Shore building and remodeling projects can go a whole lot of a heck smoother. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started.

Professional Help

First and foremost, you will want to consult professionals before you take any major steps toward realizing your home building project. There are some obvious reasons for this and some not so obvious. In the case of remodeling, you will want to enlist a reputable design service with critical local knowledge. Once vetted for a successful track record and positive testimonials, you can trust them for important details. For example, they will know style trends that are proving popular in the area. This can ensure you stick to a vision that will lend itself to positive future resale values. And in this part of Massachusetts, many historical homes may be subject to preservation regulations you’ll need to be aware of. They will also know reliable contractors to work with when the time comes.

When it comes to building, an even more extensive team of pros will be necessary to deal with the above-mentioned issues and more. Start off with a stellar architect team with a solid North Shore reputation. They should know everything from how to build a structure up to local codes, craft a design that will take on local weather and geological conditions, and keep things up to community standards. Again, a good architectural firm should be able to pair you up with the local contractors best suited to construct your house in a way that will avoid headaches after the fact. Putting together a dream team for your dream home to plan out the project will help ensure a process with as few complications as possible.

Expecting the Unexpected

Let’s face it: whether you’re remodeling or building, you’re taking on a pretty serious process that will face some challenges from time to time. Saying that you need to be ready for anything isn’t hyperbole. A great place to start thinking about this is with your budget. Once you have all the details for your project’s plan laid out, it’s important to add up every foreseeable cost of labor, services, materials and applicable municipal fees down to the penny. And when you’re done, add on to that budget. Not because you’re going to spend that extra money, but because you want to be ready to spend if you have to. Unexpected expenses may well come up. Of course, always fight to keep costs down. But if an unavoidable, unforeseen issue pops up, having a contingency fund of 10-15% over your initial budget will provide a nice buffer.

Money is one issue, time is another. In this part of the world, a whole lot of factors can affect the schedule of your project. When you mark a start and end date on your calendar, treat it the same way as you treat your budget and pencil in some contingency time. Delays can arise from many corners here in New England. Weather can set things back a few days at a time depending on the event. Strong labor laws can limit how fast things sometimes move. And workarounds may need to be implemented should some local regulation suddenly impede a plan. While unexpected conflicts could slow things down, if you know they might show up and you’re prepared both mentally and logistically, you can limit the stress these things can cause. Key consideration: keeping a roof over your head as your project plays out. Do your best to make yourself able to stay in your current residence until the project is over, including planning to stay longer than the original plan calls for.

Wrapping It Up

Obviously, the watchword for undergoing a building or remodeling project in the North Shore area is preparation. Organize what your goals are early. Vet each of these goals with your professional team. Collaborate with them once all that is organized and come up with a solid plan — and work as hard as you can to stick to that plan (including the aforementioned contingencies). Keep a close eye on the seasonal calendar for your project. Anything stretching into the fall and winter will likely see more delays as New England weather gets dicier in those months.

And be realistic. The unexpected shall almost certainly arrive. What you’re doing has many moving parts. You’ll be dealing with plumbing, electrical, interior decorating, paints, choosing windows and on and on. You’ve taken on a bold project, so give yourself a lot of credit! Know what you’re getting into and be ready to stay strong — you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes at you!

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