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  • Writer's pictureMaria Luisa Castellanos

How to design a remodel of a house in Miami


Modern kitchen
Photography by Alona Gross from Unsplash

Before starting the process of how to design a remodel


Before you even start the actual process of remodeling a house, think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to remodel because you have a lot of useless space in the house? Or do you want to remodel because your house looks old and dated? Or is the remodel going to be part of the work that will also include an addition?


So, let’s get a clear idea of why you want this. When you have a clear idea, you will be able to communicate better with your architect. And you will need an architect, an electrical engineer, and maybe a mechanical engineer, if you need to modify the plumbing or air-conditioning. All the municipalities in Miami-Dade County, plus the county itself, will require, to do any kind of substantial remodeling, that you have a team who will provide drawings for a permit. I am sure that at this point you’re saying, but I don’t want to deal with all those people! Don’t worry, you will only deal with the architect, and she/he will deal with the engineers.


How are you going to pay for or finance your project? You need to think about this. If you are in a flood zone, you have to think about the limitations on the budget. You can read about FEMA regulations on limits to budgets in flood zones here.


What is it that you want to update?


Now, what is it that you want to remodel, do you want to do the bathroom and the kitchen? These are the items that most people want to change, but often, this is the perfect time to change other things. Do you want to convert an existing garage into another bedroom and bath? Do you then want to add a new garage?


Maybe your tile flooring is dated. They are the old 12” x 12” tiles and you’ve seen how the new 12” x 24”, 24” x 24”, or 18” x 36” look. If you want to change the floor tile throughout the house, this is the time to change it.


Home remodeling tips and tricks


Now, you should know that the larger the tile, the harder it is to install and the smaller the grout that should be used. So, you will pay a premium as the tile gets larger. If you are on a budget, think about this before falling in love with the tile. There are many economical and beautiful tiles at places like Home Depot. Start looking there.


If you want to move or eliminate partitions, you have to consider whether they are structural. Sometimes, these are bearing partitions and look just like any other partition, but they actually have a footing and are load-bearing, holding up your roof. To move or eliminate these, you have to have a structural engineer involved. And if you move walls or partitions, remember that ceilings and flooring will have to be repaired.


Often families want to stay in their homes when they are remodeling. This is often impossible if you have very young children, or you are in a hurry to get it done. However, if you have the time, you can phase your remodeling. This means that you do one area first, and then move to that area of the house, and then work on the remodeling for the other areas. In order to do this well, it would be best if the contractor sets up a partition between the area where you are living and the work areas. This will keep the dust down and prevent children from getting into the work area.


Working on a remodel in the summer


If you do the construction in the summer and you run the air-conditioning, the dust will get into the unit. You will have to have a complete cleaning of the unit at the end of the project.

If you want to speed up the construction, go and look at materials, bathroom fixtures, tiles, lighting, kitchen cabinets, and sinks prior to finishing the permit plans. This will allow your architect to specify these items in the plans, make the contractor’s life much easier, and not delay the project while you decide what you want.


Making your house more energy efficient


If you want to make your house more energy efficient, read this article.


Hiring a general contractor


Before you hire a general contractor read my article on questions to ask a contractor.


Contacting the author


Remember, if you would like help from an architect with your remodeling, call me, Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A., LEEP AP, on my cell at 305-439-7898. I would love to discuss your project with you. And if you have questions about this article, feel free to call me.

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