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  • Lorey Cavanaugh

Remodeling Red Flags


The Project:

A single, professional woman looking to significantly improve the functionality of the kitchen. A specific request was to open the kitchen to the dining room. She is open to ideas about improving the closet sized powder room.


The House:

1948 salt box, last remodeled in the 80’s. Our initial site visit suggested DIY remodeling of questionable quality.

Initial Proposal:

Three separate possibilities were proposed with an associated budget range. The plans and budgets would be revised based upon a thorough site inspection with subcontractors present.

Site Inspection Findings:


After opening several strategic exploratory holes in the walls and the ceiling, multiple structural limitations were discovered. Floor and ceiling framing were unconventionally laid out creating obstacles for relocation of plumbing, heating ducts and proposed changes. Questionable structural modifications were made during previous remodeling which led us to have an engineering consultation. This visit helped to establish a new design direction in an attempt to work around the limitations presented. The engineer recommended two corrections be made, that while outside of the proposed project, and likely not required by code, would stabilize potential load issues. As a follow up to this meeting, our Project Manager visited the Building Dept. to review our findings with the Building Inspector. It was discovered in this meeting that none of the original remodeling work was performed with a building permit, (RED FLAG). As a result, all existing conditions would need to be upgraded to the current code once this renovation was under taken.

Our Comments:

  • Homeowners who execute their own remodeling projects and fail to pull permits and follow appropriate building codes, potentially create unsafe conditions.

  • Homeowners should require contractors working on their homes to pull the necessary permits. If they refuse to do so, find another contractor.

  • Pulling permits is not only a legal requirement, it is insurance against errors and omissions, and potentially unsafe conditions which could lead to collapse, fires, flooding, etc.

  • When considering the purchase of a home that shows signs of having been remodeled, one should go to the Building Department to see what is on file. If there is no record of a file, there were no permits. Request an engineering report prior to finalizing a sale. Note: This home had a home inspection

Coming up: Engineering Walk Through

#kitchen #kitchenremodel #renovation #inspection #joists #framing #powderroom #laundry #contractor #structural #layout

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