Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUL 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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MINDFUL PLAN Remodelers need to consider many factors before they suggest constructing a detached structure for their clients. Obviously, the lot must be large enough to accommodate a building completely separate from the existing house. Each site has its own characteristics and limitations, which can determine whether the additional living space should be attached to the residence or stand alone. "If there's not a need for access from the home, that would be the first [prerequisite]," says Chris Stebnitz, owner of Stebnitz Builders in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. "Sometimes it makes sense from a design standpoint. [It could cost more] to integrate that additional space into the home than it is to build a stand-alone structure." Most homeowners know the goals they seek to accom- plish with a remodeling project but cannot envision the scope and form of a realistic solution. ey might have thoughts about how to do it, and they will likely share those ideas with a remodeler. e designer on the proj- ect, nevertheless, ought to draw up different scenarios to stimulate their imagination and arrive at the best recourse. "It's all about what the property is—if you've got room to spread things out or if you really want them to be in close together," says Brad Lundberg, owner and founder of Lundberg Builders in Stevensville, Maryland. "Every client is different; every site is different. We never really look at it as going in and saying, 'We'd rather do something detached or attached.' It's just, 'What does this project really need?'" e budget also comes into play when discussing the viability of a detached structure. "e age-old problem for any project is budget. Right now [the price for] lumber is up incredibly high, and it really affects projects," adds Lundberg, whose customers usually pull back on features before adding in those same upgrades again later. "It ends up going right back to where we originally started." DUE DILIGENCE If a detached structure becomes the desired option, re- modelers should approach the municipality early on with a lot plan and their proposal. Lundberg works primarily around the Chesapeake Bay, where changes in building codes have aimed to push structures back farther from the waterfront; therefore, he needs to validate how much of the impervious surface can be covered on a property. "Sometimes you can't do a detached structure. It's [ei- ther] got to stay close to the house and [be] attached or pushed to the street side instead of the water side," he explains. "e environmental regulations have gotten much, much tougher around here, and that plays one of the biggest roles in what we do." Often contractors must apply for a variance when zon- ing ordinances prohibit the construction of additional Stone Pillar Remodeling integrated a wet bar and a barbecue into this detached office, so the client could entertain friends and family when he was not working. Lundberg Builders mixed a stone facade and vinyl siding to match this four-season, 500-square-foot pool house with the original home in Queenstown, Maryland. When clients in Bellevue, Washington, wanted a space on the water where they could relax but also host their guests, Stone Pillar built this scenic lake cabana. Photos: Gregg Krogstad/Krogstad Photography QualifiedRemodeler.com QR July 2018 27

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