Episode 1

Where to start with your home renovation

Published on: 23rd October, 2019

Where to start with your home renovation

Walter Russell from Home Sweet Home Builders of Woburn MA joined me on this first episode to discuss how to get going with a project, Walter brings the perspective of a contractor in a discussion about how to kick off your home renovation.

Episode Recap

Step 1: Know what you want 

Step 2: Know what you can afford

Our fictional homeowner is trying to figure out how to start a project that would be a two story addition, kitchen on the first floor and a master suite on the second floor. She has $200,000 to spend. What should her first call be? Does she have enough money to complete what she would like to do?

  • Should you call a contractor first or an architect? 
  • How does someone begin to set a budget? 
  • We discussed factors that contribute to the price of a project. 
  • An architect is thinking about what is possible in the space, a contractor is thinking budget. Ideally you would bring the two together early in the project.
  • Is it a good idea to put everything you want into a plan just to see how much it is going to cost? Will that cause unnecessary disappointment?
  • Building a master plan is going to be important for realizing what the maximum scope potential is
  • Architect works up a vision and a scope of work, the contractor will be able to give a rough budget number based on that. 
  • Should you keep your home renovation budget number secret? 
  • Walter gives some ballpark prices for common smaller projects. 
  • Are square footage prices accurate?

Learning from the mistakes of others

Don’t rush into a project

Walter Russell is the co-owner of Home Sweet Home Builders, a full service construction company, with a core focus on residential remodeling and roofing. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @HSHBLLC or on the internet at www.HSHbuilds.com

Help me spread the word! Send a link to this show to 3 of your friends who you think could use information about home renovations. I would really appreciate that.

Chat with me! Join the community on Flick, a podcasting chat app. You can ask questions, chat with other listeners about your project, new products, and more! The app is free, download it wherever you get apps and then open this code on your phone: https://flickchat.page.link/rohX

Join our mailing list! Get insider information, extras (like the images we can't post here) and other exciting news http://eepurl.com/gFJLlT

Thanks to Ray Bernoff, the editor of the show. www.RayBernoff.com

The music is Blueberry Festival Footrace by David Fisher and performed by Hanneke Cassel www.hannekecassel.com

Cover Art by Sam White www.samowhite.com

Next Episode All Episodes Previous Episode
Show artwork for Talking Home Renovations with the House Maven

About the Podcast

Talking Home Renovations with the House Maven
the professionals discuss all aspects of home renovations
Are you planning a home renovation and worried that you don’t know what you are doing? Talking Home Renovations with the House Maven is an educational and entertaining podcast that will ease your fears. Join architect Katharine MacPhail as she interviews contractors, vendors, other architects and homeowners and gathers tips and cautionary tales about home renovations. Learn about materials, what to expect, what to avoid and how to make the most of the money that you will spend on your renovation.
Support the show!

About your host

Profile picture for Katharine MacPhail

Katharine MacPhail

Katharine White MacPhail, Principal at dEmios Architects in Arlington, MA has been
working on residential projects of all sizes in the greater Boston area since 1996. She is
sought after for her ability to turn residential projects around quickly, and for her
competent yet light-hearted approach to architecture. Her specialty is transforming the
older homes so prevalent in Massachusetts, bringing them to the next level without
sacrificing their character. MacPhail shares her knowledge and experience through her
renovation seminars and now her podcast.
MacPhail is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a
Leed Accredited Professional. She received a Master of Architecture from Southern
California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in January of 1996. While at SCI-Arc,
she pursued projects and theory related to the study of the architecture of the
"everyday". Upon completing her MArch, Katharine was an adjunct studio instructor
for the Department of Architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.
Katharine also holds a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College where she fell
in love with classical antiquities and later completed some graduate work in Historic
Preservation at Boston University before pursuing a career in architecture. MacPhail
has been involved with local politics for a number of years, and just finished 13
years of homeschooling her 3 children, plans parties and events for a number of
non-profit groups, serves as the Secretary for the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and
plays with the Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. She is the manager for the all-girl
Celtic string quintet Scottish Fish.