6 Most Frequently Asked Home Remodel Questions

This post was sponsored by our partners at NEDC. We hope you'll find this information valuable as you consider a home remodel!

Are you considering a major home remodel? If so, we’re sure that the answers to these 6 most frequently asked home remodel questions will be helpful to you! Have more questions or ready to move forward? Visit our friends at NEDC for a free design consultation!

  1. Do I need an Architect? General Contractor? DesignBuild? What is the difference?
  2. How long should I expect a project to take start to finish? 
  3. Can I live in the house during construction? 
  4. What are common ways for people to finance a large remodeling project? 
  5. How much will it cost, and how much cost increase typically happens during the project? 
  6. How much ROI will I recoup via the increased value of my home?

Scroll down for the answers to these 6 most frequently asked home remodel questions!

DesignBuild project with NEDCDo I need an Architect? General Contractor? DesignBuild? What is the difference?

​If you are looking to do a smaller/handyman sized job with little need for architectural plans or design, a general contractor will suffice just fine. If you are considering a larger scale project including moving walls, changing layouts, large additions, or building a new home an Architect or DesignBuild team is the way to go. Working with an architect involves paying someone a fee (typically hourly) to design a project for you. It is then “bid” out to contractors who are available to build it. At this time, they will tell you what they expect it will cost. From there, the contractor will build and the Architect is no longer involved, nor responsible for the project.

Hiring a DesignBuild firm like NEDC involves getting and UP FRONT estimate for cost and feasibility, then working through an iterative design process during which all Architectural plans and details are worked through, leading to a fixed cost for construction before it begins. This same firm will then build the project they just designed.

How long should I expect a project to take start to finish?

Clients working with NEDC for their DesignBuild Project can expect to spend about 3-4 months in the Design Process (including permitting), and another 4-5 months in construction, depending on the size of the project.

Can I live in the house during construction?

Most Clients DO live in the house during construction. We can provide assistance to make the disruption as comfortable as possible, through things like setting up temporary food preparation stations, temporary showers, and we always tent off the construction spaces to separate them from the living spaces in a home and use air scrubbers to help prevent dust transfer. It is however advantageous to live somewhere else if possible, otherwise be ready for a long camping trip.

What are common ways for people to finance a large remodeling project?

The three primary ways clients pay for these projects are a combination of cash, a Home Equity Line of Credit, and Construction loans. While we do not finance projects ourselves, we are happy to refer our clients to banking partners that will be able to explain the options they have and make the most of the equity they have in their home.

How much will it cost, and how much cost increase typically happens during the project?

The cost for any given project varies by scope and what we will actually be building in the clients home. The best way to get a sense for what your project might cost, is to check out our 2022 Home Remodeling Cost Guide.

Because of our DesignBuild process, we sort through every detail and potential obstacle during the design process. Once construction starts, we have a fixed cost and there are no changes to the budget at that point. The industry average for construction change orders is over 20%. Historically, NEDC’s is under 2%!

How much ROI will I recoup via the increased value of my home?

Similar to figuring out how much a project will cost, it really depends on the scope of work and what parts of a home we will be working on when calculating ROI. Additions and finishing new space, which includes anything that adds livable square footage, typically recoup value dollar for dollar. Kitchen and bathroom remodels will increase value, but not as dramatically, as more often than not these remodels result in aesthetic upgrades, but do not change the actual specs (bath and bedroom count/square footage) of the home. The primary impetus is the ROI of a space that enhances you and your family’s day to day life. It is hard to put a price tag on your comfort and the livability of your home.

kitchen remodel


Learn More About NEDC

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Meghan was born and raised on the South Shore and attended college in Boston. After college, she married her high school sweetheart and followed him to Charleston, SC, and Groton, CT, where he served as a submarine officer in the United States Navy. Military life was an adventure, and after six crazy years of service (and two babies later!), the pair decided to move *home* to the South Shore in 2016 and put down some roots. Meghan is the proud owner of Boston Moms and work-at-home mom to William, Benjamin, and Caroline, born in 2013, 2015 and 2019. She loves meeting new people, encouraging moms, celebrating motherhood, and supporting small businesses.

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