historic homes

What does a walkthrough/consultation look like?

Let me walk you through my process.

I recently did a walkthrough consultation with a young couple that was looking to purchase an old historic Spanish bungalow (yes, a Sears kit home!) The home was a one story, three-bedroom, one-bath with a teeny tiny kitchen and the original 1930s closets. (Turns out that people in the 1930s didn’t have as many clothes).  The couple’s main goal was to figure out a way to get the house to function as a modern home that suited their lifestyle. 

I was able to talk through how they could affordably reconfigure some of the rooms to create enough space for a second bathroom.  By only changing some non-load bearing walls they saved money by not having to hire a structural engineer. Another challenge I addressed was figuring out a way to expand the kitchen space to make it larger, more functional, and open to the rest of the house.  I suggested ways they could steal some space from the dining room for this purpose that didn’t disrupt any structural or mechanical elements. Structural work can get pretty expensive, even for relatively “minor” work involving structural (i.e. load-bearing) elements.  

I presented ideas to enlarge some of their closets.  For others were making them bigger was simply not possible, I showed the couple how they could maximize the available space by using a closet organizer.  I also brainstormed ideas with the couple to find ways to “bring the outside in.” The home had a great backyard, and they wanted to figure out some ways to have a seamless flow from the inside to the outside for entertaining and family time.  

Finally, the electrical system had not been updated for many decades, and I would not run anything more than a TV with rabbit ears on it.  Since they would be adding in a new kitchen and central HVAC, I factored that into their renovation plan.  

Once I established the scope of work with the couple, I walked them through the process of hiring the right professionals (an architect and a general contractor for their project).  I also provided them resources to help them navigate the special construction requirements they might have because their home is historical and falls under the Mills Act. Finally I walked them through a realistic project timeline from start to finish.  

Of course I also discussed with them the importance of having a realistic budget and what to anticipate in terms of potentially hidden and unexpected costs.  Some of the items that were on the desired wish list could stay, but others needed to be modified to stay in line with their budget. Finally, I helped them to creatively phase/space out the work in their project in order to meet their budgetary/cashflow constraints.  

My walkthrough session goals were to define a scope of work, to figure out ways to make the work more affordable, to define the phases of the project, to figure out what professionals they needed to hire, and to establish a preliminary sense for the cost of different parts of the project so they could figure out what wishlist items they could include based on their overall budget.   

Are you ready to schedule your own walkthrough?  If so, contact us and let’s get to work!  

Not local to San Diego?   We can also do ‘virtual consultations’ via Skype or FaceTime.