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Remodeling 101 – Before The Sheetrock

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Happy holidays and welcome to winter. As the weather chills and we spend more time indoors, it’s an ideal time to reflect on what has transpired over the past year and look ahead to projects and adventures in the year ahead. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about our recent home remodel and all the ups and downs, surprises and challenges, good fortune and prudent planning we experienced along the way.

I hope you enjoyed the journey with us through prior posts in this space. Now that we’ve grown more accustomed to the “new normal” of pandemic life, we wanted to return to where we left off in the story. Hopefully, this blog can provide you with valuable insights as you progress on remodel and renovation journeys of your own…

When we left you last, we were just beginning to frame up our home. Tearing down and building a new home is like starting with a blank canvas of your home and opening up the possibilities.

I recommend using a smartphone to capture video at every stage of a renovation, but it’s particularly important at this moment. With everything exposed, you’ll be able to see how the different elements of a house fit together. And you’ll be surprised how often you return to the footage for inspiration — and helpful information!

Before sheetrocking, you can see the location of primary and low-voltage electrical wiring, HVAC ducts and exhaust fans, plumbing and sewer lines, attic spaces, framing structures, and trusses. You can use this visibility to study the feasibility of additional projects like a new skylight, extended HDMI and audio wiring, or modernized water supply pipes.

Here’s a look at the bare bones of our home in the midst of the construction:

As you can see, we took our time and captured every crevice in the home. It’s important to hold your phone camera steady, so you may want to use a selfie stick or some other handheld stabilizing device. You can find these at almost any electronics store or online through Amazon. If you want to be sure to capture everything, try taking videos room by room and reviewing them separately later when starting up small projects.

Not sure where to store all these big video files? We uploaded all of ours to a free YouTube account and marked them “unlisted” to keep them private and allow us to share the links only with friends or clients who might be interested. (If you’re worried about online security, you could also store the videos on an external hard drive, but that can get a little clunky.)

And the videos don’t just sit there on the internet collecting virtual dust! We refer to them at least 2-3 times a year when we’re doing minor projects and need a reminder of where everything is behind the walls. It’s a helpful trick that’s saved us money and more importantly, time.

Let me know if you’d ever like a quick tutorial on creating a video archive, and keep checking this blog for more tips and tricks. If you have some time, scroll back and read our remodel story from the beginning. It’s been an exciting journey, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

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