Companion Projects: What Are They?
Companion projects are simply projects that accompany the larger, more visible projects. For example, if you have an HVAC professional out to change the furnace filter, a good companion project is to have him do a furnace inspection. While this is very low level, there are scores of large projects that really need to have friends along.
Here we have listed the major projects (and their companions) to give you a better sense of an entire project and all that it might entail.
These are a favorite of many homeowners because they make life easier, plus they increase resale value tremendously. However, while you are thinking more space, stone tile and dual shower heads, there are other less sexy projects that are also likely to happen.
Companion Projects: Rerouting the plumbing, new window(s), releveling the floor, new toilet and sink. Some of these might not affect you, but in order to make everything match the flooring and paint, that toilet and sink will probably have to go (no matter how new they are).
Easily the hot topic of home improvement among homeowners. Everyone wants a new kitchen, even though they average $30,000. Here’s why.
Companion Projects: Companion projects could be new appliances, new wiring and electrical box upgrade or design flow projects. Most kitchen remodels need new appliances for the design to make any sense, and this can sometimes add several thousand dollars. If your home was built before 1990, you will need an electrical upgrade to handle the load and keep your home within code.
The design flow can be an unexpected cost. This project demands that your kitchen flows well into the living room or the dining room or whatever rooms are close by. If you have this new fancy kitchen, but an old, poorly painted adjacent room, you will find that the kitchen will not bring that room up, but that room will bring the kitchen down. Sometimes all that is needed is a coat of paint, but not always.
In some areas of the country, you’ll need a new roof every 5 years; others, maybe every 20. While a new roof is great for efficiency and protection from the elements, often one particular project comes with it.
Companion Projects: New gutters. Depending on how old your roof and gutters are, and given the fact that they will have to be pulled down for the roof replacement, new gutters are very common companion projects. Don’t forget this nugget during budgeting.
Whether remodeling the garage to make it a new room or to turn it into a workshop, there are two projects that are key to comfort.
Companion Projects: Insulation (assuming drywall is going up). Even if this is only going to be a woodshop or a studio, it might as well be comfortable. Another companion project could be wiring for enough electricity and upgrading the electrical box. Same with the kitchen remodel, first make sure that you have enough outlets, but then also make sure that your electrical box has enough to handle the additional load. Install duct work and vents for heat. Nobody wants to be cold
or hot, and if you don’t add in this feature, who will want to use this room during temperature extremes?
While windows are great for energy efficiency and overall curb appeal, for them to truly perform at their peak, there is one overlooked companion project that is a must for window replacement.
Companion Projects: Insulate around the windows. While the windows are out, have the contractors make certain that they re-insulate around the window opening. Windows are one of the main causes of energy leaks, and you can head this off with this very energywise and pennywise companion project.
The Brass Tacks
Don’t think of companion projects like going to the mechanic to get your oil changed, and the mechanics are constantly trying to sell you windshield wipers, transmission flushes, engine recalibrations, catalytic converter diagnostics, and the like.
With many of the above projects, these companion projects are a must. Knowing this information, you can better equip yourself for the total cost, and see it not as money being unnecessarily being tacked on here and there, but instead as being part of the total cost of these projects.