This is your ultimate resource for home renovations, real estate investments, DIY projects, and more. As the President of Char-Ron Contracting Inc., I am passionate about helping homeowners like you create beautiful, functional living spaces and achieve your renovation dreams.

In each of our expertly crafted blog articles, Hammer and Nail delves into a variety of topics, from practical how-to guides and contractor selection tips to smart real estate investments. Our goal is to provide comprehensive, down-to-earth insights and guidance from an experienced contractor's perspective while also fostering personal growth and empowerment.

As we embark on this journey, we'll share stories, anecdotes, and valuable lessons learned from years in the industry, inspiring you to take on new challenges and achieve your goals.

Hammer and Nail is more than just an expert blog for homeowners; it's a platform for learning, sharing, and motivating each other to become the best versions of ourselves. With over 50 engaging blog articles that blend practical tips, personal stories, and motivational messages, our blog serves as both an outstanding source of information and a hub for growth and inspiration.

Together, we'll empower you with the knowledge and confidence to create your dream home and transform your life. Welcome to Hammer and Nail: Building & Renovation Tales with Charlie LaRue.

  • Home Renovation Planning: Learn how to budget and choose the right materials and contractors for a successful project.

  • Real Estate Investment: Navigate the lucrative yet risky world of real estate with expert guidance.

  • Contractor Selection: Find reliable and experienced contractors to ensure a satisfactory renovation experience.

  • DIY Tips and Tricks: Master the art of DIY while recognizing when professional help is needed.

  • Step-by-Step Guides: Follow clear, concise instructions for tackling specific home improvement tasks.

  • Empowerment and Motivation: Be inspired by personal stories and insights from Charlie LaRue and other industry experts.

Home Remodeling: How to Plan and Execute in Highlands, NJ - Four houses undergoing remodeling by Char-Ron Contracting Inc. in the image.

Home Remodeling: How to Plan and Execute in Highlands, NJ

July 26, 202310 min read

“Home is where our story begins, and a well-remodeled home is where our story evolves.”


Starting a home remodeling project is an exciting journey, one that could redefine your living space and increase your home's value. It can also be daunting, especially for first-timers. This guide aims to ease your worries and provide a comprehensive step-by-step approach to planning and executing a home remodeling project in Highlands, NJ.

Defining your vision: A beautiful home in Highlands, NJ built by Char-Ron Contracting Inc.

Defining Your Vision

Before you jump into the nitty-gritty of planning, it's crucial to clearly define your vision. What are you hoping to achieve with this remodel? Is it a much-needed kitchen upgrade, a historic renovation to restore your home's character, or a new roof to safeguard against Highlands, NJ's weather conditions? Your project's nature will heavily influence your budget, timeline, and the professionals you'll need to hire.

Three Essential Factors to Consider

Once your goals are crystal clear, it's time to consider three basic factors that form the cornerstone of any remodeling project: budget, timeline, and functionality.

1. Budget: Understanding the cost of home remodeling services in Highlands, NJ, is vital to avoid financial surprises down the line. The budget should include everything from labor and material costs to contingency funds for unexpected expenses. Resources like 'Your Home Renovation Checklist' by Sweeten can provide a rough estimate of potential costs.

2. Timeline: Depending on the project's scope, a home renovation could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Consider factors like material delivery times, permit approvals, and potential delays.

3. Functionality: A beautiful design is crucial, but so is functionality. Consider how the remodeled space will be used. Do you need additional storage in your kitchen, or are you looking for a bathroom renovation that accommodates mobility aids?

Creating a Renovation Project Plan and Checklist

A renovation project plan acts as your roadmap, laying out tasks in a logical order and helping to manage resources effectively. Start by listing out tasks based on the project's nature. For example, kitchen remodeling in Highlands, NJ, might include tasks like demolishing the old kitchen, rewiring, plumbing, installing new cabinets, painting, and so forth.

A renovation checklist, on the other hand, ensures you don't overlook essential steps. It can include elements like finalizing your budget, securing necessary permits, hiring contractors, and setting a realistic timeline.

Prioritizing Your Remodeling Tasks

In any remodeling project, some tasks must precede others. For instance, structural work, such as ensuring a sound roof, comes before aesthetic improvements. If you're considering a new roof, it's beneficial to research the cost of a new roof in Highlands, NJ, and explore affordable roofing options.

Remember, this blog post will go into further detail in the next sections, guiding you through the five stages of remodeling and providing you with actionable tips to navigate your home renovation journey. Whether you're in Highlands or exploring home improvement services in Middletown, NJ, this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

In the following segments, we will answer questions such as: "What should you remodel first?", "How to create a work breakdown structure for a building renovation?", and more.

Continue reading to gain a deeper understanding of each stage, and don't hesitate to Contact Us at Char-Ron Contracting for any further assistance. Let's turn your home renovation dreams into reality together!

Understanding the Five Stages of Remodeling

Every home remodeling project, be it bathroom renovation or kitchen remodeling in Highlands, NJ, can be broadly categorized into five stages: planning, designing, obtaining permits, construction, and finishing touches.

1. Planning: This stage involves defining your vision, setting a budget, creating a timeline, and making a renovation checklist, as we discussed earlier. Additionally, this stage should include researching and hiring reputable Highlands, NJ remodeling services to carry out your project.

2. Designing: With the help of your chosen contractor, start developing detailed designs of your remodeled space. These should include architectural and engineering drawings that clearly outline the project's scope. Remember to keep your home's functionality at the forefront during this stage.

3. Obtaining Permits: Depending on your project's nature and local building codes, you may need to obtain various permits. For instance, certain types of roofing jobs or historic renovations in Highlands, NJ, might require approval from the Borough of Highlands Building Code division. Check the Borough of Highlands, New Jersey's building codes for more details.

4. Construction: This is where the magic happens! Your chosen contractor will start the work according to the approved plan. Regular site inspections and open communication with your contractor will ensure the project stays on track.

5. Finishing Touches: Once construction is complete, it's time to add those finishing touches that transform your renovated space into your dream home.

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure for Building Renovation

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a helpful tool for understanding each task involved in your renovation project. It involves breaking down your project into manageable chunks and understanding the sequence in which they should occur.

For instance, consider a simple WBS for a kitchen remodel in Highlands, NJ:

  • Initial Consultation and Design

  • Meet with Contractor

  • Develop Preliminary Design

  • Pre-construction Phase

  • Secure Necessary Permits

  • Order Materials

  • Construction Phase

  • Demolish Existing Kitchen

  • Install New Plumbing and Electrical

  • Install New Cabinets and Countertops

  • Paint and Finish

Each of these tasks can further be broken down into sub-tasks, providing you with a detailed overview of your project.

What to Remodel First?

If you're tackling multiple renovations, it's crucial to prioritize your tasks effectively. The rule of thumb is to start with structural and mechanical improvements before moving on to cosmetic ones. For example, ensuring a sound roof is essential before installing new interior finishes. In this context, you might want to explore affordable roofing options for Highlands homes.

In the next segment, we'll dive into the detailed considerations for each stage of the remodeling process, providing you with the knowledge to manage your project effectively.

Remember, whether you're looking for home renovation tips for Atlantic Highlands homes or estimating the cost of a new roof in Highlands, NJ, Char-Ron Contracting is here to assist. Contact Us today to embark on your home remodeling journey.

Picking the Right Time for a Remodel

Choosing the right time to start your home remodeling project is just as important as planning the project itself. Many homeowners often overlook this aspect, but timing can significantly impact your project's cost, the availability of skilled contractors, and the overall project timeline.

Seasonality plays a significant role when scheduling a remodeling project. For instance, spring and summer are the most popular times for home renovations in areas like Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and Sea Bright, NJ. The longer daylight hours and warmer weather provide ideal conditions for outdoor projects and easier execution of work like exterior painting or roofing. If you're considering a home improvement project involving your home's exterior, such as a new roof, these seasons would be the most favorable time to execute it.

However, due to high demand during these seasons, you may face challenges such as higher labor costs and less availability of contractors. Therefore, it could be beneficial to plan indoor projects, like a kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation, during the off-peak seasons like fall or winter. During these times, contractors might be more available and perhaps more willing to negotiate costs.

It's also crucial to consider how long your project will take when deciding when to start. For instance, a minor kitchen remodel in Highlands, NJ, might take a few weeks, while a whole home renovation could take several months. If your project is extensive, it's worth starting in the off-peak season to leverage lower labor costs and greater contractor availability.

Choosing the right time to remodel can save you time, money, and stress. As you plan your remodeling project, remember to consider these factors, and you'll be well on your way to achieving your dream home at the best possible cost.

Conclusion: Embarking on Your Home Remodeling Journey

Starting a home remodeling project in Highlands, NJ, or its surrounding areas like Atlantic Highlands, Rumson, or Middletown, NJ, can be both exciting and daunting. From conceptualizing the design to creating a budget, selecting the right time to start, and understanding local regulations, there's a lot to consider. However, with careful planning and a clear understanding of the process, you can navigate your home remodeling journey with confidence.

Don't forget, home remodeling isn't just about upgrading your space; it's also a significant investment. Proper planning and execution can increase your home's value, making it a worthwhile endeavor whether you're planning to live in your home for years to come or considering selling in the future.

When embarking on your home renovation journey, don't hesitate to seek professional guidance. A seasoned contractor, like Char-Ron Contracting, with deep local knowledge and expertise can help turn your dream into a reality, ensuring a smooth process and result that enhances your home's aesthetics and value. So, whether you're contemplating a simple bathroom renovation, a complex kitchen remodel, or a historic home renovation in Highlands, NJ, remember that professional help is just a [click away](

I hope you found this guide useful as you plan your home remodeling project. If you have any more questions or need further clarification, don't hesitate to ask.

About Char-Ron Contracting, Inc.

Founded by a team of firefighters, Char-Ron Contracting, Inc. is an embodiment of service, integrity, and commitment to excellence. This "All American" company, based in Highlands, NJ, has built a legacy of helping families rebuild their lives after significant events, such as Hurricane Sandy, by offering not just home remodeling and renovation services but also a sense of hope and normalcy in trying times.

Our Wide Array of Services

We are experts in various home improvement fields, from building a custom home from the ground up to transforming existing spaces. Our personalized approach to custom home building reflects your unique style and preferences.

In addition to our home remodeling and renovation services, we are proficient in new roof installation and roof repairs, understanding the importance of a solid, well-maintained roof for the safety and comfort of your home.

At Char-Ron Contracting, Inc., we extend our expertise beyond just residential projects. We offer high-quality commercial builds and remodels, understanding the unique requirements of commercial construction.

Our storm recovery services are integral to our commitment to helping communities rebuild and recover. Offering fast, reliable, and compassionate service, we strive to restore normalcy to your home as quickly as possible after a storm or natural disaster.

Covering Monmouth County, NJ

Our services, including home remodeling, new roof installation, storm repair, and commercial property outfitting, span across the length and breadth of Monmouth County, New Jersey, including Atlantic Highlands, Rumson, Middletown, and many more areas.

Whether you're in Highlands, Allentown, Belmar, Colts Neck, Freehold, Hazlet, or any other part of Monmouth County, we are ready to help turn your vision into a reality, whether that's through a kitchen remodel, a historic home renovation, or a complete home build.

Ready to Start Your Project?

If you're ready to begin your home renovation or remodeling journey, we're just a click away. At Char-Ron Contracting, Inc., we believe that every project is an opportunity to make a positive impact. We strive to deliver not only superior craftsmanship but also unparalleled customer service.

No matter the scale of your project, from a minor bathroom remodel in Sea Bright, NJ, to a major home renovation in Rumson, NJ, Char-Ron Contracting, Inc. is your go-to home improvement services provider.

In every project we undertake, our goal is to exceed expectations, offering a unique blend of professional expertise, commitment to service, and deep understanding of the specific needs of our clients in Monmouth County, NJ.

Embrace the exciting journey of home remodeling with us today!

photo collage of home remodeling done by Char-Ron Contracting inc in Highlands, NJ

home remodelingHome Remodeling Highlands, NJKitchen Remodeling in Highlands, NJHistoric Home Renovation Highlands, NJBathroom Renovation in Highlands, NJ
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Charlie LaRue

Charlie LaRue is not only the president and founder of Char-Ron Contracting Inc., but also a dedicated firefighter committed to serving his community. He established Char-Ron Contracting Inc. alongside a group of fellow firefighters who shared his vision of rebuilding their hometown after it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. With a combination of their construction expertise and passion for helping others, Charlie and his team of firefighter-builders have been instrumental in the recovery and growth of their community. Under Charlie's leadership, Char-Ron Contracting Inc. has been involved in numerous reconstruction and development projects, breathing new life into the area and providing a sense of hope for its residents. To date, Char-Ron Contracting Inc. has proudly served over 1500 satisfied customers, completing projects that have not only restored homes and businesses but also strengthened the community's resilience. In addition to his work with Char-Ron Contracting Inc., Charlie continues to serve as an active firefighter, always ready to protect and assist his fellow citizens.

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My Three Pillars To Success


Quality Craftsmanship

I strongly believes in delivering high-quality workmanship in every project, big or small. I emphasizes the importance of attention to detail, using superior materials, and employing skilled tradespeople to ensure the finished product exceeds clients' expectations. This dedication to quality is a cornerstone of my business and personal philosophy.


Transparent Communication

I understands that clear and open communication is vital for a successful renovation or construction project. I advocate for maintaining an honest dialogue with clients, listening to their needs and concerns, and offering guidance throughout the entire process. By fostering a collaborative relationship, clients can feel more involved and confident in their project's progress.


Personal empowerment

I am a firm believer in the power of personal growth and self-improvement. I encourage clients and readers to take charge of their projects, educate themselves, and build their confidence in making decisions. By sharing knowledge, experiences, and motivational stories, I aim to inspire others to overcome challenges and achieve their goals both within and beyond the realm of home improvement.

Office: 188 Bay Ave.Highlands NJ 07732

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