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5 Things to Know Before Starting a Home Remodeling ProjectJuly 23rd, 2020 by
Does your house need a bit of sprucing up? Home renovations can transform nearly any space in your home to make it more attractive and functional for your family. A home remodeling project can also add value to your property, especially if you concentrate on important areas such as your kitchen, bathrooms, or outdoor spaces.
When you are excited about your home remodeling project you may want to dive right in before you have all your plans in order. Unfortunately, a hasty renovation can lead to less-than-desirable results. Instead, we recommend you stop, take a deep breath, and think about these five home remodeling tips to be prepared before you give a contractor the go-ahead on any work.
1. Know Your Style
Remodeling your home involves more than materials and labor; it is also about your vision for how you want to use the space and how you want it to look. Start by doing a little window shopping at home improvement stores and design showrooms. You can even look from the comfort of your home by flipping through magazines or by browsing online.
Taking a close look at what is trending in home design or examples of how other homeowners have renovated rooms can give you a sense of what you like and what you want in your own home. Focus on these areas to use your time wisely:
- See what the latest fashions are and imagine how you may feel about them after five to ten years.
- Decide which smart technology would benefit you and your family and incorporate that into your design.
- Consider different styles, including transitional, modern or contemporary, coastal minimalism, and rustic farmhouse. The list is endless!
Defining the style that works with your current home as well as your lifestyle will help you stay focused as you move forward with your project.
2. Set Your Budget
After you have decided what renovations you would like to complete, it is time to consider your budget. The cost of home remodeling can quickly balloon out of control, which is why it is so important that you and your contractor have a clear understanding of budget, costs, and how much flexibility you have.
It’s time to go back and look at the things that inspired you, but this time pay attention to the price tags. You may need to make some compromises and decide what matters most to you. For example, do you really need a heated floor in your bathroom or would you enjoy a soaking tub more?
Another thing to keep in mind is overspending for your area. If getting a return on your investment when you sell your home is important to you, putting a lot of money into a remodeling project that doesn’t increase the value of your home may not be the best plan. Unless you plan on staying in your forever home, well, forever, you may want to scale back your plans or choose the updates that can best increase your property value.
3. Understand Your Limits
A touch of realism does not have to ruin your dreams, but you should keep in mind that not every renovation is structurally possible. Consider the scope of your project and see if it makes sense or logistically can work. For instance, wanting an open floor plan does not mean you can remove load-bearing walls.
Understanding the structural integrity of your plan should include consulting with a designer or architect who can evaluate the feasibility of your proposal. Scrapping the footprint of your foundation or re-plumbing the entire home down to the pipes may not be in the cards. If this is the case, it may be better to look for a new home rather than start a renovation project.
4. Determine Your Timing
While you are being realistic, you should extend that thought process to your time frame. Even the most conscientious contractor may not be able to deliver your home remodeling project on time. Build delays or setbacks into your remodeling schedule to account for issues that might come up during the project.
What kind of delays can you anticipate? Weather delays are always a possibility and can lengthen almost any stage of construction. Take the weather into consideration depending on the time of year you start your project.
Another serious concern is the availability of materials – due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders many contractors are reporting months of delays on projects due to materials like roofing and siding not being available for them to order. Certain times of year also have busy periods, which may require you to put off your remodel until a time when your contractor’s calendar is free.
Some homeowners try to schedule a home remodel around a special occasion such as a family reunion or a holiday, while others may have to move out of their houses during construction. Imagine how an obstacle can affect your time schedule or your expectations if you have not planned for the chance of delays.
5. Pick the Best Contractor
Perhaps the most crucial decision you will make is choosing a contractor that will manage your renovation project. This professional will be your best friend – or worst enemy – throughout your entire project. Put significantly more time into researching and selecting your contractor than you did into determining your style and picking out your fixtures.
Think of all the pieces of project management for which a contractor is responsible. From securing building permits to lining up a skilled construction team, a contractor has a lot of irons in the fire. How can you be sure he or she is up to the challenge?
At a minimum, you should ask about licensing and bonding, and do not forget about insurance! Check with a local or state agency about any complaints filed against a prospective contractor or if a history of liens exists. Be sure to get references or better yet, choose a reputable recommendation site that will do most of this research for you.
Most importantly, always require a contract and never pay the total upfront. A reliable contractor should be happy to accept payment after the job is complete and you are satisfied with the work.
Find a Qualified Professional for Your Home Remodeling Project
With an eye on these tips and some careful planning you can get your home remodeling project off on the right foot. When you are ready to find a contractor, let us do the footwork. Best Pick Reports has a list of high-quality local contractors and other resources to help with any scale of project.