Things to Remember while Remodeling Your Home
Home remodeling is exciting as you customize your space to your tastes, but it’s often expensive and stressful at the same time. How do you decide what you want remodeled and how to remodel it? Or how much to spend? Or which contractor to use? There’s a lot to consider. So, you need to start planning well before you begin your project.
Many remodels stem from a change in interior or exterior style trends or because more room is needed and an extension is requisite. Some renovations may be non-cosmetic like a sewer system upgrade or an HVAC upgrade. Regardless of the renovation project, consider the following five tips to ensure your project runs smoothly and you maintain your sanity.
Consult the contractor or the architect
To avoid potential dangers and losses it’s wise to consult a contractor during the planning stages of any renovation, especially when walls will be opened or removed.
The right contractor can point out the dos and don’ts or things that need to be repaired. They’ll be key in estimating the costs involved and finding the right material suppliers. An experienced contractor will also be essential to finding the right sub-contractors such as painters, plumbers, electricians, and masons if your project calls for them.
As a bonus, a contractor can give you ideas of what to remodel and how. They’ve been around the block and have seen a thing or two.
You may want to consult friends or family members who have done similar projects. They’ll have experienced the pitfalls and will have advice so you can avoid recreating the wheel.
Check the background of your contractor
If you’re going to need a contractor for the project, it’s crucial to perform a background check on them. Asking for references from friends and family may not be enough if you end up with someone not licensed to do the type of work. It’s crucial to verify their licenses, insurance, bonds, reputation, and work history. Many states, but not all, require a contractor to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area.
You may want to ask potential contractors things like:
- How many projects like this have you done in the last year?
- Will my project require a permit?
- Do you have a list of references I can contact?
- What types of insurance do you have?
- Will you be using sub-contractors on my project and can I have their names and contact info?
When working with a contractor or sub-contractor, do the following to protect yourself:
- Get a written contract
- Don’t pay cash. Use credit or check in order to cancel payment if necessary
- Limit how much you pay them as a down payment. Contact your local consumer protection agency to see how much they can request from you.
- If possible, make payments contingent on the completion of certain portions.
Budget, budget, budget
The first thing to do regarding budget development is to price shop. It may take some time and you may not figure out all the things you need to include in your budget on your first attempt, but pricing out as much as you can will help you get an idea of how much you really need for the project. Your contractor consultation will be key here. Once you price shop, you can commit to figuring out your financing.
Can you afford the remodel out of pocket or do you need a home equity line of credit or other type of bank loan? After deciding how much you need to fund your project, set aside some additional money for overages (which are inevitable), then you can commit.
Something that few people think about is the cost of their remodel compared to the cost of a brand-new home. You may find it’s easier to customize a new home from the ground up. You never know which option is cheaper.
Be realistic about the project
It’s easy to get carried away as you see a design vision coming together. If you end up considering a major overhaul, it’s okay, but the styling you’re looking for may not be available in your budget. In such cases, it’s advisable to go bit by bit, paying off each sub-project of the whole before starting the next one. Start on the areas that are in urgent need of repair, if there are any.
Plan on some DIY
Renovations are expensive because you not only have the demolition, but the construction and material costs to deal with. So, if there are ways to decrease your costs by getting your hands dirty, consider doing so—because why not have the satisfaction of having helped in carrying out you dream? Post that stuff to social!
Activities such as taking down the cupboards and cabinets and cleaning between construction crews don’t require skill. Therefore, you may be able to do it yourself. You may be able to take a load off your budget by painting the baseboards where the pros will do the masking and walls.
Don’t let all the hard parts of starting and running a home remodel project stop you from doing it. It’s your home and you need to love living there. Take some of the stress off your shoulders by following our advice above and watch your vision become a reality.
About the author: Anda Warner is a certified architect as well as a writer for different websites. She is young and ambitious, with a degree in architecture. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and create their perfect sweet home. She puts a big effort into working with her clients and tries to help them in the best way she can.