Any remodeling project, big or small, goes much smoother when you have a solid plan from the beginning. By making important decisions early, you’ll have better results and a happier remodeling experience.
Use these five steps as a checklist to make sure your home remodeling project is off to a good start.
1. Create a Schedule
Is there a date your project MUST be completed by (i.e. important event, out of town guests, etc.)? Or is your deadline open and you hope it’s completed within the next couple months? The answer to these questions can affect creating your schedule.
If you’re in a hurry to complete the project, you may be required to pay contractors more to finish the job faster. You also may need to cut parts of your original plan if special materials aren’t available in time, or if certain subcontractors can’t fit you into their busy schedules.
When creating a schedule for your remodeling project, think about how long your household routines will be disrupted at various stages in the process. Consider the time of year and if certain months are easier to be disrupted than others.
For example, is it easier to deal with chaotic stages when your kids are home from school in the summer? Is your project planned during busy seasons at work when you need to focus your time and energy elsewhere?
Though you can’t predict what the future holds, planning the schedule around what you can predict gives you and the project an advantage.
2. Set the Budget
Home remodeling projects are well known for going over budget, but it doesn’t have to if you make a plan and stick to it. Know the realistic costs of your project then set a budget and include a percentage of overages.
When you don’t have a specific budget in mind, it’s easy to go overboard. Share your budget ideas with your contractor and they’ll tell you if your budget is realistic or not.
3. Know the Difference Between Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves
When you know exactly what you want versus what you can live without, it’s easier to create a time frame and budget and stick to it. Create a list and know the difference between your priorities and wants. This helps you make decisions faster when finalizing your plans.
4. Choose DIY Projects
Do you have skills or experience with do-it-yourself projects? Decide which projects you’re willing and able to do.
Don’t forget, you need to be engaged and enthusiastic about doing your tasks and completing them. You also need to be skilled so you don’t create a roadblock with subcontractors who may be waiting for you to finish your part.
Be careful with over-committing yourself and avoid tasks that require licensed professionals to pass inspections and meet code. If you have the time and talent, DIY tasks may save yourself thousands of dollars and stretch your budget.
5. Do Your Homework on Contractors
After completing the above items, you’ll be ready to research contractors. This can be a time-consuming task, so start by asking for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.
Don’t forget to check out their credentials for yourself. You want to make sure your contractor is properly licensed, has appropriate insurances, relevant experience, and a great track record of happy clients.
Don’t have time to research contractors on your own? Check out a service like Contractor Connection. With just your ZIP code, their free matching service puts you in touch with a qualified contractor in your area. There’s no obligation and all work completed by their network contractors is backed by a 3-year workmanship warranty.
If you’re undertaking a home remodel make sure you plan ahead and follow our 5 step checklist to ensure a successful and stress-less home renovation!