Planning for your home remodeling project may be the task that’s most important to an outcome you’ll be pleased with. Working without a plan is likely to result in spending much more time and money that you expected, and ending up with a space that doesn’t align with your initial vision. Experienced DIYers and professional home remodeling contractors have at least one thing in common: They don’t lift a hammer without a well thought-out plan in place.
Regardless of the type of project you have in mind, the following tips will help ensure that you make the most of your remodeling dollars.
Plan the demolition
Home improvement shows tend to make demolition look like fun, but haphazardly knocking down walls and tearing out fixtures can cost you. Take time to plan this phase of the project to be sure that your demolition goes only as far as it needs to and that you don’t lose something that could have been reused. Determine what’s behind any walls you plan to take down, such as plumbing and electrical lines and conduit, and how their removal will affect your overall plan. Also make sure that every load-bearing wall in the house has been identified before anyone starts swinging a crowbar.
Stay true to your home’s style
It’s easy to fall for the latest design element or flashy material, but if it doesn’t complement or blend in with the style of your home’s structure and decor, you may be making a mistake by trying to include it in your plan. Try to find examples of how the materials or fixtures look in room settings similar to yours to help you decide what you really want.
Take inventory of your tools
Common, basic tools that most of us have on hand probably aren’t all you’ll need. If your project is complex enough to take a week’s time or more to complete, it’s a sign that your project should be handed over to a home renovation contractor who can either predict what kind of tools will be needed or have existing relationships with subcontractors who have the right tools. The expense of purchasing heavy-duty equipment for one-time use (and the time required to learn to use them safely and effectively) will likely not outweigh the advantages of hiring a qualified home remodeling contractor.
Have complete plumbing and electrical plans
You don’t want any surprises when it’s time to slide that new stove into place or install that new vanity, so a comprehensive plan for what’s behind the walls is essential. Again, if your home improvement or remodeling project is extensive enough to require changes in plumbing or electrical systems, get a licensed home remodeling contractor involved. There are almost certainly going to be local permitting, licensing and code requirements associated with these changes, and a contractor is the best person to handle them.
Review your homeowner’s insurance
Small projects probably won’t have much effect on your homeowner’s insurance, but larger remodeling work very well may. Your current insurance policy may have been written on the basis of the condition of your home when the policy was issued. Check with your insurance agent or company on whether you must hire a licensed professional contractor and how the changes to your home may highlight the need for changes to your policy.
Determine a budget
There are a number of factors involved here, from how long you plan to remain in your home to how you want to pay for renovations. If your goal is to sell relatively soon, for instance, you may not want to take on the debt of an extensive project, such as a completely new kitchen. Also consider the value of homes like yours in your neighborhood — going overboard on expensive features may add so much resale value to your home that you’ll price yourself out of the market. Regardless of how long you plan to stay in your home, a carefully prepared budget will help you determine how you want to pay for your project, guide you in your choice of materials and features, and help your general contractor prepare an accurate estimate of just what’s possible for the money you have.
Find ways to save
While many home remodeling contractors will not work with materials you’ve salvaged (because they can’t take responsibility for how well those materials will perform), there are still plenty of ways to save. These include checking with your contractor on new stock that might be left over from other projects; taking care of construction clean-up yourself; scheduling your contractor for less busy times of year when work may be more scarce; and keeping plumbing fixtures in the same place. This is just the beginning of how you can save money — it’s worth it to take several hours to search online for more ideas, since there may be tens of thousands of dollars at stake when all is said and done.
Not sure why to hire a general contractor? Here are 6 reasons to choose a Professional Home Improvement Contractor.
Go with a pro from Contractor Connection
The best time to involve a home renovation contractor in your project is in the planning phase, and the best way to find a qualified contractor is through Contractor Connection. We rigorously vet every contractor in our network, and they also meet the tough standards of the many insurance companies we work with. Our 5-year workmanship warranty means you can trust our expert contractors with your home remodeling project. Just enter your ZIP code at the top of the page to get a free, no-obligation estimate.Categories: Home Remodeling Renovation