Renovating your home can be an exciting process, but it takes a lot of careful planning to make things go smoothly. If you’re thinking of a remodel, here are some things to consider.
Some homeowners are savvy DIYers, while others would rather call in a professional. Only you can decide what is best for your situation, but the scope of the project will be a major factor. A large home remodeling project where there are several rooms involved is probably easier with a contractor.
In many cases it will save you time and money to hire a contractor. A professional will be able to spot potential issues with a design and work out better alternatives. An experienced residential contractor can also resolve unexpected problems that may arise during the renovation.
If you decide to work with a professional remodeler, spend time vetting several options. Here’s a quick checklist to go through:
It’s important to work with a contractor who is properly licensed and bonded, carries liability insurance to cover any subcontractors that will work on the project, and has a clean record of professional conduct.
Budget is the most important aspect of any remodel. It determines the scope of the entire project and influences every decision, from the contractor you end up hiring to the materials you use. It’s a good idea to build in a 20% “cushion” in case things end up going over budget. So if you want to spend no more than $10,000, you should set your budget at $8,000.
It’s also a good idea to decide how you will finance the renovation. Are you able to pay in cash, or do you need to take out a personal loan? If you’re working with a contractor, will they work out a payment plan with you? How much money should you put towards a down payment? It’s best to answer these questions before you even get started.
Once you’ve selected a remodeler to work with, it’s important to ask for a written contract so that everyone is on the same page about the project. You want to have a guarantee that the renovation will be completed to your satisfaction. This includes an agreed-upon bid price and payment schedule, a timeline, and a change-order clause.
Take into account what the day-to-day will be like during the renovation. When will the contractor and subcontractors arrive each day, what hours will they work, and when will they leave? Deciding on a schedule ahead of time will help you know what to expect.
Depending on the area of the home that’s being remodeled, you may have to make other living arrangements. Extensive renovations will require you to stay at a hotel or live with relatives or friends. For smaller remodels, you can stick to a different area of the house.
Once the renovation starts, you should pay attention to the work that’s being done and speak up right away if you notice any issues or have concerns. Contractors want to make sure you’re satisfied, and it’s easier to fix problems as soon as they occur.
It’s also important to treat the contractor with courtesy and respect, even when things go wrong. This will go a long way towards building a good working relationship.
Once the renovation is complete, do your own careful inspection. If you notice any issues, let the contractor know right away and work out a solution. Keep in mind that this is a professional relationship you may continue for years to come. Take note of how the remodeler handles your concerns. This will help you decide if you want to maintain a long-term relationship with the contractor.
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