For many homeowners, the mere thought of home renovations can be confusing, intimidating and overwhelming. Too often, homeowners who have gone through a remodeling project will cringe when they think back to the process – even if they’re happy with their results. Remodeling is stressful. For many, it’s more stressful than buying a home.
So, how can you love your remodeling project from beginning to end? Here are four important tips:
Understand Your Project: This is your home and your financial investment. Don’t turn over your project to a contractor – no matter how experienced or talented – and walk away. It’s in your best interest to understand your project and know exactly what you want to accomplish before you even reach out to a contractor. And, once you make the hire, take the opportunity to be involved and become even more educated about the process. It’s more than fixtures and finishes. Really understand the invisible work (wiring, plumbing, structure, etc.) that will be required in order to realize your objectives.
Create a Realistic Budget: And by realistic, we mean a budget that isn’t overly frugal and one that allows for wiggle room. Any remodeling project will add investment value to your home – but only when it’s done right. The difference in price between vinyl flooring and tile flooring may not be that significant, but the selection will make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic and return on investment. When calculating your budget, allow for a 20% cushion to provide peace of mind for unforeseen expenses or design choices.
Choose a Contractor Carefully: Take your time hiring a contractor. While many homeowners will seek a few bids, there’s often a strong temptation to go with the lowest bid. Credentials, insurance, references, track record … are all important criteria to consider in addition to price. A qualified professional contractor who will deliver on your expectations will put forth a fair and competitive price – not necessarily a rock bottom price. It’s also important to find a contractor that fits your personality and is open to communication. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with the contractor you choose – you should like them.
Changing Your Mind … Again: Once your project is underway, do everything in your power to work your plan. While there will certainly be some decisions that need to be made or edited throughout the process, major shifts in direction should be avoided – or you’ll be sure to increase your costs and timeline.