What to Know Before You Begin Remodeling

With the coming of spring, many of us begin to feel the urge to remodel or redecorate our homes. Most homeowners jump into the renovation process without a clue what to expect. Many suffer through renovation mishaps and regret not having a plan. There can be unforeseen expenses that can make the process complex and costly. Before you go down the remodeling path here are seven things you need to know:

  1. Invest in a Key Lockbox- If you need to hire a contractor, or if you are renovating before you actually move in, consider investing in a key lockbox. This box gets attached to your door hardware and a key is locked inside allowing you to provide entry to guests with only a code. It can save you countless hours of time, gallons of gas, and early morning wake-up calls.
  2. Spend Time in the Space Before Making Decisions- Hold off on some decisions like paint colors, carpet, and light fixtures until you spend time in the space you are renovating. With the array of materials available today the choices can be overwhelming. Freshly painted walls and new carpet can reveal some light fixtures that don’t illuminate the space as you thought they would. If you spend some time upfront, considering how everything works together in the room you’re remodeling, you can save yourself several back-to-the-drawing-board moments. It is always better to be prepared.
  3. Be Realistic About Your Timeline to Complete the Project- Keep in mind that your renovation will likely take longer than expected. Be prepared to make accommodations to avoid any frustrations. You might think your project is not complicated and will be quick but that is not usually the case. Selecting, ordering, and replacing items in your home can be a lengthy process. Be realistic about the renovation process and your time-line; try to select your new updates before you have the existing materials removed.
  4. Always Be Prepared to Expect the Unexpected- Life is unpredictable and so is home remodeling. Every home holds secrets and imperfections but we don’t always know what they are until the most inopportune moments. Plan extra time in your renovation timeline and put extra money into your renovation budget to allow for unanticipated mishaps along the way.
  5. Interview Multiple Contractors Before Committing –In the long run, it pays to interview multiple contractors to compare bids. Each one has its own unique way to price a job. Without interviewing multiple contractors you run the risk of paying too much and not getting what you want. Doing your homework, asking friends for recommendations as well as talking to several experts will serve you well before making your final decision.
  6. Renovate Your Kitchen Area First-it’s always best to start with the kitchen because these remodels add major value to your home. Plus, if you have an outdated kitchen, upgrading the space will allow you to better enjoy your space while you’re at home. Also, a kitchen remodel will create the most dust and debris which you won’t want landing on new paint jobs. It is prudent to isolate any demolition mess by putting plastic over doorways. You may need to set up a temporary substitute kitchen while the construction is ongoing.
  7. Try to Be Specific About Your Design Ideas-Before meeting with a designer you want to narrow down your design preferences. Browse decorating magazines, interior design websites and visit design shows. If you know the direction you want to go before beginning the process it will be easier and hassle-free. You want to avoid being talked into a designer’s personal ideas, which may be different from your own. It is also important to keep your designer strictly on your budget. Many designers have expensive taste and may persuade you to purchase expensive materials that are out of your budget.

In closing, it is important to remember that home remodels take time and cost money. To ensure your home remodel goes smoothly you must establish a detailed timeline and maximum budget for the project. On average, a complete home remodeling project takes 3-6 months to complete but this depends on the overall size and complexity of the project. Another factor in the cost is who you hire to completer the work and how much you plan to do yourself.  Remember, before doing any work there is planning to be done, contractors to hire, permits to be pulled, etc… all of this takes time. With a little planning and preparation, you can make your home remodel a successful project that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.

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