When it comes to making your home more comfortable, functional, and appealing, home remodeling can be an excellent avenue to explore. From kitchen renovations to adding newly finished spaces like a basement or bonus room, there are many projects you can take on that will have a positive impact on your space.
Even if you’re fairly confident in your DIY skills, undertaking a home remodeling project can seem quite daunting at first. With so many details to take care of and so many things that could go wrong along the way, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the prospect of starting such a project.
However, with the right preparation and organization beforehand, as well as some key considerations before taking on such a task, you can make the process much smoother and far less stressful.
That’s why, before you sign on the dotted line with any contractor, you should take some time to consider the pros and cons of various options. Here are some helpful tips for getting started.
Know What You Want
The first tip when it comes to a successful home remodeling project is to know exactly what you want. This means having a very clear vision of what you want your space to look like after the project is completed, as well as having very specific things you want to change or add.
It’s important to have this clarity of vision first and foremost because it will help you to stay on track and keep your project on schedule. If you don’t know what you want and how it should look, you increase the risk of getting sidetracked by different ideas or suggestions from contractors or family members or even getting distracted by wonderful design magazines and blogs.
It’s also important to make sure that you can afford everything you want to do in your project. You may want to add a room or finish out an existing basement, but there are likely some other projects you need to take care of first, like replacing old appliances or repairing the roof. Make sure you’ve got a clear budget in mind and that you can afford what you want in your home remodeling project.
Plan Your Budget
As we just mentioned, make sure you have a clear budget in mind when planning your home remodeling project. It’s important to take into consideration all costs associated with such a project, including the contractor’s fee, permits, and any other expenses beyond materials and finishes.
You may want to even use a free budget calculator to help you with some of the math. Your budget will likely vary depending on the type of renovation you’re doing. For example, if you’re doing a kitchen renovation, you’re likely going to spend more than if you’re just doing some painting and replacing a few appliances. You may even choose to break up the project into phases, so you can take on less at once and have more time to save up the appropriate amount.
Decide on a Renovation Plan
Once you know what you want to do for your project, you should then decide on a renovation plan. This is the step where you decide what needs to be done, in what order, and by when. It may sound simple, but this is an important step that many people overlook.
Getting your renovation plan in order will not only help you stay on track, but it will also help you to save money. It will prevent you from adding expenses that aren’t necessary or doing parts of the project out of order, which can end up costing you more in the long run.
Deciding on a renovation plan also means deciding on what contractors you want to hire and when you want them to begin work. There may be some contractors who offer “turnkey” or “full service” renovation plans where they provide everything from design, permits, and even clean up. If you’d like to save yourself some stress and time, you can decide to hire one of these types of contractors.
Estimate How Much Time You Have
Another important factor to consider when deciding on a home renovation plan is how much time you have. Is this a project you want to finish before your child goes off to college, or do you have enough time to finish it while they’re still in high school?
Is this something you’d like to finish while you’re still working full-time, or do you have time to take on the project while working part-time? Depending on your situation, you’ll likely want to take into consideration the amount of time the project will take. You may want to estimate how long it will take to finish various parts of the project.
For example, it takes much longer to paint a room when you’re painting both the inside and outside of the wall, as opposed to just one side. If you decide to do a basement or attic remodel, for example, you should take into account that you may need to remove some existing framing and/or insulation, which could add an extra couple of weeks to the project.
Decide on a Contractor
Many people are hesitant to hire a contractor because they’re worried they’ll be scammed or get bad work. While there are certainly some shady contractors out there, you can easily avoid this by doing some thorough research and deciding on a contractor before starting your project.
There are a few ways you can go about this. One option is to ask friends or family members if they can recommend a contractor. Another option is to head to your local hardware store or builders’ supply store. Most of these stores offer a referral program that allows you to sign up and get contractor referrals based on your project type.
As you go along with your remodeling plan, you’ll be needing these contractors to make sure you are all set with your plan. Don’t stick to getting a contractor only for the purpose of renovating your home, but keep in mind also to include separate contractors that will have to take care of your mosquito control and management or perhaps termites, and other common household-related pests.
You might as well consider getting a service from commercial cleaning companies right after the renovation to maintain certain standards of cleanliness for your home. This is actually great to consider, as most of these companies have access to a team of professionals who know exactly what they’re doing, so they can focus on what really matters—getting your home cleaned without any issues!
Secure Your Valuables
Another important thing to do before you begin a home renovation project is to make sure you’ve secured all of your valuables. You don’t want to leave your valuables, such as electronics, jewelry, or cash, lying around while contractors are working in the house.
You can easily take care of this by locking those items away in a safe place or a nearby safe deposit box. You can also inform your contractors that you have valuables in the house and that they need to be careful around them. They should be able to give you tips on how they’d like you to store your valuables while they’re working.
If you have a lot of valuables or you’re worried about having them stolen, you might want to consider hiring a home security company to keep an eye on your house while you’re not there. Alternatively, you can ask your friends or family members to keep an eye on the house for you while you’re not there.
Be Prepared for Surprises
Finally, make sure you’re prepared for surprises along the way. This doesn’t mean you should expect them, but you should be prepared if they come up.
For example, you may find that your project will take longer than you expected, and you’ll need to find somewhere to live in the meantime. Or you may end up needing to spend more than you expected on the renovation project.
Being prepared for these sorts of things will help keep you from getting stressed out and will keep you from running out of money. You can save money by planning, being realistic about how long things will take, and being frugal with your spending.
About the Author
Janessa works at Integrated Digital Strategies, an award-winning digital marketing agency that delivers integrated marketing solutions for franchisors, franchisees, and franchise development teams.