Home remodeling can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy tips to improve the quality of a home remodeling project.
Now is an ideal time to remodel. Contractors are hungry for work and competitive with their bids. Costs for materials are down. Right now homeowners can get a sweet deal on a room addition, kitchen remodel or new master bathroom with savings of 25 to 30 percent over last years bids. But, all this opportunity can be lost if proper preparation falls through the cracks. To ensure a remodeling project runs smoothly from start to completion a little prep work must be done.
Homeowners who perform certain duties in advance will simplify the remodeling process and avoid certain obstacles. Whether it’s a family room make over, sunroom addition or basement remodeling project homeowners should have a clear vision of what they want to achieve long before the builders show up.
Choosing Design Elements
There are infinite products and materials to choose from and, because of this, many remodeling projects get delayed while the homeowner shops. Nailing down these elements before construction begins will keep remodeling projects in check. For a kitchen remodel the decisions that should be made in advance are style; French country, contemporary, English cottage, cabinets; oak, cherry, maple, fixtures; stainless steel, brushed nickel, antique bronze, and counters; ceramic tile, granite, Corian. Having a clear idea upfront of style, products and materials will save time and confusion once the project begins.
Budgeting and Permits for Home Improvement
Researching products and costs for materials in advance will help determine a realistic budget, then add estimated contractors fees and allow enough overage for unforeseen events.
Homeowners can perform due diligence by checking with their city’s building division to make sure there are no restrictions on construction. Permits are required for fences that stand over six feet tall, attached decking, and structurally making changes to the dwelling. Obtaining a permit can take a few weeks though it might be quicker now that construction has slowed down.
Finding a Contractor
A licensed contractor is highly recommended for any major home remodelling, home improvement or home repair project. Ask for referrals and contact the Better Business Bureau for any possible complaints filed against the contractor.
Contractor’s fees vary by location and level of expertise. There are 3 types of fees:
Cost plus – the contractor charges a fee for services, materials and subcontractors.
Fixed fee – the contractor bids one price to perform the work. Fixed fees make it easier to plan the home remodelling budget.
Percentage fee – the contractors fees are based on a percentage of the total cost of the project.
Preparing for a Start Date
A task that is often overlooked is preparing the space that is to be remodelled. The area should be cleaned out before the contractors arrive. If the project is a kitchen or bath remodel, then all drawers and cabinets should be emptied the day before the project is to begin. Space should be cleared out in the garage for the builder’s supplies and tools. A plastic walking path between job site and garage will protect floors from dirt and damage.
The remodelling process is a positive experience in most cases, however to ensure success and reduce stress, pre-planning and a little leg work are crucial.