Whether you are touching up your half bathroom or giving your home a total makeover, the task of remodeling is no small feat. As you think about the materials, labor, and time needed to get your specific project finished, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. But don’t fret — we’re here to help you get the house of your dreams by giving you an insider’s guide to remodeling your home. The best way to go about a project like this is to place yourself in the shoes of a contractor since they can give you special perspectives about the project that you might not see at first.
We’ve learned many lessons from our extensive experience as contractors, and we believe that some of these lessons can help you too. As a homeowner, your main objective is to ensure that your home remodeling project comes to fruition as smoothly as possible, and this is done by trusting the contractor’s instincts as they get to know the makeup of your home.
How do you know if you’re helping or hurting your project? Read on to find out and to see what can help simplify your home remodel.
1. Don’t put things off
If you want your remodeling project to go according to plan, the best step you can take is to make every decision before your work starts. A good builder can talk you through the list of situations that might come up on your project, but these decisions aren’t usually what cause delays.
Instead, most of the issues are related to decisions about things like paint, trim and faucet selection. These may seem small, but when your faucet is two weeks late, plumbers have to be rescheduled and the medicine cabinet door hits the faucet when it’s installed, you’ll see how something small can balloon into a week’s delay on a five-week project.
2. Minimize indecision
Even though it’s inevitable that you’ll change your mind about something on your project, know this: Every time you change your mind, it’ll result in a change order. Although the change may seem minor, there are always added costs — even if it’s only the time spent discussing the change. Scheduling can be affected too. Everyone working on the job needs to be informed of the change so no one’s working on the old plan. While life happens, it is important to remain aware of the potential to disrupt and delay the job.
3. Don’t buy your own materials
It seems like an obvious way to save money — a builder is going to increase the cost of materials and pass that added cost on to you. That’s true, but the builder may get a better price than you to begin with, meaning that even after markup, you’ll pay the same price.
4. Don’t put lipstick on a pig
Though a builder will rarely come right out and say this, some houses should be knocked down rather than have money put in to fix them up. Though this is a rare situation, it’s common for people to put money into fancy cabinets for a house with a sagging foundation, or into a high-efficiency furnace in a house with no insulation. Listen to the professionals who come to estimate your project. Be open to their suggestions.
5. Don’t work without a contingency fund
If you find out that the work you wanted to do costs more than you expected or budgeted, you’re in good company. It’s almost unheard of that a person sets a realistic budget for a project. But don’t eat into your contingency to stretch the budget. If you follow rule number one and make every decision ahead of time, you can probably get away with a 5 percent contingency if you have a good general contractor.
6. Protect your kids and pets from dangerous areas
Though the people working in your home will often try to accommodate your pets and kids, they shouldn’t have to — it’s just not safe to have children or animals around construction.
7. Don’t live in the home
Most people ignore this rule, and for good reason. Remodeling is expensive, and moving out just adds to the cost. If you can’t move out for the whole job, try to schedule some time away and set up a clean, comfortable place to retreat to when you can’t handle coming home to a messy and stressful construction site.
8. Don’t be a distraction.
It may sound harsh, but every minute someone working on your house spends talking to you, they are not working on your house. Is the conversation important and one that will have an impact on the job? If not, then it might be necessary to give your contractor the time to complete the task at hand.
9. Don’t ignore what the house wants.
Though some people can pull off wearing a pair of high-top sneakers with a tuxedo, it can also go horribly wrong. Houses are the same way. Can an ultramodern kitchen in a Victorian brownstone work? Technically, yes. However, you will want to make sure you can pull it off. This is not to say a house can’t evolve with the times. There are no hard and fast rules — just get to know your house, live in it, and do your research before you pull out the sledgehammer.
10. Don’t work without a design.
Some projects require an architect, some an interior designer, and sometimes a talented builder will get your aesthetic and help you come up with a good plan.
Whatever you do, don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. A lot of elements interact in a space — put them all on paper and you’ll catch problems before they are built. You may be able to build a functional space without a plan, but if you want a functional and beautiful space, call one of us to do the job for you.
To learn more about our remodeling services, including painting, texturizing, and carpentry, visit our page and contact us today!