Home remodeling projects take a vast amount of time, planning and monetary investment, yet homeowners, realtors and families can all benefit. The value returned varies, but depending on the project it can significantly increase a home’s worth, aesthetic appeal and comfort level or solve a particular problem.
No matter what the home remodeling project is, there are certain steps that need to be taken in order for the project to flow efficiently, while completing it to its fullest extent.
1. Find a Purpose
What’s the point of starting a home remodeling project without finding its purpose first? A project’s purpose gives motive for homeowners and guides the project in the right direction. Before embarking on any remodeling endeavor ask yourself, ‘what do I need and why?’
a. Increase Value: Homeowners and realtors may find the need to increase the value of their homes prior to selling. They mightn’t even sell anytime soon, but want to prepare for when that time comes.
b. Expand Family: Families may look to grow, but don’t have the funds to move to a larger home or just don’t want to move from their current location. If either are the case, then expanding their current home is a great option.
c. Solve a Problem: Some homes may be decrepit and need foundation repair, mold removal services, a new paint job, etc. The purpose and direction of the project depends on what needs fixed.
d. Increase Comfort: Many homeowners simply want to increase the comfort of their homes. It’s possible they may have been planning this for some time and finally saved up the funds to start a project.
2. Prioritize Options
Once you’ve found the purpose of the project, now it’s time to prioritize your options. The purpose helps prioritize the importance and order of what needs to be remodeled or repaired:
When in doubt, ask yourself, ‘does this relate to the purpose of the project?’ Will a new bathroom addition diffuse the clutter that a new family member will add to the household or will a finished basement actually be utilized enough to weigh the cost of renovating it in the first place?
3. Schedule an Inspection
Every remodeling project should require an inspection. Whichever area of the house you plan on remodeling, it’s best to search for potential environmental hazards that might come back to damage your project later. Plus, it helps when you create your budget in step 4, since you’ll know what to expect.
a. Water Damage: Several homeowners don’t notice the damage that water has on the foundation or interiors of their homes. This could occur through a leak or a crack in the foundation. If you’re looking to remodel your basement, it’s recommended to schedule an inspection first, so cracked or weak concrete won’t ruin the newly remodeled basement later on.
b. Mold: If water leaks into an area with little to no ventilation, then mold will form, which is harmful to residents and a home’s environment. It is also difficult to notice since it usually lingers in dark or hard-to-see places, which is why an inspection will take care of this potential problem.
4. Create a Budget
Homeowners will have a better understanding of how much a project will cost with an inspection because it notifies them of other potential problems they must take care of in the remodeling process. This also determines a project’s feasibility. Once the inspection is performed, it’s time to create a budget.
5. Set a Deadline (If Needed, but Always Preferred)
Deadlines are helpful for many scenarios; if a project needs completed prior to selling a house, if a bedroom needs added prior to the arrival of a new family member or if a certain problem is on the verge of being an emergency. In either case, speed fixes many problems, plus cuts down on costs in the long run.
6. Search for Professional Home Remodelers
You have your deadline and budget. Now, it’s time to search for the best home remodeling contractor for the job. This search can be done in several ways and through many medians.
a. Local Directories: Highly authoritative and curated local directories are great resources for finding local services. Curated directories are important because they are built around the experience of the user, which makes it easier to find relevant services.
b. Online Search: We’ve all been there. Go to our favorite search engine, type in a key phrase and abracadabra…hundreds of options of indexed web pages that are ideally ranked to fit the relevance our search query. It almost never fails.
c. Referrals: Many small home remodelers acquire much of their work from referrals of past clients. Why? Because if they do a good job, then people will tell their family, friends and coworkers. So, ask around.
7. Evaluate Options
After you narrow your search down to a select few, analyze their skills, certifications and experiences. This can be done through
a. Reviews of Previous Clients
b. Awards Earned from Past Projects
c. Photos of Previous Projects
The more positive reviews, awards or recognition and proof of quality work a remodeler has, the greater the odds to hire that person will be.
8. Receive Estimates and Time Frames
The next step is to find out how much each remodeler will charge and how quickly they are likely to complete the project. One might be quick, but may charge more and vice versa.
9. Compare with Budget and Deadline
Analyze each remodeler’s skills, reviews, certifications, experiences, estimates and speed and compare them to your budget and how quickly you need the project completed. Much thought and evaluation is involved in this step. Each remodeler determines the expectations of how the project’s tasks will be carried out. Based on what you’ve researched and what they’ve told you, you’ll have a general idea of what these expectations are.
10. Select the One for You!
You’ve come all this way! You found a purpose for your project, prioritized it, inspected your home, created a budget and a deadline, and searched for, evaluated and compared a select number of remodelers. Whew! Now you can make a decision and feel good about it.
Any home remodeling project should be carefully handled. These steps are designed to fully prepare you for the difficulties and potential threats typically seen in home projects. The process is long and tedious, but the decision you make will be worth the effort. You’ll have more confidence in the project and have less buyer’s remorse once it’s completed.
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