5 Steps to Take Before a Home Renovation
If you’re ready to update your 1960s kitchen or redesign your master bathroom into a glorious oasis, congratulations on finally making the decision to do a little home renovation. To help make your home improvement project go as smoothly as possible, here are some steps I recommend you take before starting the remodeling process:
- Evaluate Your Space
- Do Your Homework
- Know When to Hire a Pro
- Set Your Budget
- Plan Your Life During the Remodel
1. Evaluate Your Space
Is your remodel mostly cosmetic or do you need to move a wall or two? There’s a big difference in time, effort and cost in remodeling a space in its existing configuration versus relocating water pipes and moving walls. Avoiding any structural changes to the room can help make your remodel simpler and less expensive. It also helps if you plan not to change the location of the plumbing and leave it intact. Consider what you can do to work with your existing room layout, and you may potentially save some money on your remodel.
2. Do Your Homework
If you aren’t sure about the style and materials that you want in your remodeled space, start shopping around well before picking up the phone to hire a contractor. Become a regular browser at home improvement stores, paint stores and tile stores. Take pictures of rooms, appliances and colors that you like, and then imagine them in your own home. Keep in mind that shopping online has its advantages, but you won’t really know what that beautiful mosaic backsplash looks like until you see it in person.
Also, remember that the new room should be consistent with the overall style of your house. If you have a mid-century modern home, for instance, a traditional country-style kitchen may seem out of place. When in doubt about what color to use in your room, consider going with white. White is a timeless color that never goes out of style and can be accessorized to reflect your home’s personality and style.
3. Know When to Hire a Pro
You may already have planned to hire a designer and general contractor to do your remodel from start to finish, and this can be a good option if you would prefer to leave most of the work up to a professional. But if you would like to do some of the work yourself, either to save money, or because you enjoy the renovation process, you’ll have to make some decisions upfront about what you can do, and what you’ll hire out.
A simple guideline for this is to determine what you truly feel comfortable doing yourself. These are the tasks you will have the most success with. And there are some instances where you can do the work yourself, but get some help from the pros. For example, some kitchen cabinet companies may provide free design help if you’re planning to purchase an entire new suite of cabinetry. Or, when it comes to the plumbing, you might feel comfortable installing a new kitchen faucet, but hire a plumber to help hook up the new toilet, dishwasher or refrigerator’s ice maker.
4. Set Your Budget
Once you decide upon what you want for your new space, start getting quotes from contractors. You should also price out the materials for parts of the job you’ll be doing yourself. You’ll want to add at least 10 to 25 percent to your existing budget to allow for unforeseen circumstances, according to HouseLogic.com. You can also help save money on a contractor-driven project by purchasing high-ticket items such as appliances and cabinetry yourself.
5. Plan Your Life During the Remodel
Finally, you should not overlook how you’ll live during the remodel period. Will you stay in your home or will you make other living arrangements? If you do plan to stay in your home, which is often the case if you’re doing a lot of the work yourself, you’ll want to make arrangements for handling pets, children, food, dust and debris.
If you keep these planning steps in mind before your next remodel project, you’ll enjoy some peace of mind when you’re actually in the midst of the construction process. You can do this!