Everyone knows home remodeling projects can be costly and complicated, but they don’t have to be as stressful as they’re often made out to be. By taking preliminary steps and addressing things in advance, you can set yourself up for a smooth process and successful results. To gain some helpful insight, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to give their tips on preparing for a remodeling project.
1. Define the scope: Jim Kabel of Case Design/Remodeling
Before you begin interviewing designers and contractors, have a clear idea of what you want. Consider which aspects of your space you plan to change and which you plan to keep. Defining the scope of the project will be very important when it comes to determining the timeframe and budget.
2. Establish your style: Donna Merritt of Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders
Homeowners are often overwhelmed by the prospect of redesigning their spaces, which is why it’s good to start small. A simple way to get a sense of your style is by browsing home remodeling websites and magazines. Keep a file of visual examples that catch your eye—it will help you develop a more defined vision for your project and can be a great tool for communicating with your contractor.
3. Determine your budget: John Fraine of Building Solutions
Your budget will inform every aspect of the project, including the design, materials and appliances, so it’s important to establish it early. You should also plan to set up a transparent billing system with your contractor, which will enable you to maintain control of your budget throughout the project’s duration.
4. Research legal requirements: Jim Adkins of Springs Construction
Determine if you’ll need to obtain any permits or fulfill any building code requirements before beginning your remodeling project. Most cities have informative websites that can answer your questions, but a trip to your local city planning department can also be beneficial. Keep in mind that permits and other regulatory requirements usually involve substantial costs, so you should account for them when creating your budget.
5. Assemble your team: Jeff Kann of HouseWorks
This team should consist of you, an architect/designer and a contractor. You can hire these people individually and make sure they know how to work collaboratively, or you can hire a design/build team that’s already in place. Either way, the team’s job is to make sure your project is designed and built to your specific budget and schedule.