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A home remodel is a huge decision. Such a large task normally comes with a few surprises.
If you want your renovation project to run smoothly, here are a few tips that may help.
Keep a home remodel running smoothly
1. Plan ahead
Before you even meet with a contractor, it’s best to have a plan in mind.
First, think about the overall goal of the project. Why do you want this remodel? Is it to improve the functionality of the space? To bring it up-to-date with current trends? Do you want a larger room? Do you want more versatility? Whatever the reason, start there. You can refine the details later.
You’ll quickly discover which items are “must-haves” and which ones can wait till later.
2. Create a budget
Every renovation project needs a budget to keep things running smoothly. Otherwise, costs get out of hand, and you may run out of money before the project is complete.
Start with the larger items, of course, but remember to budget everything you need to complete the remodel. This includes details like building permits and increased energy costs.
You should add an extra 10 percent to the total to serve as a buffer, too. There are almost always unexpected expenses with a renovation.
Once the budget is nailed down, you can look for financing, if that’s the route you plan to take.
3. Estimate a timeline
The never-ending construction project is so common that it’s practically a trope. To keep this disaster scenario from happening to you, estimate a timeline with your contractor.
Consider the parts of the project you want to be done first. These should be things you can’t live without for long, like a kitchen or bathroom. Once those are complete, you can focus on less important tasks.
When you’re done, add a few extra days in case there are delays.
Read more: When is the best time to remodel a kitchen?
4. Hire a contractor you trust
This step is essential.
First, ask your friends and family members for recommendations. You learn a lot about a company via word-of-mouth. Then check reviews online for any red flags.
Narrow your list down to a few possible candidates. Check their ratings on the Better Business Bureau website, and ask if they’re licensed and bonded.
They should have several years of experience, and a membership with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) doesn’t hurt, either.
You can check out one of their current job sites to get a good idea of their cleanliness and work ethic. A safe job site is crucial, so pay attention to the precautions they take while working.
Finally, check local court records to see if they have any lawsuits.
5. Get a detailed contract
Of course, you would never start a remodeling project without a proper contract, but some contracts are better than others.
Make sure yours includes all the important details and leaves nothing open-ended. It should include a start date, end date, and a detailed list of work to be completed. It should also include a total cost so there are no surprises later.
6. Keep an eye on the project
Make sure you look over things carefully throughout the project. Inspect any finished work on a regular basis so you can spot problems sooner rather than later.
You should always stay polite, though. The workers are professionals, and you should treat them well. If there’s an issue, address it quickly, politely, and firmly. Insist on a resolution, but give them time to solve the problem before you escalate the situation.
7. Plan for the unexpected
Nearly every renovation has at least one hiccup. If you assume there will be surprises, you’ll be less upset when they happen.
It could be something simple, like a rain delay. Or it could be a bigger problem that adds significant time to the project.
Unforeseen circumstances are never fun, but they don’t have to ruin the project. Just tell yourself they’re going to happen so you’re less surprised when they do pop up.
8. Prepare your home
Finally, remember to prepare your home before the remodel starts. Don’t spend all your focus on the areas you’re renovating. Your entire home will probably be affected, and it’s best to set things up now so you’re more comfortable in the days ahead.
For example, if you’re remodeling the kitchen, consider moving your appliances to the garage so you can have a makeshift kitchen until your real one is complete.
Put up valuables and breakables so you have one less thing to worry about.
Think of the completed project
Finally, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, keep your eye on the prize. You started this remodel for a reason, and the goal is just around the corner.
No matter what may happen between now and then, the completed project is almost always worth the road it takes to get there.