Kukun Academy: A Complete Home Remodeling Guide

Thinking About Home Remodeling? Start Here

Find a pro
Get a loan
What is Kukun Academy?

Whether you’re closing a deal on a house with the potential to be the perfect living space or planning to increase your property value, especially ahead of a sale, a home remodel or renovation may be in the cards. But the important question is, how to remodel a home in a way that’s hassle-free and seamless?

Kukun Academy will help you understand all the aspects of remodeling, including construction, home remodeling ideas, home design, home decor and the subsequent maintenance. It’s the perfect home remodeling guide for you!

How to use Kukun Academy?

Use the search bar to find information on a specific topic or browse through the various categories and subcategories that are listed.

Here are the categories that will help make your search more streamlined:


Whether it’s a renovation or remodeling, if done right, it can provide a whole new look to your space – making your home more beautiful, practical and convenient. This section contains information on all renovation/remodeling related topics

A renovation typically involves some kind of restoration work — intended to revive a room or property, not completely change or replace it. The process could include repainting walls, refacing cabinets, replacing hardware or updating outdated features.

Remodeling, on the other hand, generally involves changing part of a home’s structure or layout. It’s more like a transformation of the property than just an update. A remodel could include removing walls, raising ceilings, combining two rooms into one or installing a kitchen island.

Real estate

Whether you’re contemplating home ownership or planning to put your home on the market, this guide will help you understand each facet of your journey. Find all your solutions on home buying as well as home selling here.


No home project is complete without quintessential purchases. Whether you’re thinking of laying new flooring, installing wall cabinets, adding lighting or buying new furniture, you can refer to our helpbook for the best shopping tips and advice.


Applying for home loans as well as home improvement loans can seem intimidating at first. This category will help you understand the options and how to choose the best financial option for you.


Homeownership comes with its ups and downs. You need to be mindful about the various aspects of homeowners insurance, including the different policies, eligibility, rates, terms and coverage types. Find out about all these and more here.

What are the steps to remodeling a house?

Needless to say, for a successful home remodeling, you’ll have a lot of tough decisions on your plate, including how to mitigate remodeling costs, find the right contractors and ultimately turn your dream home design into reality.

It’s a good idea to have a complete remodel checklist ready to help you get started and peruse tried-and-tested expert advice. But, above all, keep in mind that a major remodel requires patience, perseverance, effort and of course money.

Regardless of your remodeling project's size, the complexity of work and the cost, a thorough checklist comes in handy in making things easier for you. Always remember that even with impeccable planning, you should expect the unexpected.

Here are steps to remodeling a house. If you follow these, you’ll have a greater chance of success with your house remodeling project.

1. Develop a plan

Browse through home design magazines and websites to collect ideas and inspirations for your house. Think about your house renovation goals, the features you want in your updated home, what already works and what really doesn’t.

Make a list of your priorities. Is a kitchen renovation more important to you right now than, say, adding a family room, master suite or living room? If so, then it’s best to chalk out a plan for your home improvement. Don't worry about the high cost just yet; once the project get’s rolling, your contractor may be able to get you the look for less.

2. Have realistic aspirations

We understand that those home-renovation shows on TV, with stunning before-and-after transformations, are compelling. But that’s not how real life home projects work.

The budgets, time frames and costs shown are usually “helped along” with extra workers toiling around the clock behind the scenes. Moreover, some contractors charge less than their usual rate in exchange for the free publicity.

The sooner you start to have realistic aspirations, the easier it will be for you to handle your home improvement project.

3. Ask relevant questions

Home remodeling requires careful planning and meticulous execution. Before you begin the work, you need to ask yourself some crucial questions. These include:

  • How much remodeling budget do you have?

  • Will you pay for the work from your savings or apply for a loan?

  • How long will the project take? (And please discuss milestones and deadlines with your prospective contractor.)

4. Hire the right contractor

Hiring the right contractor is one of the most important steps in any home remodeling project. Whether you’re using the services of an interior designer, architectural engineer, structural engineer, specialized contractors or a general contractor, you need to select the best out there. There’s nothing more frustrating than badly executed work.

5. Work out all details

Discuss your top priorities with the contractor. Weed out the changes you don't need. Let the contractor prepare a detailed proposal and estimate. This ballpark estimate for your project should include all the expenses (and deadlines) from beginning to end, with details of construction and materials for every step.

Next, schedule a design meeting to identify any structural issues, take measurements and design a floor plan. This will help them factor in structural changes and get the required permits. For instance, if you’re making changes to a load-bearing wall, a permit is a must.

The final construction contract must include the terms and schedule for payment, a timeline for the completion of the project and the builder's warranty.

6. Shop for your home

This is the time you get to shop for your home. Select your favorite paint colors, cost-effective cabinets, countertop material, flooring or carpeting, and lighting fixtures. You need to make your selections before your builder completes their scope of work and final construction contract. Remember to consult them about any builder discounts they get.

7. Begin the renovation work

A preconstruction meeting will help you review the scope of work and discuss nitty-gritties such as the schedule of the workers, the storage of materials and designating a room for valuables.

Before the work begins, you may need to clear out your cabinets, countertops, pantry or closets. Expect a weekly progress meeting and regular com­munication with your contractor.

8. Wrap up the work

Once your project is completed, you and your contractor can see if there are any incomplete items or touch-ups needed. The last step is the cleaning and proper disposal of any debris. You will then receive a certificate of completion and a lien release document. Do not make the final payment until all the work is finished to your satisfaction.

How much does a home remodel cost

Getting a good idea of what your project will cost gives you a definite edge. Keep in mind that the total cost for upgrading a home varies according to several factors, including the materials used, the total square footage, the scope of renovation, your zip code, local labor costs and the finishing details – to name (more than) a few.

Tips for successful remodeling

For any renovation to go smoothly, you need to consider a lot of dos and don’ts. Here are some useful tips to help you on the journey:

  • Understand the goal of your renovation. Most home improvement projects vary depending on whether you want to increase the resale value of your home or want to live there for years to come.

  • Do thorough research and collect a wealth of information from your neighbors, family and friends about interesting house remodel ideas.

  • Set a realistic budget.

  • Always allot 10% to 20% extra to your total budget to pay for unexpected construction issues.

  • Keep in mind that most remodeling jobs (whether mid-range or high-end) end up costing more and taking longer than you expect.

  • Make sure all building permits are up to date. These are absolutely necessary to ensure that your remodel meets structural and fire safety requirements.

  • Make a master checklist of items you need for the remodeling.

  • During your house remodel, keep the renovation zone or remodeling room decluttered and free of obstructions.

  • Plan for outages. You might have to shut off the water supply or electrical supply for a time.

  • Do not over-improve beyond what's typical in your area – you might not be able to recoup the improvement cost or get a good ROI in the sale price.

  • Know your limits and determine which tasks you can safely tackle and which ones are better left to the professionals.

  • Always ask your contractor for references, client testimonials and copies of their liability insurance. A good contractor will never hesitate to provide you with these documents.