If you’re dissatisfied with the current look and layout of your house, you have three basic options: live with it, move, or remodel. While most people choose either of the first two choices, remodeling is typically the best long-term choice. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it also ensures you’re happy with your surroundings.
5 Tips for a Remodel You’ll be Happy With
Choosing to remodel your home – whether one room, three rooms, or the whole shebang – is a major decision that must be carefully considered against all other options. But once you decide that it’s the right move, there’s no turning back.
Here are a few simple yet powerful tips you can use to ensure you’ll be happy with your remodel for many years to come:
- Choose the Right Contractors and Designers
Most people think that choosing the right furniture or finishes is the most important element in the process, but this simply isn’t true. These choices may be the most visually obvious, but they’re just small parts of the large process.
The most fundamental and critical choice in any remodel is the selection of contractors and/or designers. The right team establishes a strong foundation for the rest of the process. The wrong one will doom you from the start.
There’s a lot to consider. But according to Lakeside Renovation & Design, “The key to a satisfactory renovation is the melding of an interior renovation contractor’s expertise with the desires of the homeowner.”
In other words, you need to find someone who specializes in what you want to get done. If you’re doing a kitchen, look for a contractor who does kitchens. If you’re doing outdoor living space, find a contractor who focuses on decks and porches. Do your research and look for the right fit.
- Set the Proper Budget
One of the more dangerous mistakes homeowners make is starting with a design and then budgeting around that design. This leads to inflated costs, unrealistic expectations, and challenges throughout. Always, always, always start with a budget and filter every decision through it. By beginning with the cost in mind, you have more control over the process.
When setting your budget, it’s good to implement a 10 percent cushion for unforeseen costs and added expenses. In other words, if you’re planning on your renovations costing $20,000, you should really budget for $22,000.
- Keep it Contained
The challenge with a remodel is keeping the project contained. (Both literally and figuratively.)
From a literal perspective, make sure the work zones are carefully isolated from the rest of the house by using protective plastic barriers. This keeps the dust down and saves you a bunch of clean up on the back end. Figuratively speaking, it’s easy to let renovations from one room spill over into the next. And before you know it, a kitchen remodel can turn into renovating the entire house. Stick to your budget by keeping it contained!
- Over-Communicate Changes
Changes are inevitable. You’ll change your mind, unforeseen issues will arise, and planned phases of the project will have to be altered. In other words, stuff happens! It’s how you handle these changes that determines the success of your project.
When a change happens, it’s important to over-communicate. If you talk to your contractor about something on the phone, get it in writing. (And make sure these changes are communicated to the actual workers who are onsite.) It’s better to be annoying (through persistence) than regretful when it’s over.
- Stay on Schedule
It’s easy for a remodel that’s supposed to take three months to balloon into a marathon ordeal where you’re forced to live in a construction zone for six months.
A good contractor will keep you on budget and on schedule. However, you should be vigilant as well. Speak up if things seem like they are in jeopardy of getting behind schedule. The more consistent you are with checking in, the less likely that the project will extend past the deadline.
(Nearly) Stress-Free Remodeling
There’s no such thing as a totally stress-free remodeling experience. However, your experience doesn’t have to be the quintessential headache-inducing process that so many of your friends and neighbors have dealt with in the past. All it takes is a strategic and proactive plan and the process will unfold with minimal friction. And for most homeowners, that’s all you can ask for!