With the hectic holidays far behind you and Spring approaching, now’s a good time to begin planning your home remodel project. Depending on the size and ambition of your project, it may take a few months just to complete preparations, such as designing, budgeting, getting permits, and selecting what products you wish to include.
If you’re planning on doing any kind of outdoor project or renovation, you had better begin planning now or risk pushing it off until next year.
Interior space remodeling doesn’t really depend on the seasons, but why not go ahead and get a jump on it? Whether you’re doing a grand redesign of your bathroom into a spa or building your own gourmet kitchen, the same rules apply to planning.
Many homeowners don’t know how to get started and have many questions about design and construction details. The following is a list of common questions to help give practical tips to homeowners who wish to navigate the often tricky home remodeling process.
Can I do some of the work myself, and what tools and materials will I need?
While most homeowners have basic tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, and maybe even a drill, many times specialty equipment is needed. Depending on the type of remodel, you may have to rent or buy many new tools for the job.
Tools are one thing, but then you have to have the materials before you start your remodel. Besides major considerations, such as drywall, lumber, concrete, or counter tops, there many smaller items to consider, such as nails, screws, and sandpaper. These things add up fast and you must keep track of your materials to make sure you don’t to halt your work just to go on a supply run.
Do we need to hire an architect, planner, or interior designer?
Well, it all depends on your intentions. If you’re planning on doing something major, such as moving one or more walls, it’s more likely you will need an architect to help plan out your new layout. You need to be sure your not removing or weakening a load bearing wall. With a new layout comes a new design scheme for your house, which might benefit from an interior designer’s eye.
Some of the larger home remodeling companies actually have architects and designers on staff. Many of the reputable design and building re-modelers also have partnerships with local architects and interior designers to give you easy access to professionals, as well not have to deal with the hassle of juggling different professionals. Whether a firm has architects and designers on staff or partners with another firm, you will get everyone you need on the same team and in communication with each other.
Many remodels don’t actually require an architect as long as the redesigns are cosmetic in nature, but a decent interior designer never hurts to spruce up your redesigned home.
How do we make a realistic budget for our remodel?
It’s difficult to determine how much a project will cost until plans have been made. Any re-modeler worth their salt will be able to give you a ballpark range based on the vision you have for your remodel. In most cases this can be done before you’re actually required to make any legal commitments.
For a different approach you can ask a friend, coworker, or relative who has had similar a remodel similar to your project. They can give you the cost without the pressure of speaking to a professional.
Whatever approach you take, you first need to determine how much you can afford and what you’re willing to invest. It’s recommended that you figure out your budget, and then tack on a stretch budget in case there are special upgrades that are required or that you wish to incorporate into your design.
Where do I find a qualified contractor?
You’ve probably heard friends or neighbors talk about their contractor, but it’s unlikely they ever referred them to you. Direct referrals from someone you trust is usually the best place to start if you can. Before you begin talking to a contractor, make sure they’re capable of handling whatever remodel you have in mind.
If word of mouth fails, you can always look through your local Pennysaver and find a large number of trusted professionals in your area. Look for those that are licensed and insured as specified in their ads.
Will I have to move out during the remodel?
Major interior remodels that involve work in more than one room are more likely to push you out of the house while the work gets done.
Most single-room projects aren’t an issue. The remodel room can be isolated for the duration of the project, causing minimal disruption to your home life while you wait for work to finish.
To get a better grasp on the situation speak with your contractor about how they plan to work on your project. Work with their schedule to decide what’s best for you and your family, as well as protect your valuables and property while the remodel is going on.
How much time will my remodel take?
Once all the planning and logistics are taken care of you’re eager to begin and finish. However setting realistic expectations for your remodel is important, as unforeseen problems can arise during the project and cause delays. Understanding these things are key to avoiding frustration during the process.
In general, the more specialized trades that are involved, such as plumbers and electricians, the more permits and inspection are required. This of course means the remodel will take longer.
Any long project can face delays. There could be undiscovered damage in your home that needs repair, adding time to your remodel schedule. Nothing these things beforehand will help you maintain your patience throughout the duration of the remodel.
With all the considerations involved in remodeling your home, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions before you even begin to think about starting a project. The bulk of the work in any remodeling project is planning and logistics. Master these crucial first steps of your home remodel and you will be well on your way to having your home redone in a way that meets your expectations.