Tips to Follow for First Time Home Renovators!
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
One of the most exciting elements of homeownership is customizing and personalizing your home to meet your aesthetic and functional needs. Remodeling or renovation can seem a bit overwhelming if you’ve never gone through the process, and if you’ve had a bad experience, even a little intimidating!
However, home renovation can also be exciting, creative, fulfilling, and a great investment if you take a few simple steps, educate yourself and do some proper planning. Here are some insider tricks and tips for first time home renovators from remodeling professionals, guaranteed to help your next home renovation project go more smoothly.
Pre-Planning Your Home Renovation Project
When you’re planning a remodeling project, you might want to skip ahead to the fun parts, like choosing paint colours, new fixtures, and fittings. But, while the creative part of the project is always fun, there are several things to think about before you begin your project.
Think About Your End Goal
Before you begin putting together budgets and choosing finishes, you need to spend a little time defining your end goal for your project. Are you renovating to update your home and increase its resale value? Are you renovating to improve functionality for you and your family?
Think about and examine your neighborhood before you start. Perform a cost/benefit analysis and determine which renovations offer a good return on your investment, and which might be overdoing it for your neighborhood.
Be Realistic When Setting Priorities and Your Budget for Home Renovation
It’s important to spend time living in your home before undertaking any major renovations. Keep a running list of things you love, and changes that mean the most to you and use it to prioritize projects.
Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it is critical to a successful home remodeling. Remember when setting your budget to include a contingency for unexpected costs. When tearing down walls you may discover water damage or mold. These issues may require you to hire water remediation or mold remediation specialists. Having a contingency can help you cover these unexpected costs.
Start by determining how much you want to spend and put financing in place before you hire a contractor. When vetting contractors, be explicit about what you are looking for, your goals and expectations, and request bids from multiple contractors.
Do Your Due Diligence
If you’re considering a remodeling project, chat with your friends, family, and neighbors about any work they may have had done. Ask them about any challenges they may have faced during the process, and seek out recommendations for potential contractors or design-build firms.
Gathering information from others who have gone through the process can help you during the planning process. The more time you spend researching and planning your project, the better educated and more prepared you’ll be to understand and discuss all of your options with your contractor or design-build professional, and the smoother your project will run.
Choosing the Right Contractor or Design-Build Professional
Finding the right professional is probably the hardest part of any home renovation. As mentioned earlier, talk to your friend, family, and neighbors for recommendations, consult online renovation and design platforms like Houzz, Near By Professional at Gharpedia or Angie’s List and ask any prospects for references and before and after photos of their work.
Today, you have a wealth of information available online and you should visit potential contractor’s websites, look through their gallery photos, and ask questions. Keep in mind that the lowest bid isn’t always the best one. Paying a little more for an experienced professional that has the expertise to bring your project and creative vision to fruition is worth the extra cost.
Look for a contractor or design-build firm with more than three years of experience. Look for membership in trade organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, check their record with the Better Business Bureau, and ask for customer references. Contact your state’s consumer protection agency, and other sources like disciplinary boards or the local courts to make sure that your contractor doesn’t have a history of disputes with clients or subs. Most importantly, hire a remodeling professional that you trust and has a similar vision and philosophy to yours.
To further avoid problems, when you choose a contractor, agree to a timeline, trade several forms of contact information including cell numbers and email, and get everything in writing before demolition begins.
Schedule regular on-site meetings to discuss your project’s progress, and remember any design or materials “change orders” you sign once you’ve begun will likely cost you more and bump back your completion date.
If you decide to take the DIY route, know your limitations before you start! Planning your project and hiring a remodeling professional that you trust can make your renovation run smoothly and can help assure an outcome that will exceed your expectations!