TV shows tend to make remodeling look easier than it really is, especially when the professionals swoop in and do all the work. But any homeowner who has been involved in the remodeling process themselves will tell you that it’s anything but easy. Home remodeling is complex and will almost always require some degree of involvement for the homeowner even when professionals are involved. Here are a few tips to ensure that a home remodel is successful.
Get expert help
Because of television networks like HGTV and DIY, many homeowners are tricked into believing they’re more capable than they really are when it comes to home improvement projects. A good first step is to evaluate your own abilities and be realistic about which projects you can do on your own with a little help from YouTube instructional videos and which projects should be left to professionals. There are a few tasks that should always be left to professionals such as electrical and plumbing work as well as any project that will require structural changes to the home.
Set a budget
Whether your project is relatively small (a fresh coat of paint and some new window treatments that will cost a few hundred dollars) or huge (a total kitchen makeover that will cost tens of thousands of dollars) it’s important to have a realistic budget for the project before work begins. Going into a remodel with an open-ended budget is a recipe for disaster. So crunch the numbers and come up with an estimate that is reasonable and do your best to stick to it. Experts recommend setting aside an extra 15 to 20% more than you think it will cost as a contingency fund for when things don’t go according to plan.
Consider the time frame
Just as you’ll want to have a realistic expectation of what it’s going to cost, you should have a realistic expectation of how long it’s going to take. Some projects can be done in as little as one or two days while major remodeling projects can stretch on and on for weeks. If you’re working with a contractor, you should ask for and receive a written estimate that will not only include the anticipated costs associated with the project but an estimated timeframe as well. As with your budget, estimate high and then round up just to be safe. You may want to make arrangements to stay out of the home during a major remodel.
Whether you plan to be more hands-on or you’re pretty much leaving it up to the contractors, you need to communicate to anyone who is helping with the project exactly what it is you want. You should have detailed plans drawn up before any work begins. If there will be multiple contractors, consider hiring a general contractor to oversee the subcontractors and coordinate schedules.
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