The decision to remodel your home is probably the second-most important decision you’ll make as a homeowner after the decision to purchase a home in the first place. A remodel is an important investment and if you don’t make decisions regarding it carefully, you can end up not getting much out of that investment. Here are six things you need to do before you remodel.
Think about style
Homes come in a wide variety of styles. If your home has a purity of style-if it pretty much has all the architectural details of a given style, then it’s pretty easy to tell what style your home is. There’s colonials, Victorians, mid-century ranches, and Cape Cod cottages to name just a few. Many modern homes mix architectural features from different styles and are harder to define. Some terms you’ll often hear are traditional, transitional, or contemporary. It’s important to figure out your home’s dominant style before you begin a remodel. Look at your home from a distance, perhaps from across the street, and look at its shape and size as well as the pitch of the roof and the placement of the windows. Now you’re ready to decide if you want to work with the existing style of your home or change it all together.
Think about functionality
Your remodeled home doesn’t just need to look beautiful, it needs to meet the needs of everyone living in it. Evaluate your family’s current and future needs. In what ways is your home meeting those needs? In what ways does it fall short? For some homeowners, it’s easy to tell exactly when their home needs. Others know it’s lacking something but they don’t know what. Before you start remodeling, you need to get a good sense of how your home needs to change to make it more functional.
Have a very detailed plan
Most remodeling horror stories originate from a lack of planning. If you want your remodel to go smoothly, you need to have a master plan for the entire project that specifies everything down to the tiniest detail so that nothing is left to chance. Your vision for your home should be drawn up to scale so that remodelers can’t possibly go wrong if they just follow the plans.
Set a budget
You should also have a set budget to go along with that master plan. The contractor should provide a detailed list of all the materials needed and an estimated timeline for the project. From this information, you should be able to create a fairly accurate budget. The estimated cost needs to be reasonable so don’t estimate for the best case scenario. In fact, you should assume the worst and then add another 15% more than you think it’s going to cost just to be safe. You don’t want to run out of funds mid-project. If your plans don’t fit within your budget, change your plans, don’t go in just thinking everything will magically work out.
Think smarter, not bigger
When your family has outgrown the home, you may be tempted to build an addition onto your home. This is the nuclear option for home remodeling and it tends to be a poor investment. Instead of thinking bigger, think how the existing square footage can be used most effectively so you’re getting as much as possible out of the space you have rather than spending a fortune for a little more space.
Carefully select a contractor
The success or failure of any remodel largely falls on the quality of the general contractor. Don’t just hire the first one you come across and don’t automatically go with the lowest bid. Get several estimates and do your homework looking into each one. You need a contractor with many years of experience and a proven reputation in the area. You can check with local home improvement stores for good references and check with the Better Business Bureau as well.
Source: Deseret News