You’ve visualized your perfect home remodeling project and are now ready to check it off your “honey-do” list. But you’ve probably found that there is a lot of other planning to tackle first before the real fun starts.
So, what should you take into consideration before diving into the deed? Let’s look at some major things to take into account to make sure your renovation goes well.
Research and Planning
Those two words aren’t as exciting as actually swinging a sledgehammer through a wall, but like most things in life, putting in the preliminary research and planning for your home remodel is a must. You might find that the ideas you have in your head don’t quite pan out when you get them on paper, and that you need a professional to help sort out the finer details. A home modification project can be rewarding, but without proper planning and support, you may find yourself wasting time, money, and peace of mind.
Understanding the scope of the project, what you can/can’t live with, defining expectations in terms of timeframe, and return on investment are just a few considerations to put down in writing. As you’ve figured out by now, creating a plan before beginning a renovation is one of the greatest ways to ensure your project goes as smooth as possible.
A vital part of the plan will include your budget and tracking it in a spreadsheet. It will include every cost you can possibly think of, such as materials, contractor and inspection fees, and tool and truck/trailer rentals for hauling — just to name a few. Unless you have huge piles of cash laying around, you’ll also need to figure out what type of home improvement loan to get.
Are You Going to Be the General Contractor or Hire a Pro?
Whether you are choosing a DIY project or hiring a team of professionals will depend on your budget and skill level. DIY construction can be dangerous for those inexperienced with the tools of the trade and unfamiliar with the safety precautions to which professionals adhere. If you have a family, you’ll want to take their needs into consideration too. Hint: Wives don’t like to live in construction zones for extended periods of time.
The right contractor will look at your budget and help you determine if your goals are in line with what you can afford. A professional will not only ensure you stay on budget but on schedule and on par with expectations.
As part of the research phase, you’ll want to ask friends or family for contractor recommendations. Be sure to interview a couple of different contractors instead hiring the first one you find in the phonebook. Ask them for references and examples of their best work. You’ll be able to make a determination after seeing photos and talking to others who’ve used their services in the past.
Is a ‘Green’ Renovation Project Important to You?
Eco-friendly home-building and remodeling isn’t just for greenies, as evidenced by the fact that trends show more than half of builders predict about 60 percent of their house construction will be green by 2020. Meanwhile, more than a third of home remodelers say their projects will be green.
You can offset your home’s carbon footprint by buying locally sourced products. This means your building materials aren’t being shipped across the country and less fuel is being used in the process of getting products to your doorstep.
According to an article on Caelus Green Room, you can also talk to local professionals on what materials may work best in your part of the country because they know the climate and what will stand the test of time.
You might be able to save money by purchasing appliances by Energy Star, an EPA-based voluntary program that helps people save money through better energy use.
How Are You Going to Haul Debris?
Construction projects are messy and chaotic, especially if you have to make frequent trips to the dump. You need to consider what to do with the debris and scraps that are produced by your project.
You’ll have to figure out what is recyclable and what is trash. Have you thought about what to do with your old materials? So many questions! Instead of driving truck loads of waste to the dump, you could rent a roll-off dumpster, which is a convenient way to stockpile waste until it’s ready to be carted off. Just make sure you rent the right size of dumpster for your project and know what can and can’t be dumped.
Regardless of the size of your remodeling job, you will be producing more garbage than you can possibly squeeze into your trash cans. Your house may look like a disaster area for awhile, but just remember it always looks worse before it looks better.
Home projects can be a stressful part of life, especially when things don’t go as planned. But when it’s all done, just think how satisfied you’ll feel with all the hard work that went into your home remodeling project.