Remodel time! That new kitchen, bath, or deck is just around the corner. All you do is call up a contractor and in two weeks it’s done, right? Well…not quite. A successful home remodel requires you doing homework on the front end. Follow these 10 steps before diving in and your project will go smoother with a better outcome. Consider them like your apple a day.
1. Envision Your Outcome
Do you want to remodel for your dream master bath, or for major return on investment? Would you like a kitchen built for entertaining, or designed for efficient mornings? Nail down what you want from your remodel, and generally how you want it to look before contacting the pros.
2. Consider Your Budget
Be realistic about budget. It’s best not to say you have $13,550 to spend when that’s the exact amount you have put aside. Allow room to allow for changes mid-stream…it will come in very handy. The 2016 Cost vs Value Report gives approximate cost of standard renovations by region nationally. Start there!
3. Solidify Your Design
You know your goals, you’re realistic about budget, now it’s time to be clear on design. Most contractors deliver construction projects, but aren’t fine-tuned to design. For layout and design help, hire an architect or designer to create the plans. A pro designer or architect is key when reworking the footprint of the kitchen or moving walls. They’ll make sure of structural integrity and compliance with codes.
4. Interview Contractors
A good or bad contractor will make or break your remodeling experience. Interview multiple to find the right fit. Use these 12 questions when hiring a contractor to help you land a happy outcome for everyone.
5. Hire a Contractor
You’ve found the right company, now sign that contract, agree to a timeline, and put the project in motion. Be very clear on the front end approximate length of project and what hours the workers will keep. If you’re staying in your home, you’ll be living with these people for weeks on end, you want to know what to expect.
6. Plan for Housing
Remodeling multiple rooms at once? A short-term rental might be best to give the family peace of mind so the demolition, drilling, and nailing can get underway without further ado. Whether staying home or not, consider a code-access door lock so workers can get in and out when you’re not around, but you can also change access to the house as needed (often from your phone.)
7. Prep the House
The more you prep, the happier you’ll be for the several weeks you’re without your kitchen, bathroom, or living room. Consider life without that room. Remove everything you need from it. Put all your valuables in a safe place. Create privacy so you can walk throughout the rest of your home without workers seeing you go to and fro.
8. Hire Movers
No, you’re not actually moving, but yes, you do have a huge amount of dishware, tchotkes, and art in your kitchen. Do you have time to pack it all safely and store it in the garage? If time is crunched, or your weekends are precious, hire movers to do the hard work for you. Your fine china will survive the remodel and be ready to live in new cabinets in three weeks time. Movers are also fabulous at handling heavy furniture, or disassembling wood desks that need to be moved.
Already have the optimal shade of metallic buttercream gold for your accent trim selected? Now all you need is the painter. Round up your bids and find the right fit before your project even begins. You’ll already be in their calendar, and the painting can begin as soon as construction wraps.
10. Coordinate Pet Care
Don’t let the little dudes get traumatized by all the action. During demolition days or times when you know there will be tons of banging and clanging, arrange for pet care to safeguard their sanity.
With just 10 prep steps, you and your family (and your home) will be sailing through the remodel phase and into the fancy new future.