Home remodeling 101 – updated edition

Are you bored with your home and you feel like you need a change? Maybe you just need extra space? Is it time to turn your office into a baby room? Whatever the reason may be, it seems like you are ready for home remodeling. If you are a newbie in the home remodeling department do not worry. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you get started.

Hire professionals to make your idea come to life

How much professional help you need, depends on the type of renovations and changes that you decide to make. So, don’t think about it too much and hire some help. There are many details that you will need to pay attention to. Therefore, it is very likely you will miss something important. It is similar to organizing a complex move. For example, when I moved to New Hampshire I hired Preferred Movers NH. They did such a good job when organizing my move, that I barely felt it.

Large and bright living room with earthy tones.
Before you start this adventure, be certain what you want to your home to look like. My perfect living room would look like this.

Don’t hire the first contractor you speak to

First, get referrals and read reviews before contacting contractors. Second, once you have a group of contractors, contact them all. Ask them all to provide you with a quote. Then make your decision who will get the job. Finally, don’t hire the cheapest contractor. If the price is a lot lower from others, usually there is something fishy about it.

Do you know what do you want?

You know that you are ready for home remodeling, but you have no clue what you really want to do. If this is the case, pump the breaks. Don’t hire anybody. Don’t call anybody. Take your time and figure out what do you really need and want. For inspiration, you can check out online galleries.

Let the pros do their thing

At this point, you know what do you want to accomplish with your home remodeling. That is truly great news. Nevertheless, you should still be open to suggestions. Contractors can have great suggestions based on their previous experiences. Thus, listen to what they have to say.

Know your budget

When home remodeling your main costs are labor and material. First, calculate your budget and then make choices to fit within the predetermined budget. Make this your practice and not the other way around. Also, keep in mind that during every home remodeling, unexpected circumstances can occur. Therefore, you might have to save some extra money. So, it is not a bad idea to leave 10% of your budget in limbo. Just in case. Better to be prepared than unpleasantly surprised. You can do it. You aren’t the first, nor the last person that is remodeling their home on a budget.

Coins and calculator on a piece of paper with calculations.
Be very careful! It is extremely easy to exceed your planned budget.

Put is all in writing

Coming to an agreement with your contractor is tricky. It can take some time. Don’t celebrate too early, because agreeing on something is not the end of the story. In order to protect yourself, you should put your agreement on paper. In other words, make a legal contract between you and your contractor.

Here are some details that the contract should contain:

  1. License and name of the hired contractor
  2. Start date, as well as the planned end date. In some cases, there are penalties if the agreed work doesn’t get done within the requested timeframe.
  3. Set goals. In order to specifically state goals, materials and actual detailed work description should be stated
  4. Price of the agreed job. It is a good idea to pay in smaller payments instead of paying the entire agreed sum upfront. This way you are protecting your investment.

How do you know that the document is valid and really protects you to the full extent? Unless you are a lawyer, you will not have a clue. It is good to hire legal representation. This is not the time to pinch pennies. If you do, it can cost you much more down the line.

Do you have all the necessary permits for your home remodeling?

This is another reason why you should hire a professional. The only time you don’t need a professional is if your home renovations are super simple. For example, if you are only painting walls in one of your rooms or something similar. Otherwise, it is very hard to know what permits are needed. Your contractor will assist you with this problem. Worst case scenario, you will be pointed in the right direction.

Two signs: approved and declined.
Make sure you have all needed approvals before you start your home remodeling.

Be patient and keep your cool

Sorry to break it to you, but rarely home remodeling goes smoothly. Don’t get carried away and think about the decoration tips that you got from your friends. Before that comes into play, you have a long way to go. Make sure you are patient. In addition, if things go south, be calm and don’t add ad tension to the equation.

Make sure you do your part during home remodeling

Contractors and other workers have a difficult job. It is hard enough without you riding them all day long. We are not saying you shouldn’t check up on them and see the progress. Far from it. However, make sure you keep your distance and let them do their job. Also, make sure your kids and pets are not in their way. This is not just for the constructor’s benefit, but for your kids and pet’s safety. If you are going through a massive project, move out when remodeling with some assistance.

What we offered are just some basic tips, to get you warmed up. There is a lot more what you need to learn if you want your home remodeling to be successful. Know that it will cost you money, the stress from the whole process might overwhelm you, at some point, you might feel like you are about to lose it, etc. In the end, just remember one thing, you will enjoy yourself once it finished. At that point, it will all be worth it.

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