You’ve lived in your home for more than 20 years and it still looks like it did when you bought it so you’re thinking about remodeling your home. Or, maybe you have to remodel because of circumstances beyond your control like weather. It could be that you bought an older home that needs a little love (or more than a little), you know you need to make changes, and you’re not sure where to start.
This article is for you!
Steps to doing it right the first time:
Hire an interior designer
Hiring a designer to create a design and help you choose materials before work begins will save you time and money. Having a design already planned out including materials will give your contractor a definite plan to follow and it will be easier for them to give you an accurate quote for the work.
Once you sign the contract, your contractor will be able to pre-order the materials and have them onsite when the project begins. That way you aren’t waiting for something important to arrive. The less changes you make to your plan, the better.
Make sure that your designer and contractor communicate well and work together as a team to solve any issues that arise. A team effort can save you from mistakes which cost time and money.
Find an experienced contractor
Not every contractor will take on small projects. A small project is one or two rooms. Make sure to have a list of three to five contractors and ask them before they come out if they accept small projects or work in your area.
Ask for references and call them before deciding who to hire. It’s okay to ask to see examples of their previous work. You want to know that they can execute the design you had your interior designer put together for you.
Wait until the project is finished to ask the contractor to do more work. Asking to add things here and there results in a change order which can cost $350 or more per change. This may not include the extra labor and materials for the add-ons. A word about your budget… plan to spend more than you think. Prices for materials add up quickly and might surprise you.
Schedule your project
Watching TV can give you the wrong impression when considering home remodeling timelines. They are showing you the highlights of a project and everything looks like it happens very quickly on TV. That project took longer than you think. If you want work to be done before a specific date, make sure to start the process more than a month, or even two, in advance.
The design process alone can take about a month from the initial consult, to the presentation, any revisions before accepting the final design and getting quotes from contractors. The project itself can take 6-8 weeks or more for completion.
Remember that your designer and contractor most likely have other clients and they are working on your project even if you don’t see them in person every day. Find a designer who sends project updates at least once a week and again with important news that impacts your project.
Expect the unexpected
Whenever you remodel an existing home the unexpected will happen. From termites to dry rot and/or finding that the previous builder cut corners, all of these will make the project cost more than your original budget. Always add 15 – 20% to what you want to spend to cover these extra expenses.
Your home remodeling project is going to take longer than you think. From delays in special order materials arriving, the wrong materials arriving, to waiting for the inspector to show up so you can put up wallboard and anything in between. All of these things might happen, and it adds to the timeline. Be patient and remember that it’s going to beautiful in the end.
Your designer will do their best to help you stay within budget, yet there is no way to guarantee the original budget when the unexpected happens. Make sure that your designer and contractor communicate well and work together as a team to solve any issues that arise. A team effort can save you from mistakes which cost time and money.
Things are going to get messy
There will be dust. It won’t go away until the work is complete. It will get everywhere and make you feel like you’re a terrible housekeeper. It’s not you, it’s normal. Consider finding another place to stay during the project or moving into another part of your home if you can. Staying out of the way while work is being done will lessen the stress you feel and enable the workers to keep a good pace on your project.
When looking for a contractor, ask if they provide trash disposal in their quote. They should. It’s never okay to see piles of construction materials on the ground outside your home at the end of the day. Your contractor should have a receptacle at your home to place waste in or haul it away at the end of each day.
Make sure your contractor takes steps to protect your floors and walls in the areas they walk through to reach the work site for the duration of the project. This will lessen the impact of dust in other areas of your home though it is still inevitable.
There are many moving parts when it comes to your home remodeling project. Stay calm and take breaks every so often to keep you from fatigue. Remember, you and your home will benefit from making a plan and sticking to it. Plus, the result will be a more beautiful living space for you and your family that you will enjoy living in for years to come.
Many people want a beautifully furnished home, but don’t have time to figure out every small detail. Christina Rodriguez of Diva by Design guides you through the process of creating a perfectly planned, personalized, and pulled together space. This way you can relax stress-free in your fully finished home or office. Let us take care of the details so you don’t have to. click here to contact Diva by Design today.
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