Summer is in full swing, and many people have home renovations on the brain. Whether this is your first renovation or your tenth, there are a number of ways to tackle the project like a pro. Your to-do list may seem overwhelming right now, but once you know the best practices for steps like finding a contractor and negotiating the price, you’ll be on your way to a revamped living space in no time.
Here are seven tips for tackling a home renovation and creating a successful project from start to finish.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Perhaps the most important step in tackling any home renovation is to ensure you plan, plan, plan. A great contractor or builder can help you walk through the design and functionality of your space to ensure all the little details are wrapped up before the renovation begins.
It may seem a little crazy, but map out all the small details —including paint, flooring and fixtures. Something as simple as waiting until install time to pick out your faucet could result in a backordered item, rescheduling of plumbers and more.
2. Interview Contractors
Before you take the plunge into a home renovation project, consult with a range of contractors until you find a professional you feel comfortable with. Remember, this person and their team will be in your home for days or weeks on end. More than price or timeline concerns, you should find a contractor that you really gel with.
Never hesitate to ask for referrals or previous clients you can contact, and always check their credentials, insurance and rating with the Better Business Bureau.
3. Consider the Price
Remember that selecting a contractor simply on price alone is not always a great strategy. It sets a tone for your project that you’re simply looking for the best deal, when —in fact— quality of work, exceptional communication, job site cleanliness and other items are also likely a concern to you.
When it comes time to review the contractor’s bid, speak with them honestly and openly about your budget and expectations. A great contractor can work with you to ensure you’re spending money in areas of importance and aren’t splurging in areas where you could be saving money. In essence, they can help you take your goals and “work backwards” into a price range that is reasonable and achievable.
4. Stick to the Plan
It’s inevitable that you’ll want to change a few things here and there, but do your best to stick to the plan. This will help keep you on budget and on schedule. And, keep in mind that even the smallest change will likely incur additional costs.
It’s also important to talk with your contractor about how they handle change orders so you know ahead of time what the extra fees are, if any.
5. Save Money with Repurposed Materials
Before you start busting out walls or trashing perfectly good appliances, have a conversation with your contractor about items that can be saved and repurposed. You don’t always need to go down to the studs and start with a blank slate.
Another opportunity for savings is by using repurposed materials and, lucky for you, this is rather trendy right now. From countertops made from bamboo or recycled glass to different flooring options, there are a wealth of ways to save —and be eco-friendly— with repurposed materials.
6. Don’t Buy Your Own Materials
It might seem counterintuitive, but buying your own materials doesn’t always mean instant savings. Your contractor has relationships with vendors and often buys in bulk, which means they’re likely to get a better price than you —even if they mark up the cost.
7. Consider Your Living Situation
While it can certainly add to the cost of your remodel, if you’re undergoing a large project, consider living outside of the home while the project is underway. This can save you countless headaches and can keep the project moving along quickly —without the hinderance of having to work around schedules, family time, etc.
Tackling Your Next Remodel
These tips for tackling a home renovation are a great place to start when outlining your plan of attack for your next big project. When you follow these tips and take your time selecting a contractor that you really gel with, great things can happen.