If you’re in the “we’re only thinking about it” phase of a home remodel, you’ve taken the first step to improving your home to meet your needs. If you’re ready to speak with professionals about your remodeling, find a remodeling company near you now! However, if you’re still planning, here are a few other steps that will help ensure your remodel meets your needs and your budget.
1. Create a design book – Get a notebook, a manila folder, or a 3-ring binder and build your design book. The more you add to it, the better your designer will be able to understand your dreams.
• If you see the perfect cabinetry in a magazine, cut out the picture and add it.
• If a sink, tile choice, or flooring option catches your eye, add notes and pictures.
• Look at design websites and print out pictures of what you like.
• Take photos of friend’s homes.
• Make sketches and pick up countertop color samples.
2. Establish your goals – Think about the goal(s) of your home remodel.
• If the layout of your kitchen works for you, but your design book has a hundred pictures of concrete countertops, then maybe you only need a home facelift.
• If you’ve always wanted a soaking tub and your current bathroom only has a shower, you may need a slightly more ambitious custom remodel.
3. Designate wants and needs – Consider every element of your home remodel and decide if it is a “need” or a “want.”
• Structural problems such as broken tiles or damaged walls are most likely a “need.”
• Outdated colors or styles of tiles may be a “want.”
• Remember that a want today can still be a “have to do someday.”
4. Decide on a budget – Look at your needs list from step 3, look at your finances, and decide how much you can comfortably spend on your remodel.
• If you need to stick to a budget, err on the low side to allow for items such as furniture or decorative items.
• If money is not a primary factor, creating a budget will help you prioritize your wants and needs.
5. Consider the extras – Consider the extras and options.
• If you decide you have to replace your tile, consider not only the style but the price. If you fall in love with a particular style that’s $35/square foot, you may be able to find a similar style at $5/square foot, which can be a $9,000 savings in an average bathroom, leaving more money for other elements.
• A vessel sink may require special installation and fixtures.
• Different countertop materials offer different benefits.
6. Plan for your future – Weigh future plans.
• If you’re planning to sell your home in a few years, you may not want to invest in top quality applicants.
• If you plan to stay in your home through retirement, you may want to consider adding an onsuite bathroom to a ground-floor bedroom instead of a second-floor bedroom.
7. Allow for upcoming events – Make notes of important upcoming dates and events.
• If you have family coming tomorrow, it’s probably not be the best time to pull out the fixtures in the guest bath.
• If you have a wedding or the holidays on the horizon, you need to ensure your remodel is finished well beforehand.
8. Learn from others – Learn from friends and family.
• Your cousin may have worked with the same remodeling company for over a decade, while your brother can tell you the place down the street has a hard time meeting deadlines.
• You may get tips and advice on the things to look out for if you try to do some of the work yourself.
9. Talk with professionals – Gather professional advice.
• Most reputable companies will provide a free consultation. Take them up on it to see if you like the company. Make sure they ask you questions and listen to your answers.
• Don’t feel you have to sign with the remodeling company the first day. A good company will give you the information you need to make a decision without a hard sell.
10. Hire the right company – Work with a professional company that guarantees their work.
• The industry standard is one year. If your remodeling company doesn’t meet or exceed that guarantee, keep looking.
• Even after a guarantee runs out, the best remodeling companies will help to keep you happy with your remodel. They want you to be a client for life.