REMODELING TIPS

The Seven Steps for a Successful Renovation

 

Remodeling, Renovations, Room Additions, Home Improvement & Construction

 

Many words of advice have been given to home owners looking to remodel or undertake a major renovation project. Most home and apartment owners tackle the remodeling process fairly well-informed. Yet for others, being prudent means getting three estimates for the work and checking some references. If that is a reasonable prescription for success when remodeling or renovating, how come we still hear endless horror stories about it? Why is it that General or Remodeling Contractors in are among the top five industries every year when it comes to consumer complaints reported to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

Remodeling or Renovating your home or apartment is an unusually high risk venture. Typically, there is a large sum of money involved in a tear down and rebuild project, it is detail and labor intensive, and it is not a shelf item (meaning that you are buying something that hasn't been made yet). You are buying it without really knowing the 'factory', the quality of its 'workers', its quality control procedures, the professionalism of the remodeling contractor, the available supply of required materials and so on. No wonder so many home and apartment owners experience a rude awakening while remodeling or renovating their homes. So many make the mistake of hiring the least expensive so called contractor due to the fact that they want to pay as little as possible to have their remodeling work completed. Very big mistake! Price or Cost is about number three or four on your list of concerns when hiring a Remodeling Contractor. Below are a few tips to make sure that the results of your remodeling /renovation project will be a success, or at the very least, tilt the odds in your favor.

The following is a step-by-step approach that will inform and guide the decisions you make with regard to home and apartment remodeling and renovations. Principally, who you hire to do the work will have the greatest impact on how well your remodeling project turns out. Professional Services hopes that these pointers will be helpful for any kind of major remodeling / renovation projects you may be considering, such as a complete apartment remodel or a full-scale whole house renovation.

1. Define your objectives: What is good or bad about the living space you want to remodel or renovate?  Has anything annoyed you repeatedly?  Do you find yourself wishing for something different?  What are you missing?  If cost is no object for your remodeling project, what would your dream space look like?  How do you imagine using the space more effectively?  Your answers to such questions can have a profound impact on the kind of kitchen, bathroom or den you want to ultimately end up with after your remodeling project is completed. Your answers should result in a comprehensive "wish list? which you can then use as a point of departure. If new information or insight becomes available, don't be inflexible and unwilling to deviate from your original remodeling list. You never know how new ideas can spark or inspire a better configuration for your proposed home or apartment remodeling changes.

2. Prioritize: In the real world, we have to make compromises. The remodeling budget, available space and the accommodation of the tastes and wishes of other members of the household, etc. all play a part in shaping what we can and cannot do in our remodeling project. Organize your construction plans by prioritizing your objectives (from your "wish list" above). Your highest priority item should be first on the list. Subsequent items will represent lower priorities in a descending order. Highlight those items which are a must, and once you're done identifying these, review the list one more time. If you're comfortable with what you have, you've made significant progress towards a sensible plan for your remodeling / renovation project that will serve you well.

3. Budget: Now it's time to spice your dreams up with a pinch of reality. You need to realistically develop a budget for the remodeling / renovation project. According to industry experts, a full kitchen remodel in our area, for example, on average is likely to run between $25,000 and $90,000. While high-end kitchens, very large kitchens, and kitchens with unique features can easily surpass these figures. This is a fairly accurate average for a high end kitchen remodeling project. Assess your available resources. Many homeowners turn to financing for such a major project. Home equity loans and refinancing are the two most popular approaches to handling home improvement costs. Such an approach may have some tax benefits as well. It would be a good idea to consult your accountant or bank for more specific advice. Do not under any circumstances entertain getting financing from any remodeling contractor that you may hire or allow any contractor to direct you to someone who can give you any type of loan. Remember that the remodeling project of your dreams may cost more or less than your allotted budget. You should build in a lot of flexibility at this point. It's only with input from a qualified professional you can trust, such as a competent experienced Licensed Remodeling Contractor or builder, that will let you finally pin down an exact cost for your construction project.

4. Design: It's time to translate your wish list into a functional and visually striking floor plan. You should seek the help of an experienced professional for successful architectural design. Engage a General Contractor, Remodeling Contractor, or a Design/Build firm in order to attain a seamless integration of the design with the actual remodeling work needed. This will help you avoid designs which could turn out to be "budget busters.? Focus your search on remodeling companies with specific expertise in the design and construction of the part of your home or apartment you want to renovate. A remodeling outfit with expertise in design is indispensable at this stage. You should share your remodeling budget guidelines with the company you hire. In turn, they should be able to tailor a solution that will reconcile your "wish list" items with your budget. The trick is to actually find the right remodeling company to develop and accomplish this phase with because it is one of the most critical factors for a successful project. The right company makes all the difference in the world, not the bottom line cost of the remodeling project.

5. Hire a Remodeling Contractor: It's hard to summarize all the elements that should go into a good "Whom to Hire" decision in such short order. If you are remodeling your kitchen or bath, then naturally, you need to insist on a General Contracting or Remodeling Company that can and has demonstrated abundant experience and expertise in kitchen and bath remodeling or any other kind of renovation work which may be included in your project. You should also insist on the remodeling company having a stellar record with their past clients. Consider it time well-spent when you review the recent remodeling projects the company has completed and interview previous clients of the remodeling contractors on your short list. Keep in mind that even some bad contractors may have one or two happy customers. All of these pointers may end up being meaningless if you don't get along with your remodeling contractor. It is a must that your are comfortable with the company you hire and you should feel a genuine rapport with the people who work for them as well. It's advisable, whenever possible, to only work with a remodeling company that: (1) will guarantee a fixed price for your project, and (2) will provide you with a completion date in writing. Ultimately, it's the remodeling contractor's steadfast dedication to a satisfactory completion and your ability to 'navigate choppy waters' that will define your remodeling experience. 

6. Manage Your Expectations: You should be prepared for the challenges that such a project of a major renovation can pose. Any kind of remodeling project is a multi-trade, detail-intensive undertaking. Such a project involves noise, dust and disruption in your home or apartment. While you may tolerate it easily for the first few days, it may grow old very quickly. Be prepared for the inconvenience to last longer than you think it will. You should also be aware of the variations in the pace between different remodeling project phases. While the demolition and "rough" stages may speed along at a blazing pace, the wall work and painting phases may appear to barely move along by comparison. Managing your expectations doesn't mean you have to lower your standards. It merely results in a healthier and more balanced way for you to survive the process of remodeling.

7. Be involved: Don't be an absentee client while your home or apartment is being remodeled. In other words, "do not expect—inspect!" Remember, it's you who ultimately has to live with the results of the project, not the General or Remodeling Contractor that you hire, so stay involved as the project progresses. Even the most competent and trustworthy of remodeling contractors can benefit from your ongoing input and involvement. Being available and on top of things can even expedite your remodeling project because your enthusiasm and dedication will be shared by everyone involved. If you choose your remodeling contractor wisely, (which means, do not base your decision on cost alone) we assure you, that your remodeling project will actually be a rewarding experience you will get to brag about.

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