Let’s just take a moment to enthusiastically wave goodbye to 2020, which has been about as bad a year for everyone as anyone could imagine. As the new year dawns, we can hope that 2021 brings a much more pleasant experience than this past one.
As the old makes way for the new, we all begin to think about what tomorrow will bring and we’re sure that if you’re like many homeowners, you’re probably thinking about the kinds of home improvement projects you’ll want to try and do. Today’s blog is here to talk about some of the homework you’ll want to do before you take the plunge.
The most important part of home improvement projects is the planning you do in advance. So without further adieu, here is what you should be thinking about. Let’s jump right in!
Set a budget
Frankly – this is the biggest thing you’ll have to worry about. Not only will it dictate what you do – but also who you hire, what materials you use and how you map out your entire project timeline. Any renovation budget needs to include costs for building materials, labor, permits and decorative finishes. You’ll also want to make sure you save at least 10-15% for unexpected costs. If your costs exceeds what you have in the budget, start by trimming the things that are a lower priority to your project.
Set a timeline
Remodels are awesome, but they can also briefly turn your life a little upside down. You’ll need to plan ahead for any disruptions you might have, including contractors in your home, the noise – or for any special tasks that the renovation might interfere with. For example, if it’s a kitchen remodel – what are you cooking/how are you eating for those few days? Make sure your schedule allows for shipping and delivery of the materials as well as project prep itself. And just like with your budget – throw in some extra days to account for unexpected issues (and bad weather if it’s an outdoor project).
Find good help
Hire a contractor who has the proper certifications and comes duly and well recommended. There are lots of blog posts on the internet that’ll tell you what to look for and what kinds of questions you should ask. And remember – not all contractors are created equal. Some are outstanding at kitchen remodels but don’t do well when it comes to things like decks. Find the right contractor for the job, even if it costs a little extra. Because if you don’t have the time and money to do the job the right way – when will you have the time and money to do it over?
Devil’s in the details
Make sure any contract you get into is detailed and has things set in stone. It should have the price, what will/won’t be done, an outline of specific expenses like materials, permits and labor and the like. This will clearly lay out what’s expected of everyone throughout the entire process.
Know what you’re getting into
Renovations are fun, but there can be a lot of frustration included in the process as well. You’ll encounter bad weather, unexpected snags, delay and plenty of inconveniences. Handling the lows becomes a lot easier so long as you know they’re coming and that you should expect them. A good contractor will be honest with you and give you the bad news straight. Don’t take it as them trying to shake more money out of you. Yes, they’ll get compensated more, but the more time they’re spending on your project could also potentially be time they’re not spending on a more lucrative project elsewhere. So be patient and be prepared for what lies ahead.
Remodeling your home is a fun process, but it also takes a lot of effort and planning on your part. Hopefully these tips help bring all of that into a little bit clearer focus. Have a healthy, happy and safe new years and good luck with your home improvement project!