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• Outdated colors or styles of tiles may be a “want.”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.
Joaquin Erazo, Jr. is the senior vice president of marketing and public relations at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., the country’s largest home remodeling company.
Case Remodeling employs the most highly educated and trained group of carpenters and designers in the country. Our team members ask the right questions, keep your home as clean as possible during remodeling, and guarantee our remodels. One of our offices was recently named Professional Remodeler magazine’s 2010 Remodeler of the Year. Isn’t that the kind of company you want to work with? Find a remodeling company near you now! (c) 2010 Joaquin Erazo, Jr