Remodeling can be such a pain in the *&$. But, if you are prepared and ready to go, the process can be a piece of cake. Here, we have compiled a list of do’s and don’s that are sure to help you seize the highs and release the stress. So stay motivated, and get ready to jump in feet first!
- Don’t over-improve
As your realtor for comps so you can see what other homeowners have done. Depending on who you are marketing to, the comps can be based on square footage, location or amenities but make sure to keep it realistic. Just because neighbor X has a bar that lowers from the ceiling does mean you need one too. Stick with renovations that are sure to provide some bang for your buck and impress your pool of buyers.
- Build a realistic budget.
The scariest part of a home makeover is the budget. Turn on a TV makeover show and watch the homeowners eyes bulge when they review final budgets. Costly repairs, professional mistakes and changing plans mid-project can add a zero or two to any bill. So plan, plan plan and then realistically budget. Also, make sure to include a cushion just in case. Worst case scenario, you have no money left. Best case scenario, you have some play money.
- Hire good help.
Please, dear lord, do not hire a professional solely based on price. Hire a professional based on recommendations and their experience. Find a contractor that has at least 3 years experience and ask for a copy of their license. Ask if you can visit current job sites to see some of their work in person.
- Insist on detailed contracts and deadlines.
Every project can hit a snag, but try to build these in to your timeline with your contractor. True professionals can work around snags that arise and an extra time buffer can keep a project on track.
- Prep for delays and inconvenience.
It’s the smart thing to do.
- Safeguard children and pets.
The last thing anyone needs is a dog getting under foot or a cat escaping. Keep your children and pets removed from any construction areas and, if possible, obstruct the pathways leading to the renovated area.
- Photograph every room and progress along the way.
The best way to document your home is through images. Taking pictures of adjacent rooms can provide documentation for staging furniture, any items missing or damage during construction. Documenting the progress of construction can also make sure you and your contractor stick to the timeline.
- Store valuables and cover any exposed furniture.
- Request scheduled communication for project updates.
If any unforeseen delays develop or alternative material choices are needed, you will have a direct line of communication to your professional. This is also another great way to stay on top of your timeline and keep things on track.
- Conduct a careful & thorough inspection.
Final payment usually brings your construction to a close. Make sure that all deliverables are met before you hand over that check. If possible, walk the renovation with your contractor to review everything that was completed.