Home Renovation Ideas For New Home Owners And Young Couples On A Budget

How to Choose a Reliable Builder for Your Home?

Choosing a reliable builder

The time to find out the quality of your builders is before you hire them. The last thing you want is for a start to be made on the renovations, only to experience delays, unexpected complications, lack of expertise or availability problems – all of which are more common than you might think.

Check licences and insurance

Never assume that your builders are who they say they are. Check with the state authorities to ensure they are fully licensed tradesmen, qualified to work for you. Also check that they have home indemnity insurance (a Certificate of Currency) in case the builder dies, disappears or the business folds. Don’t touch any builder without one of these.

Check for building disputes

Does your potential builder have any past or present disputes? You can check this with the Building and Construction Commission, and this will give you an idea of the builder’s track record to date. Those with disputes may be questionable in terms of quality of work or reliability.

Inspect past projects

It makes sense to be able to check ‘references’ – that is, past projects the builder has been involved in, and completed. This will give you an idea of the scale and scope of work done in the past and a benchmark for the quality of the workmanship and materials that you can expect. If possible, speak to the builder’s past clients regarding service and timescales for completion.

Ensure present commitments are not too demanding

What present projects is your builder involved in? This will impact availability for your job and how often he will be on the job site to supervise. Many builders over-commit and over-promise, leading to blow outs in completion times or hiring sub-contractors who produce sub-standard work. Pin your builder down to definite dates and project management commitments.

 

Home renovation guide: Tips to avoid getting duped when renovating your first place

Congratulations on crossing another milestone in life – getting your first home! But amidst all the excitement you are probably feeling jittery about the home renovation process. Fret not

In this guide, we will share some insider tips to avoid getting duped for your first home renovation project. Choosing your ideal contractor or interior designer, the theme, getting a loan and more, we got you covered.

TAKE TIME TO PLAN YOUR RENOVATION

Start planning your renovation the moment you get the floor plan, and not till you get your keys. Because with more time on hand, you’ll be able to ask around, meet different interior design companies and compare offers carefully. Since you’ll likely be spending a 5-digit sum for your first home renovation project, never rush into making a decision!

CONSIDER AN INTERIOR DESIGN THEME THAT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE

We understand that almost every new homeowner wants the interior design of their home to be as up to date as possible. However, don’t try to incorporate too many trends into your home. It is essential to consider an interior design theme that fits your budget and lifestyle instead of following trends blindly. Do choose a pragmatic style that suits your needs, or even increase the value of your property should you rent or sell your home in the future.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR OR INTERIOR DESIGNER

In case you didn’t know, hiring an interior designer (ID) typically costs more than a contractor. Why? Because an ID is really a project manager, who will oversee the entire renovation project from ideation to completion. On the other hand, a contractor is a person who can carry out your specific requests.

 

How to Choose the Best Contractor for Home Improvement

Educate Yourself. It’s important to educate yourself about the work you want to have completed prior to meeting with contractors. This way, you’ll have a deeper understanding of renovation lingo, you’ll be able to provide the contractor with enough information to prepare an estimate that meets your goals, be able to interpret any estimates that you receive, and to figure out whether the contractor is overpricing their work

Check Contractor References and Past Experience. To select the best of the best, you will need to check company’s procedures, specifications, references and the way they communicate with you. If the construction company or contractor does not know how to communicate well with you (even when the others have no problems), then the possibility for misunderstandings in the project increases, and that means higher costs and less satisfaction.

Consider hiring a ‘Green’ company. Today, houses are cheaper to heat and cool and more comfortable than it was a case a few decades ago. If you want to regain the money you’ve invested in refurbishing or building a house, consider connecting with a green company that understands your needs and has the knowledge how to manage your task.

Read contractor reviews. Look for contractors affiliated with the Better Business Bureau, National Association of the Remodelling Industry (NARI), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or any other local building or remodelling association. Look at each Contractors website to see what type of work they perform, any examples of already completed work and their qualifications

Make a List of questions that the Contractor must answer. When you look at the specifications of potential contractors, make a list of questions, which you want to be answered. Those, who respond to your e-mail or call you, should have an advantage over the others. Nevertheless, consider whether your questions were answered clearly. This is particularly important for issues that you are not clear about or you did not understand. Here are some questions you need to ask each contractor: Did the Contractor omit a portion of the scope of work? If so, have them revise the estimate. Are they using lesser quality materials (paint, cabinets, tile, etc.)? How long will it take to complete the work? Are they insured with a General Liability policy? Can they provide a minimum of 5 to 10 references from previous projects? Are permits necessary and if so, is the cost included in the estimate? Is the Contractor willing to let you visit several of their jobs? What type of Warranty does the Contractor provide? If they do not understand what you are talking about, ask more questions. Good builders are the ones who know how to solve a problem. However, those who insist on answering your questions and want to explain you every little detail are the best.

 

How to Choose the Right Home Renovation Company: Check the Paperwork

There’s no shortage of home renovation companies. But if you’re looking to make changes to your home, where do you start the search for the right one?

Not all renovation companies offer the same services. Start by narrowing the field of choice based on your own needs. Are you looking for design and planning services as well, for example? Companies that offer these services bring value and convenience to your home reno

One thing that separates genuine professionals from others is that the pros will point out opportunities for improving your design. If your renovator says, “If you knock that wall down, your house will come with it,” you should listen. Hopefully, the contractor you choose won’t need to say that, but when a professional speaks, keep your ears open.

Licenses and Insurance

“Did you get the license number of the home renovation company that hit your house?” Okay, it’s not quite like that. But if a renovator has a license, they also have a license number. Get it before they start work.

Warranty

You’re putting a significant investment into your home renovation. Protect your investment with proper warranty. Reputable contractors offer a warranty as part of their written contract. Fly-by-night “cash only” renovation companies are unlikely to return to fix a problem, even if they say they will. If something goes wrong after they finish their work, can you trust someone who cheats on taxes to honour their promises to you? Be safe. Get your renovation done by a company that doesn’t hesitate to put it in writing.

 

How to choose a contractor to renovate your home

If you’re looking at doing renovations, the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says it’s important to do your homework before letting a contractor take a hammer to your house.

Here’s The Lowdown from Victoria Belbin, chief executive officer of CHBA-NL, on home renovations

Get it in writing

Belbin said the renovation sector is “buyer beware” — so it’s important to get things in writing before the renovation begins. “Your home is your biggest asset, and you need to protect your home. So if you’re engaging in a conversation with an individual who you want to do work with, and they say, ‘Ah, don’t worry about a written contract. We’ll work this out as we go.’ Don’t go down that road,” she said.

Find a legitimate businessperson

Belbin said there is an underground economy to the renovation sector, and that’s why it’s important to confirm that you’re dealing with a legitimate businessperson. “There are professional renovators in our marketplace that have long-standing reputations, and they provide very good quality work, and add value to your home,” she said.

The importance of permits

Belbin said, in most cases, they will also take care of the municipal permits that are needed for a job. “Permits are very important because then you know that if there’s an inspection required, there’s another party kind of monitoring the work that’s being done on your home,” she said.

Hiring A Home Remodelling For Home Repair

Tips To Find A Remodeling Contractor You’ll Love

Think, think, think. Before a major project such as redoing a kitchen, get clear about what you (and your partner, if you’re coupled) want. Consider questions like “small kitchen remodel or a complete overhaul?”, “top-of-the-line quartz countertops or easy-on-the-wallet laminate?”, and so on. Besides brainstorming ideas for the kitchen of your dreams, take into account your budget and your timeline. This will allow you to present your contractor with a reasonably organized plan.

Do your homework. Shop around to find out prices and ratings for both typical labor costs and item(s) you’re going to have installed, whether it be plumbing fixtures, flooring, or a new HVAC system. Save remodel inspirations you particularly like to a Pinterest board. Once again, you’ll be preparing yourself to discuss your wants with the contractor you eventually hire

Read contractor reviews. Look for remodeling contractors whose customers have (mostly) glowing reports. When the occasional problem is mentioned, check out how it was dealt with. An unresolved issue – or even worse, one that degenerated into a bout of online name-calling — is an obvious red flag.

Keep it legal. Protect yourself; negotiate only with remodelers who provide proof that they are licensed, bonded, and fully insured. To double check whether a contractor’s license is valid, do a quick search of your state government’s website listings

Get more than one estimate. Request multiple estimates so you can choose the remodeler with the best deal – not necessarily the lowest price, but the one that will give you the most for your money. Make sure important information such as brand names and model numbers of any materials and appliances is included

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A REMODELING CONTRACTOR

Get Recommendations

Word of mouth is the best way to find a trustworthy contractor. If you know someone who has had a good experience with one, start there. Another good source to research a contractor is Angie’s List. Does the company you’re considering hiring have negative reviews – and if so, are they valid? (There are times when a homeowner will give a company a bad review without even hiring them.) How many “A” level reviews does the company have? Has the company received the Angie’s List Super Service Award?

Look at Credentials

Once you have your recommendations, start checking them out. Visit their website or make a phone call. Make sure they have all appropriate licenses and insurance certificates as well as any designations from professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association

Check References

Contact former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. Better yet, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? Remember that when you’re hiring a remodeler, you’re buying a service and not a product. Quality of service will determine the quality of the finished project. It’s a good idea to even check with your local Better Business Bureau. If you can’t find any information on them with the BBB then they are most likely complaint free.

interview Candidates

Once you have your list of candidates narrowed down, you can and should start the interview process.

Business Management

Ask the remodeler how much the project will add to the home’s value and attain additional insurance from your provider

 

Tips for Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

Take the time to interview each candidate. This one’s a given. Just as you’d carefully interview a babysitter for your kids or a personal assistant for your business, you should take the time to discuss your prospective contractor’s experience, work philosophy, and vision. In the initial interview, you should ask your contractor to provide you with a portfolio and list of previous clients and projects.

Examine portfolios closely. Your contractor’s portfolio should have plenty of examples of projects in your area that are similar to your own. A contractor with experience in your type of home improvement project will be able to mastermind a remodel that accommodates your needs, complies with local building codes, and anticipate any complications that might arise

Call up references and visit projects in person. While reviewing their resume is a good way to get an initial idea of your prospective contractor’s work and areas of expertise, the only way to truly get a feel for their craftsmanship and skill level is to visit their project in person. Ask your contractor to provide at least three verifiable references to past clients with projects similar to yours. Contact these references, and ask if you can do a walk-through of the remodeled area.

Ask about permitting. Whether you are installing outlets, knocking down a wall, or remodeling a bathroom, the vast majority of home improvement projects will require a permit. Your contractor should take care of the process of obtaining a permit for you, from drawing up permit-ready plans to submitting the necessary documents. Beware of contractors who try to convince you that you don’t need a permit—this is often a red flag that he or she is trying to cut corners.

Ask about staffing. If your project requires any specialty work, such as plumbing, electricity, or structural engineering, you should ask your contractor who will be in charge of these jobs, whether they are staff specialist or hired subcontractors. It is important that specialty jobs are handled by experienced professionals if you want to ensure they will be done right. For example, electrical work should be installed by a licensed electrician—not a carpenter or plumber. Your contractor should also have a foreman on-site who supervises the project and is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns

 

HOME REMODELING COMPANIES- TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE

Finding reputable home remodeling companies an integral part of a home remodeling project and requires a plan. After the plan, a budget is assessed and then, finding a contractor to carry out your ideas begins. When in the market for a contractor, following these tips is a great way to find good home remodeling companies

Home Remodeling Companies to Suit Your Needs

This means not signing up with the first contractor you speak with, let them earn the job with fair estimates and a desire to give you the valued home improvement project you deserve. Talk materials, time frames and get a feel of whom you want to work with and note any expertise offered. Former customers and license qualifications are important. Every state has boards that govern contractors. Make sure your hired home remodeling firm is registered with the state licensing board.

Estimates

Estimates are important in home remodeling and working with a contractor that cannot estimate cost properly can cost a fortune. The measurements of flooring plumbing and structural renovations are costly and can wreck your budget, leaving your home in shambles if you are unable to meet necessary unexpected expenditures. Working with incompetent or irresponsible home remodeling companies is unacceptable on any scale.

Jobsite Visits

Visit jobsites of home remodeling companies and see for yourself how builders operate. Interaction with workers and the ability to manage a well- organized site goes a long way in evaluating the contractor and his job. Note the work environment and care for property. Working with reputable, reliable home remodeling companies is important to the care of your property and the completion of the job.

 

Hiring a Qualified Contractor

Find a Good Contractor for Large Remodels

Finding a reputable contractor is important when planning any home improvement project, but when dealing with major remodels like room additions, complete renovations of older properties, or basement remodels, those who find a good contractor are likely to get better results and avoid many of the hassles that come with these jobs, too

Finding a Reputable Contractor for Smaller Projects

The quest to find a good contractor is a little easier for smaller projects. Not only will these projects be easier to handle for a greater number of companies (increasing your chances of getting someone capable), the shorter length of small projects means that anyone you hire will have to work pretty quickly to leave you disappointed. Just because finding a reputable contractor is not as difficult with smaller projects doesn’t mean that you should be any less picky with your home improvement dollar!

How to Tell If a Contractor Is Trustworthy

Once you’ve found a few prospective companies, start your research with an introductory call each, asking a series of preliminary questions about work history

In most cases, the responses you get to these three questions will give you a very good idea of which of the contractors you contacted will be the best fit, but the following questions will typically make for a good tie-breaker if you find that you have more than one forerunner

Any good contractor will be happy to answer any one of these questions, and most will appreciate dealing with a client that takes such an active interest in finding quality service. Any contractor that gives you a hard time answering a few questions, on the other hand, is probably not someone you want to trust in your home or with your hard-earned money. Remember: always consider your instincts. If your gut tells you something doesn’t mesh with the contractor, you’re probably right

Must Learn How To Make Home Renovation

Tips for Finding a Contractor for Your Home Remodel

Clearly Define Your Home Remodeling Project

Before you begin reaching out to contractors, know what type of work you would like performed. This may sound obvious, but many homeowners attempt to hire a single contractor to perform a wide variety of renovations — something that generally isn’t a good idea.

Ask Homeowners in Your Neighborhood

It’s always a good idea to ask others for references. You may naturally turn to friends and family members, but why not ask a few neighbors, too? Did the family down the street just replace their home’s windows? If the end result looks great, ask them who did the work and if they’re happy with the final product. Take a drive around your neighborhood and look for homes that have undergone recent upgrades. Most homeowners are happy to share their opinion of contractors, especially if they’re pleased with the project.

Look at Online Reviews

The internet has revolutionized the way consumers shop for products and services, with 81 percent of people researching online before they buy. Sites like GuildQuality provide consumers with independent, third-party reviews from real homeowners who have used a contractor’s services.

Don’t Set a Minimum (or Maximum) Number of Estimates

When you’re looking for a contractor for any type of home improvement project, one of the first things you’ll hear is “get three estimates.” The problem with limiting yourself to three is that you really can’t be sure you’re getting a good representation of the options available.

Busy Can Be a Good Sign

When you’re ready to say “go” on a home remodel, it’s easy to go with the first contractor with an opening in their schedule. After all, you’re ready to get started, and you want the job done as soon as possible. However, a contractor with a lot of time on their hands isn’t always a good sign. A reputable, experienced contractor is likely to be in high demand, which means you might have to wait a few weeks or even a couple months to get on their schedule. When you consider that you’re making a significant investment in your home, however, isn’t it worth waiting for a contractor you trust to do an exceptional job?

 

How to choose a home remodeling contractor

Get recommendations

The first step in finding the right home improvement contractor is to create a list of 10–15 local contractors who have the right expertise. You’ll gradually narrow down this list to the top contenders and ultimately use it to select your contractor, so it’s best to include more names than you’ll need at this point.

Compare each contractor’s portfolio

Choose a contractor who specializes in the type of remodel you need; someone who specializes in remodeling kitchens might not be ideal for your bathroom renovation. A home improvement contractor with a creative eye can also be helpful for certain projects. For instance, if you want to lay a tile entryway with a detailed mosaic or paint a room with a faux finish, you’ll need a contractor who does that type of work well.

Ask for licensing and certification

At this point, your list should have around six to eight names. One easy way to narrow it further is to ask for contractors’ licensing and certification. The specific licenses or certifications your home improvement contractor should carry will depend on the project. Since legal requirements vary by state, call the licensing division for your community to ask for specific requirements.

Check references

Now that you’ve narrowed your long list down to five or six top contenders, it’s time to start checking references. This is a common practice, so any reputable contractor will expect you to ask for a list of references.  A typical contractor reference list includes ten or more jobs with the name, address and telephone number of each customer. It helps if there are dates for each job; if dates aren’t on the list, ask for them.

Review an example of the finished project

After you’ve called your contractors’ references, cross out any contractors who received poor reviews. Then decide which of the remaining references to visit in person to see their contractor’s completed project. Choose people who seem open and forthcoming, whose projects are similar to yours and, ideally, who live close to you. It’s particularly helpful if the work was completed at least a few years ago so you can see how it has held up. Visit at least one finished project from each of your remaining top contenders.

 

How to Find a Reliable Home Contractor

For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself – it’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking down walls or retiling floors are straightforward tasks compared with the struggle of hiring a quality contractor who will perform at a high level from start to finish.

Everyone knows stories of horrendous contractors who tore apart the kitchen and never returned or projects that ended up costing three times the contractor’s original estimate.

“Those are the nightmare kind of stories I hear all the time,” says Angie Hicks, who in 1995 started the company that would become Angie’s List, a go-to resource for reviews of contractors and other service providers.

Even with a good contractor, home renovation can be stressful, expensive and involve unpleasant surprises, such as rotted subfloors that are revealed when tile is removed or dangerous electrical wiring or leaking pipes behind walls.

Know What You Want Before You Get Estimates

First things first: “Start with a plan and some ideas,” Hicks says. “Don’t start by talking to contractors.” You’ll get a more accurate estimate if you can be specific about what you want done and the materials you would like to use to make it happen.

 

How to Choose a Remodeling Contractor

Ask for Referrals

Word of mouth-hands down, is the best way to find a qualified professional to tackle the job. Ask relatives, friends and neighbors whom they’ve had good experiences with. And ask what made it a positive experience, how the contractor handled problems and whether he or she would use the same contractor again.

Look at Credentials

With recommendations in hand, do some preliminary research, whether it’s with a phone call or a visit to the contractor’s website. Find out whether he or she holds all the required licenses from state and local municipalities, along with designations from any professional associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Homebuilders. Look for contractors who have invested in course work and passed rigorous tests to earn particular certifications. Be aware, however, that not all certifications are created equal. Do some homework and find out the requirements.

Interview Candidates

Narrow down the list of contenders and set up meetings. Try to keep it to three contractors, because things can get confusing beyond that. How a contractor answers questions is extremely important, but communication goes both ways. Candidates should ask plenty of questions, too.

Check References

Ask to see some of the contractors’ projects. If you approve of them, request references and call contractors’ former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractors did at executing the projects. Were they on time and on budget? Were the customers pleased with the outcome? Was there anything that could have been done differently?

Get It in Writing

After selecting a contractor, take a look at the documents he or she has prepared. Do they look professional? Scrutinize the contract. Does it seem fair and balanced

 

Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

Connect with your contractor

The right person for the job will be easy to talk to. Make sure you see eye to eye by hiring a contractor that understands your goals and has experience in the type of job you are looking for. Communication is key for all projects, so insist on regular contact by email, phone or text messages. Allow the work crew to manage their day-to-day work, but set up a weekly face-to-face update from the foreman.

Understand that price reflects quality

Ask your contractor for his or her recommendations on how the project should take place. In the long run, is it worth cutting corners for a temporary fix? The lowest bid is not always the best. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job. A low bid may indicate that a contractor uses sub-par materials or is desperate for work. The more accurate bid is likely somewhere in the middle.

Know a contractor’s credentials

Abbreviations behind your contractor’s name can represent certifications from national trade organizations. These indicate that the company belongs to certain organizations that bind them to a strict code of ethics. Such memberships, titles and abbreviations include certified graduate remodeler (CGR), certified aging in place specialist (CAPS), local Building Industry Association membership (BIA) and National Association of Home Builders membership (NAHB).  Also, insist on hiring a licensed, bonded and insured contractor. This is a must. Otherwise, as the property owner you are liable if a member of the work crew gets injured on the job.

Get your home improvement contract in writing

Your contract should include: detailed time frames, the total cost, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, project description, names of parties involved and how to handle additional costs if necessary. Be cautious; if you are not given a timeline for the job to be completed, this may indicate the contractor has several current jobs and may not complete your job in a timely manner. Keep track of all-important information as well by keeping job-related documents such as contracts, payments and receipts in one place.  Record key contact information for everyone working on your project.

Be upfront about your home improvement budget

If necessary, break the project down into multiple phases. Although this may increase the total cost due to repetitious start-up expenses and inflation, it may also be a better option for you to spread out the cost over time. Homeowners can often save money by doing somel tasks on their own, such as cleaning and painting.

Need Tips To Do Home Remodelling

Critical Tips to Read Before Kicking Off a Home Renovation

Make a Realistic Budget

While it goes without saying that any project needs a budget to keep costs in check, it’s not always an easy task to find the balance between your dream designs and the amount in you’ve allotted for a project. This is why it is essential to get a true understanding of pricing, both with materials and labor, so you can gauge expectations accordingly.

Decide on a Sensible Scope of Work

Once you’ve determined a realistic budget, you’ll need to clarify exactly what work can happen and when. You may also need to ask yourself some tough questions about what you really need versus what you simply want.  This will help you identify the true intention of the project and lay out important ground rules. It can even help with scheduling and determining what work happens when.

Determine Splurge-Worthy Items Upfront

Learning which items to spend your money on goes hand-in-hand with making a realistic budget and determining a sensible scope of work. The earlier you can make this determination, the more likely you will stay on track with costs. Think about which items you will use most frequently, as these are products that might be worth the higher price-tag. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to save on cosmetic finishings, as these items can be easily changed with time.

Create a Clear Vision in Mind

From the tiles that will go on the walls to the appliances that will be installed, anyone who has completed a home renovation before knows that it is better to have just about everything picked out before you begin the work. This is because you will need to make numerous decisions once the renovation starts, and the more you’ve made beforehand, the better off—and better educated—you will be. Online tools like Pinterest, showroom visits, and/or material samples can help, and don’t be afraid to start purchasing items to get the ball rolling.

Get an Understanding of What’s Already Around

Existing conditions in a house can radically change the budget and scope of a renovation, as sometimes something as seemingly simple as adding an additional outlet to a room can result in the rewiring of an entire home. If you know, for example, that you occasionally blow a fuse when you turn on your hairdryer and have the dryer going on at the same time, that should be a hint that you may need to upgrade your electrical system.

 

Ways to Stay Zen While Living in a Disaster Zone

Make the Space You’ll Live In a True Retreat

Maybe your master bedroom or kitchen will need a total remodel in a few years, but other rooms of the house need more attention now.

Because you spend the most time in your bedroom and kitchen, take this opportunity to make at least one of them really cozy with a quick makeover before diving into any heavy-duty projects elsewhere.

The fastest way to change a room is with paint and accessories. Use paint to create an accent wall in your bedroom and try your hand at crown molding to make a room seem polished. You can even add new lighting for ambiance.

Make a Door One of Your First Projects

Your new home might be a mess inside, but you can feel great about pulling into your driveway.

A new front door, or newly-painted one will remind you how much of an impact your work is making on your home. And give you a reason to smile as you walk through the door.

Create Outdoor Places to Escape to

If you have months of good weather ahead, take advantage of your new yard to create a retreat where can truly get away from the clamor of renovation project.

 

Sucking Remodeling Mistakes You’ll Wish You Could Erase

Designing Before Budgeting

You think you can afford that luxurious marble countertop — until you talk to the fabricator. It’s $2,000 over budget, and there’s no room to squeeze. If you’re already past the design phase, that’s a brutal discovery requiring a serious re-think — and extra time you don’t have at this stage of the game.

Indecision

Even the design-challenged can create a stunning kitchen with Pinterest on their side. But the breadth of options might create dismay — and delay — if you keep finding a better backsplash.

“Over-analysis becomes paralysis,” says Annmarie Bhola, who co-owned a remodeling company. “Now you spend all this time watching shows, and looking through Pinterest, and before you know it, oh my gosh, now I have all this data. Which should I choose? Should I go with light or dark?”

Scheduling Work Before Materials Are On Site

You might have allotted enough time for each step — but if what you need isn’t there when you need it, all the scheduling in the world isn’t going to make up for that lost time.

Before scheduling workers to install your new cabinets and appliances, make sure the materials will be there for them. Don’t just allocate installation time; know how long it will take to ship your farmhouse sink. (Another related point: Know your contractor’s schedule, too, so you won’t be dismayed when he can’t come the day your cabinets arrive.)

Choosing to Live in the Mess

Remodeling is messy — dust everywhere, your pots and pans scattered, and living spaces become storage spaces.

No one expects you to be Martha in the midst of a home makeover, but too much disorganization will hog your time because you can’t find anything. Next thing you know, you’re a day behind because you couldn’t find the installation guide for the dishwasher.

 

Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts

Don’t delay decisions. If you want your remodel to go well, the best thing to do is make every single decision before work starts. A good builder can talk you through the list of situations that might come up on your job, but decisions about situations aren’t usually what cause delays.

Don’t change your mind (too much). Even though it’s inevitable that you’ll change your mind about something on your project, know this: Every time you change your mind, it’ll result in a change order. Although the change may seem minor, there are always added costs — even if it’s only the time spent discussing the change.

Don’t buy your own materials. It seems like an obvious way to save money — a builder is going to mark up the cost of materials and pass that added cost on to you. That’s true, but the builder may get a better price than you to begin with, meaning that even after markup, you’ll pay the same price.

Don’t put lipstick on a pig. Though a builder will rarely come right out and say this, some houses should be knocked down rather than have money put into them to fix them up. Though this is a rare situation, it’s common for people to put money into fancy cabinets for a house with a sagging foundation, or into a high-efficiency furnace in a house with no insulation. Listen to the professionals who come to look at your job. Be open to their suggestions.

Don’t work without a contingency fund. If you find out that the work you wanted to do costs more than you expected or budgeted, you’re in good company. It’s almost unheard of that a person sets a realistic budget for a project. But don’t eat into your contingency to stretch the budget. If you follow rule number one and make every decision ahead of time, you can probably get away with a 5 percent contingency if you have a good general contractor.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Home Renovation

Build a Detailed Home Improvement Project Plan

The first step in a remodeling project is to develop a plan that clearly states the goal for your renovation and includes designing inspiration and an outline of the work that needs to be completed.

Set a Project Budget

The next step when planning a home renovation is to determine your budget and financing. Your budget should include the costs for permits and building materials, labor costs and the cost of decorations or cosmetic touches.

Hire Contractors

Next in your home project planning, you’ll need to hire your team. Don’t choose your contractors on cost estimates alone. When interviewing and selecting your contractors, also consider.

Build a Timeline

Once you have your budget and team in place for your remodeling plan, it’s time to put together your timeline. First, choose a desired start date, or if you’re hoping to have it completed by a specific date, work backward from that date instead. Sit down with your contractors to determine the length of time each portion of the project will take. Discuss which steps of the remodel need to be completed first, how long they will take and which project portions can be completed concurrently.

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