The first step is often the hardest; regardless of whether we are talking about a home remodeling project or a college essay, gaining momentum in any venture can be difficult if you’re not sure where to start. The process of remodeling a home can seem intimidating at first, but the majority of home-owners agree that it is one of the most exciting – and stressful – times to own a property.
If you’ve decided to plunge into the world of home remodeling, start with your best foot forward! It’s easy to get started if you follow our brief guide to home remodeling.
Defining your Vision
When you embark upon any home renovation project, generally one of two things has motivated you: either a reason or a vision!
What are the reasons behind the remodel? Is your home an antique from the 1960’s or older? Are there structural problems with the foundation of the house? Are you starting to see extensive wood rot on the deck or below the house? Older buildings may need a more specialized approach: in this case, you may need to rely on professionals if the job itself is out of the general area of expertise.
Perhaps your family has a baby on the way and you’ve decided to turn the game room into a baby room! Maybe that second garage would be better suited as a man cave. Or, it could be that you’re looking to sell your home in the near future and want to get the absolute best price out of your investment. The reasons are as dynamic and multi-faceted as each of the families that decide to renovate their homes.
Generally, you’ll want to have a clear vision in mind before tearing the kitchen island out of the house. Different styles of homes require unique items to make an aesthetic work; a modern, minimalistic household will be absolutely dissimilar to an industrial or bohemian look. If you’re having trouble getting started, or are not sure how to label the look of each room you have in mind, we recommend browsing multiple interior design websites and magazines.
Save the images or cut out pictures in the magazine that embody the aesthetic that you desire. This will give you or your home remodeling professional a much clearer understanding of what needs to go into the house. We recommend building a list of what you want out of the remodel, starting with the most-important and ending with the least-important items.
The Home Remodeling Budge
A home remodel can add up quick! Remember to keep in mind the professional cost of the remodeling contractors, as well as minor – yet important – items such as paint, small tools, light switches, accessories, and knick-knacks. Never forget the knick-knacks.
One of the most important aspects to consider during a home remodel or renovation is the contractor/remodeling professional that you decide to hire. Relying on a credible remodeler should be the overriding consideration. Always make sure that a contractor is licensed, bonded, & insured. If a contractor is offering you a considerably lower price than other licensed companies out there, always make sure to check those three items off the list. Here is a brief overview of what these three items are:
Licensed: a company needs a license to perform the pertinent work legally. A license requires a demonstration of skills, education, and extensive training. Remember to research each company and ask for examples of their previous work and references.
Bonded: if a company is bonded, it means they have purchased a surety bond. Simply put, a surety bond is a promise to the client that they will complete the work that was agreed upon. A client can file a claim for the contractor’s bond if the work is not completed; a surety bond is almost always a guarantee of work because the contractor would stand to lose their reputation and a significant amount of money if the work was to go unfinished. It’s peace of mind for the client.
Insured: Any reputable contractor will be insured. This includes a worker’s compensation insurance policy and a general liability policy. The general liability protects the homeowner against any accidental damage done to the property, and worker’s compensation insurance prevents the homeowner from getting sued if a worker is injured on the job site.
An experienced remodeler will also be up-to-date on any cost-saving avenues, such as rebates, tax credits, and eco-friendly building materials (which can save you hundreds on power bills in the long run).
Consider asking the Home Remodeler
If you still can’t quite put a finger on the vision you want for your home after you’ve been through the magazines, the internet, and your own creativity, asking the remodeler themselves may be your next best option. Ask your remodeler if they have any ideas! Often times, the contractor will have a lot of experience in creating unique aesthetics and atmospheres for a room or home.