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Your Ultimate Home Remodeling Guide

According to industry statistics, more than 75 percent of U.S. homeowners took on a home improvement project in 2020. Many projects were minor, but others were larger and more expensive.

In many cases, home remodeling projects work out well and meet the owners’ expectations. However, some projects have less-than-stellar results. If you’re contemplating a remodeling project, some strategies deliver better results than others.

Here are a few things to consider before starting a project.

Establish a Budget

Before doing anything else, establish a budget for the project.

Reviewing the family’s budget helps property owners determine how much they can afford to spend on a remodeling project. Lenders help homeowners evaluate their financial status and determine how much to spend.

Lenders pre-approve loan applications so homeowners know exactly how much is available to complete the project. One thing to keep in mind here is that few remodeling projects go as planned, and costs almost always exceed the original estimate.

When hiring a contractor and getting bids, most financial advisors recommend setting aside at least 10 percent of the projected cost as a buffer to cover unexpected expenses.

Remember to include interim living expenses if the family must move out during the construction. If the kitchen is included in the remodeling project, determine how the family will handle meal preparation and cleanup while the kitchen is unusable.

Develop a Comprehensive Plan

Before seeking bids, develop a plan that includes all the essential elements.

That means deciding on the scope of the project, the preferred materials, and even the furnishings. Now is the time to decide on basic elements like the style, colors, and number of windows and doors.

While contractors include elements like plumbing hookups, new electrical panels, and permits, property owners should create an outline of expected items to ensure the bids include everything necessary.

Having a list of items to be included in the project is always a priority.

Obtain Bids from Contractors

Some projects won’t require all the construction trades, but others will. That’s why most home remodeling experts recommend working with a knowledgeable general contractor who coordinates the required work during the project.

However, finding a contractor requires care, and there are questions to ask contractors during an initial meeting.

Start by asking about the contractor’s experience. Established contractors should provide references to back up their credentials. Always inquire about a contractor’s license and insurance to protect yourself.

Finally, ask about payment schedules. Never agree to pay for the entire project in advance.

Getting Started

Once the finances are handled, the plan is developed, and a contractor is hired, it’s time to schedule the work.

Today, most contractors are booked well into the future, so establishing a timeline is crucial. When will the work start? When will the materials arrive on the site? What is the projected completion date?

Remodeling projects disrupt a family’s routine, and planning how to meet challenges is essential.

Finalizing the Project

Once the construction is completed, owners should always walk through the home to evaluate the work and ask the contractor any questions. If some aspect of the work is unsatisfactory, determine how the contractor will resolve the problem.

The final payment is made at this point, and the family can use the space as needed.

Start Planning Your Project Now

Because remodeling projects are complicated, start planning as soon as possible. Avoid delays and price increases by moving forward now rather than waiting. Contact a contractor today for advice or an estimate.


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