It’s fun to dream about how nice your home will look after a remodel. Whether you’re doing a total redesign, creating your dream home, or simply updating some old appliances and features, there’s a lot to plan before getting started. Here are 10 things to make sure you know before starting your project:
The first place to start is with the budget. Most people know they need a budget as part of their remodel, but not everyone knows you need to do this before any other steps. The budget will shape the rest of the project, which is why it needs to be defined before anything else can move forward.
When outlining your budget, it’s a good idea to leave some room for error. Unexpected issues arise, and you don’t want to make it part-way through the project and be unable to complete the project because you’re out of money. Whatever your maximum budget is, aim to stay within a slightly smaller number. That way if anything goes wrong, you’ll still be okay.
The next important piece of the planning process is outlining a realistic timeline. Creating an unrealistic timeline is one of the most common mistakes people make when planning a remodel. While your plan might seem simple to you, there’s often more that goes into a project than you realize. Each step along the way can add a significant amount of time.
If you’re remodeling an important area in the house, like the kitchen, think about how long you’ll need to live without a functioning kitchen. How long are you willing to eat takeout or microwaveable meals? Think about when you’d like the project to be completed as well as when the project absolutely must be completed. If your timeline is short, that might impact the size and scope of your remodel.
Homeowners are often disappointed when they have specific plans for a remodel, but they don’t realize that the structure of the house doesn’t allow for it. Be sure you know what all your limitations are. While open floor plans are popular, you’ll have to keep any load-bearing walls that support your home. If you’re working on an older house, there can also be problems connecting to old plumbing or wiring.
Many structural limitations can be solved with a little bit of creativity, however, it also usually comes with a bigger price tag. That’s why it’s essential to know your limitations before getting started so you can determine whether or not you’ll be able to move forward with your dream remodel.
If this is one of your first remodels, you may not realize how many aesthetic choices you’ll have along the way. The color of everything from the paint to the light switches can be customized. In order to make design decisions about each part of your remodel, you should first be aware of what styles, designs, and colors are your personal favorites. What style fits your personality the best? Victorian? Boho? Shabby Chic? Do you like to hop on the latest trend, making your home look as modern as possible? Do some research into all your different options and get an idea of the look and feel you’re going for.
When you’re investing time and money into a remodel, you want to be sure you’ll be satisfied with the results for the long term. The last thing you want is to realize down the road that an earlier home update does not work well with a new remodel you’d like to do.
That’s why it’s a good idea to know the end goal with your home. While you may not be updating the entire house at the same time, keep in mind what you’d like the entire house to look like down the road. That way you can ensure this project aligns well with all future projects.
It’s important to know whether you’re planning to live in this home for another fifty years, or if you’re hoping to sell it in the near future for a profit. Often a remodel will impact the value of your home. If your goal is to sell your home soon, you’ll want to think about how you can add the most value with your latest home update. If you’re planning on living in your home for many more years, the most important thing to consider is how to make the space as comfortable for you as possible.
Depending on your area and the scale of your project, permits may be required. Large updates like adding a second story or adding a garage will require a permit in most areas. Adding a shed, working on plumbing or electric wiring, and changing the siding of the home often require permits in many areas. It’s important to obtain all required permits because it keeps your home up to code. If you do a remodel without a permit, it can lead to safety issues, as well as difficulty selling your home in the future.
Many remodels require turning off water, power, or gas to some or all of the house. Sometimes these utilities will be turned off only during the day, but other times, projects require the utilities to be turned off at all times until the project is complete. It’s essential to talk with your contractor to see if you might have to go without your utilities and how long that might last.
Sometimes utility outages aren’t expected at all, but if water, power, or gas are involved in any way with the project, you may want to create a plan for getting by without those things, just in case something goes wrong.
Often, an outage that lasts a few hours won’t impact your routine too much, but if the outages last more than a day, you may want to find a place to stay with a friend, family member, or a hotel. If your project occurs during extreme high or low temperatures, you’ll especially want to be ready to stay elsewhere until the heat or air conditioning can be turned back on.
If your home is more than a decade or two old, it’s likely you’ll encounter a few dangerous substances while remodeling. Many old homes contain lead paint and asbestos that can be uncovered during remodels. If your home contains either of these or other health hazards, you’ll need to take extra precautions, keeping kids away from the area, and informing your contractors.
It’s all too easy to overpay for home remodels. Many people have no idea how to make their own estimates for a project. This makes it easy to end up with a contractor who isn’t giving you a good price.
Before you hire someone for a project, ask around to see what friends, family members, or neighbors have paid for similar services. You may want to talk to a couple of different contractors to determine what an average price would be. Ask for details about what is included in the prices, as well. When you have an idea of the typical price range, you’ll know if the price you’re paying is fair
Often, people who are doing remodels live in older homes. These homes sometimes include intricate details that add a lot of value. If you can preserve some of the original details, you’ll be preserving quite a bit of value. You’ll still have plenty of options for customizing your remodel to meet your own tastes, while maintaining the special things that make your home unique and historic.
A few valuable items that are often found in older homes and are worth preserving include original woodwork, crown molding, hardwood flooring, original hardware, and cedar siding. If you can make any of these details work with your plans, you’ll be preserving qualities that will likely increase the value of your home in the long run.
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