10 Steps to a Better Remodeling Experience
When making improvements to your home, planning ahead and taking it one step at a time is key. Home remodeling, if done properly, can be painless and surprisingly fun. Remodeling is a decision that requires patience and planning. The Remodeling Pro suggests the following ten steps which can improve your remodeling experience.
- Access Your Current Situation – Define the purpose of your remodel. Is the remodel intended to be used by you or passed on to a potential buyer? Are you seeking comfort, accessibility, uniqueness? Or are you simply seeking to add value to your property?
- Return on the Investment – Decide how long you intend to live in your present home. Do you plan to sell the property in the next few years? Check surrounding homes, compare real estate in your area and define how much you can reasonably hope to recoup when you sell the home.
- Create a List – Define what changes you wish to make to your home. Make your list and check it twice – planning ahead can save you big. Planning can be as simple as looking through the latest design magazines and as in-depth as using an architect, depending on the scale of your project.
- The Architect – Major remodeling projects require construction drawings for the purposes of defining a contract and procurement of permits.
- The General Contractor – Many home-improvement projects many not require professional design services and can best be handled by the experienced contractors knowledgeable of materials, methods and licensing requirements.
- The Design/Build Contractor – This is a concept developed to benefit the homeowner by providing both quality design and excellent construction services within the same contracting company. The Remodeling Pro is a design/build contractor and can oversee your project from start to finish.
- Allocate Your Time Wisely – Define with your contractor a completion project schedule that is separated into stages; this will create a completion timeline. Understand how long each project stage will take and don’t get frustrated. Delays are to be expected when special ordering cabinets or flooring, make sure you take these into account. Each project is unique, but a thorough plan will improve the odds that your project will be completed on time by your contractor.
- Create a Realistic Budget – Decide on how much money you can spend on home improvements before ever starting the project.
- Get a Comprehensive Proposal from Your Contractor – This allows you to know, upfront, how much money the project will cost. The proposal should also include the types of products that will be used.
- Clearly Define Expectations – Sit down with you contractor before work begins. Clearly define in writing a detailed map of the project. Create a contract that details the scope, start and approximate completion date, payment schedule, product types, and the responsibilities of the contractor and/or any subcontractor. The contract should also include provisions for changing your order, warranties and dispute resolution procedures. Your contract should include all of the following: specify all materials; approve all plans carefully; Federal notice of rights; financial terms.
- Warranty Information – Products and workmanship. The warranty must be identified as a full or limited warranty. If it is a full warranty all faulty products must be repaired, replaced or refunded. A limited warranty indicates all replacements and refunds of damaged products are lined in some regard.
- Tie all Payments to Specific Work Stages – Avoid contractors who ask for the total cost or a large sum of money upfront. There is an exception to the rule – with kitchen remodeling cabinets, appliance and large item costs may be requested upfront. Clearly define what items are being purchased for the amount being requested. Contractors will usually split payments into percentages of the total cost of the project. The payments should be tied to specific stages of the completed remodel project. The final payment should be tied to the final walk-thru and approval of the project as complete.
- Keep Your Perspective – Remodeling is disruptive to your normal household environment. It is important to take a deep breath, and keep your focus toward the end result. If a problem occurs, talk to your contractor openly and honestly about your concerns and expectations.
When remodeling your home, always keep a job file which includes your contract, plan, specifications, invoices, change orders and all correspondence with the contractor. Remember, you are in charge – don’t sign an incomplete contract, don’t cut corners to meet schedules and most importantly don’t let the immensity of the project overwhelm you. Again the best way to stave this off is simple – break your project into manageable stages. Good luck and have fun!
If you’re interested in developing a beautiful, functional and economical bathroom, kitchen or whole home remodel please call us at (816) 844-9757 today!
(Republished from http://www.remodelingkc.com/10-step-program-to-remodeling/)