When it comes to home remodeling, what you do can be just as important as what you don’t do. The best advice isn’t always “go with your gut”—sometimes it’s “listen to the pros”! A good contractor has been through thick and thin, and knows how to clearly and honestly communicate expectations with you. Are you hiring outside help to accomplish your exciting home remodel project? Stick to these 10 home renovation tips and not only will your project be more likely to go smoothly and stay on budget, but you should have some happy contractors on your hands.
1. Don’t work without a plan. Does your home remodel project require an electrician? An interior designer? Both? Consider all the parties involved and work to come up with a blueprint that everyone can agree on. Make sure to loop in your contractor so they can confirm that the plan is one their team can execute.
2. Don’t buy materials yourself. DIY sounds like it will save you money, but that isn’t always the case in a home remodel. Oftentimes, the contractor is able to nab a better starting price than you—even after they mark up the total cost of materials, you’ll end up paying the same price as you would if you went out and purchased them on your own.
3. Don’t postpone decisions. This is critical to sticking to your timeline. Make each and every decision before the work starts, making sure you talk through scenarios and potential roadblocks with the contractors. Keep in mind that many decisions will be small, but even a small decision that’s put off for too long could have a collateral effect.
4. Don’t change your mind too much. Of all the home renovation tips, this one might be the hardest to obey. It’s your home and you want it to be perfect—the potential to change your mind is nearly inevitable. Just remember that every time you change your mind, it will result in a change of plans that can affect cost, timeline, and more.
5. Don’t make your home something it’s not. Will a glam industrial kitchen work in a Cape Cod beach bungalow? It’s possible. Get to know your home and do your research before you start remodeling. Even the best contractor might not be able to work against what the house wants.
6. Don’t spray perfume on a casket. No homeowner wants to hear that it’s better to tear down their home and start over rather than bother to fix it up, but sometimes that’s the hard truth. In the world of home remodeling, this rarely happens, but it’s good to listen to the pros and be prepared for the possibility. There’s no sense in putting a high-efficiency furnace in a home with no insulation or installing beautiful hardwood floors over a cracked foundation.
7. Don’t live in the house while it’s being remodeled. It’s true remodeling is expensive, and moving out during the project will only add to that expense. However, imagine yourself coming home from a long day at work to a construction site and you might be wishing you spent a little extra for a temporary place of peace and quiet.
8. Don’t let kids and pets be an inconvenience. Not only can this be inconvenient, it’s not safe. Most contractors will kindly accommodate your children and animals, but they shouldn’t have to worry about them. Do your workers a favor and keep your loved ones far from the construction zone.
9. Don’t distract the workers. If you’re the talkative type, this might be a challenge for you. Think about this: every minute your contractor spends talking to you is a minute they’re not working on your house. A discussion relevant to the remodel is fine, but the person you hired isn’t getting paid any more to have a 30-minute conversation about your upcoming trip to Cancun.
10. Don’t work without an emergency fund. Things happen and budgets are often broken, so don’t forget one of the most important home renovation tips. Keep a reasonable amount of cash saved up in case an emergency arises and you have to spend a little extra. It’s rare for homeowners to set a realistic budget right from the start, so don’t be surprised if it happens to you. Work out every detail before the start of the project and you might not even need to tap into your savings!
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