Remodeling your home can be overwhelming. There is a lot of information out there and it can be hard to know where to start. Here are the first steps to get you going.
1. Decide on the Work
The first thing to do is decide what work you want to have done. Saying you want to renovate your home is one thing, understanding the specific tasks you want to undertake is another. Sometimes it can take some time to decide exactly what work you want done. If you have just moved into a new home it can be tempting to start work immediately, however there are benefits to waiting. Getting to know a home and how you want to use it can help you ensure you are getting the details right. Find inspiration from blogs, Pinterest and other homes. Be specific, be intentional. Doing your research in the beginning will pay off down the road.
2. Make a Budget
After you’ve chosen what you would like done for work, take a look at your finances, set yourself a budget and be realistic. Understand that some parts of your home will be more expensive than others, and it largely depends on the scope of the work. If you are planning on doing some of the work yourself, be honest about your skills. You don’t need to be a professional to do your own work, but if you aren’t familiar with the kind of work that needs doing you may want to consider hiring a professional or be sure you give yourself adequate time. If you have a short timeline, learning how to frame a wall or install a kitchen may not be your best option.
Once you have done your homework, it’s time to find the right people to get the job done. Knowing exactly what you want done for work and what your budget are will help you find the right person for the job. Remember: if you are hiring a contractor, choose wisely. This is a person you are likely to be working closely for months. Choosing someone that you get along with and can communicate clearly with is important.
Once you’ve hired a contractor there is still work to be done. Every relationship needs maintenance, including the one with your contractor. In the beginning, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Agree to payment terms ahead of time. This will save you from most of the unfortunate surprises. However you should expect surprises. Most renovations and construction projects have at least one. Ensuring you have room for this in your budget will help keep the project on track.
Talk about the work that’s being done, and continue that conversation throughout the process. This way you know what is happening with the project and won’t be caught off guard if some adjustments in the timeline come up. Renovating your home is a lot of work. But with the right help and the right preparation, you can help it go smoothly.
The following is a true story, adapted from a 1921 edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology...