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10 Steps To Take Before Remodeling a Home

Whether you're doing it to increase value, improve your living experience, or both, remodeling a home can be stressful. There's a lot that needs to get done, and there's some risk involved if you don't carry things out in the correct way.

We're going to take a look at some of the most important things you should do before you start the process to ensure that everything goes smoothly and you end up with the result you want.

Hopefully, the information below can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that people tend to encounter. Let's get started:

1. Identify Everything You Want

The first thing to do is simply have a clear list of your decisions for the things you want. There's some space to make adjustments and changes while the process is underway, but the planning and execution of a home renovation are made much easier by a clear list of the projects involved.

You can take as much or little time as you need with this step, but just note that your stress load will reduce significantly if you have the same set of renovations planned the whole way through.

If you're short on ideas or you're not sure if you'd like a particular change, there are always a lot of examples of remodeling a home online, and the photos and insights might be of some help to you.

You can even reach out to people you find who have made similar changes to ask about budget, installation, and more.

2. Make Blueprints or Sketches

Once you've got your list, it's time to draw out how you imagine it will look.

Whether you do a sketch or a blueprint, it's important to include measurements of space and different pieces of furniture or objects that will be next to various renovations when they're done.

This way you can have a clearer look at what the result will be so that you're not disappointed when the final steps are done. It's also useful to have a measured blueprint to use as a reference when you're talking to contractors and other professionals that are bidding for your project.

These individuals can give you insight on what the difficulties of your project might be or other options that you could consider based on the measurements shown in your blueprint.

3. Know What You Can Do Yourself

There's a lot of home renovating that can be done with a little elbow grease and determination. That doesn't mean that you should always do it yourself or that there's any shame in having a contractor do some or all of the work of remodeling a home for you.

If you're doing the renovations to increase your home's value, you should lean even further on the side of letting someone else take care of the work. If you're doing things for satisfaction and the intention to live in a more comfortable and personalized home, it might be better to lean on the DIY side.

Whatever you end up deciding, make sure that you're not doing anything that will put you in a lot of danger. In fact, if danger comes to your mind when you're thinking of a particular project, it's probably best to leave it to someone who is capable of doing those things professionally.

Namely, electrical wiring and construction projects could potentially harm someone if they don't know what they're doing. In some cases, there are different permits and documents needed to legally and safely go through with those projects.

So, if you're starting to think about tinkering with that electrical box or faulty socket, give your electrician a call. The potential medical bills would far outweigh any rate that your local contractor charges.

4. Make a Clear Budget

Your budgetLink opens in a new tab is going to guide you through a lot of the decision-making process. It's hard to understate how quickly and easily things can go over budget when you're remodeling a home.

A budget before you start shopping for materials and contractor rates is also extremely useful. If you know precisely how much money you can spend in total, you can have a very comfortable approach to who you're going to hire, what they're going to do, and how long it can take them to do it.

It's important to note that renovation isn't an exact science, and the combination of delays, materials, and man-hours makes things a little difficult to forecast in terms of price.

So, note that things might not pan out precisely how you thought they would in the planning stages. With that in mind, it's a good idea to keep your timeline a little loose and provide a little bit of cushion in your budget to account for those issues.

If your budget is tight and you pack every single item in without any wiggle room, you're going to be disappointed and potentially broke. If your budget is rigid and you go over, that might even mean that the project has to stop and wait until you have the finances to finish it.

All of those pitfalls can be prevented if you manage to create a budget that's within your range and accounts for the potential hiccups that could come along the way.

5. Talk with Contractors Well in Advance

Get in touch with the professionals you'll be working with as soon as you can in the planning process. Many times, the best contractors are booked out for a period of time and you won't be able to book them if you're trying to get a project done within a few weeks.

Instead, try talking with these professionals 3-6 months in advanceLink opens in a new tab of your project or even more if possible. That way, you'll be sure to have them for the time that you need the work done and there's no conflict with other projects they might be working on.

Many times when we don't have someone to do the job when we need it done, we'll resort to doing it ourselves or hiring out a friend who claims to know what they're doing. That's the perfect recipe for injury, excessive costs, poor work, and a generally bad time.

Another nice thing about hiring out all of the contractors you'll need well in advance of the project is that they can give you advice. They'll offer crucial input on when certain things need to get done in relation to other things for the sake of safety and cost.

If you have a granite countertop installed first, for example, you might run the risk of having to have it removed when you have work done to your plumbing. In that process, you might damage the materials of your countertop and even have to replace it.

You might also have to hire out another person to put it back in and take it out. That's just one example, but the idea generally applies to all household projects; there will be things that have to get done before others.

If you mismatch those projects, you’re in for an excessive budget. Having contact with all of the individuals in the picture will give you ample time to plan and make sure that everyone's available when they say they will be.

6. Pack Up Your Fragile Items

When things are about to get started, think about how your personal living situation is going to be while you’re remodeling a home.

Are there pieces of furniture that you have to move in order for them not to be damagedLink opens in a new tab? Will you need to move all of the objects out of the affected spaces while construction and work are being done?

There's the option of putting plastic or sheets over the floors and different pieces of furniture that are exposed to dust and other things that could damage them.

It's always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting your things and making sure everything is safe while remodeling a home. Remember that the people doing the job might have to carry large pieces of material back and forth through your property.

Additionally, there's a lot of work that would be made a great deal harder if the contractor has limited space to do it. So, make sure that the place is prepared for them to come in and get the job done without having too much clutter or interference.

7. Prepare Waste Removal Options

It seems like contractors would be the ones responsible for removing debris and different remnants of construction while remodeling a home. This isn't the case, though.

It's on you to find and set up a waste removal option for the contractors (and yourself) to work with. It's not too difficult to get a dumpster to rent while the projects are going on.

That said, it might be a little expensive to rent out a dumpster for the entire time that you are remodeling a home. One possibility is to find a place to store waste for periods of time, rent out a dumpster for a day or two, and dump all of the existing waste in it.

You could carry out this process a couple of times depending on how the construction process is going at your home. That said, it might be necessary to get an option that sticks around for the whole project.

In any case, this is something that you'll want to set up in advance so that you're not walking through piles of drywall and insulation for three months.

8. Get Statements in Writing If Possible

When you're working on remodeling a home and different tasks that aren't exact and have some wiggle room, it's important to make sure there's a clear record of what has been said and what is to be done.

This isn't to say that you're going to encounter dishonest people by any means, but only that it can be difficult to remember the various statements and ideas that are thrown around, especially when there are so many projects being done.

Remember that contractors have other jobs and bids to keep in mind as well, and it's easy to get things jumbled. The last thing you want is for there to be any disagreement or confusion about costs, what you want, or when you need it done.

With that in mind, just ask politelyLink opens in a new tab to have different bids and ideas written down by the people you're working with so you can have a clearer idea and a definite record if there are any questions.

9. Double-Check That Your Plan is Solid

Before you start going ahead with demolition and construction, make sure that your plan and budget for remodeling a home are air-tight.

Go through your finances on your own and ensure that you're well within what you can afford and that small disturbances to the project won't be the end of the world. You should also look through the ideas to make sure that there aren't any complications that might have gone unnoticed before.

For example, some scheduling conflicts might have slipped through the cracks, or maybe there were a few steps of the process that you didn't account into the budget.

Just do a general overview of the budget and plan to see that things are correct and that you're ready to start going ahead with remodeling a home.

10. Keep an Open Mind as Things Go Forward

When the process of remodeling a home begins and you start to see those walls go down and projects go forward, make sure not to be too rigid if things don't go exactly according to plan.

Sure, you want things to be to your liking and they should be, but that doesn't mean that you'll get there exactly how you thought. Sometimes, contractors will point out different things that neither of you was aware of and have to brainstorm to get through different challenges.

Those are just bumps in the road that are easy to sift through, but shouldn't cause too much panic throughout the process.

Planning on Remodeling a Home?

Remodeling a home should be an exciting process that leaves you with great results. If you can hack the planning phase right, odds are that everything will go smoothly for you.

We're here to help you with more ideas and options for remodeling a home in Texas. Contact us or explore our site for more resources that will help your final product turn out the way you want it to.