To get the best results from a remodel, learn as much as you can about the process and make as many decisions as possible before getting started. That way, you waste neither time nor money. Here's what you need to do and know.
Draw Your Dream
Before meeting with any contractors, sit down with paper and a pencil and the members of your family who will have input to discuss the dream home-or room if only remodeling one area, such as the kitchen. Sketch both your needs and wants without thinking about cost or existing floor plan. This will give you a rough sketch that you can use as a starting point for the many decisions to be made during the remodeling planning. Make a copy of the sketch.
Decide Your Goal
Now that you have put your dreams on paper, take a step back and factor in reality. Ask yourself these questions to do so:
- How long do you plan to stay in your home?-If you are nearing retirement and plan to stay put, consider the remodel a long-term investment in your comfort. If you plan to move in the near future, look at a remodel as a shorter-term investment, opting for upgrades that will satisfy you in the meantime but also add to resale value.
- Will the remodel meet the needs of your family in the future?-If you do plan on staying where you are and have young children, consider their changing needs. Teens need more room and privacy than toddlers.
- How extensive are your structural changes?-Do you want to knock down walls to create a more open floor plan? Combine rooms to create bigger ones?
The answers to these questions may change how you view your dream home. For example, it may not make sense to lose an entire bedroom to make a larger, custom master bathroom and closet if you plan to resell in a few years. Make changes on the copy of your original sketch as you discuss these questions.
Get Ideas for Your Renovation
Next, go online to further research tips and find inspiration. Mr. Handyman has quick references guides on a variety of remodel topics, including bathroom remodeling , kitchen design and master bedroom remodels. In each, you will find links to dozens of articles that offer advice and ideas.
For more inspiration, websites such as Houzz and Google image search show actual before and after photos of remodeled rooms and entire homes. Makes notes and download images of what you like; even if you only like one aspect of a room, it helps to have visual representation of it when meeting with contractors. Collect all of your materials in a folder for easy reference.
Set a Remodel Budget
Once you have dreamed big, determined goals and found examples, discuss a budget for your remodeling project. Keeping in mind the investment factor, decide how much you can afford and whether or not you will need to do the work all at once or in stages. Set priorities, such as kitchen first and master bedroom last.