8 Things You Should Do Before Home Remodeling: Charleston, SC

The diagrams of a home remodeling plan compared to the final design of the completed remodeling project.
Is your Charleston, SC house a breathtakingly beautiful, flawlessly appointed haven that is perfectly suited to the unique needs of you and your family—or is there a little room for improvement? Most South Carolina homeowners, even those who truly love their home as it is, would agree that there are opportunities for modifications that would make their house more appealing, comfortable, and livable.

If you fall into the latter category, it may be time to consider home remodeling. Charleston, SC is known for its lovely, well-maintained houses, but they don't get—and stay—that way all on their own. But, whether you need major renovations or just some touch-ups here and there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Not sure how to get the ball rolling? Here are eight things you need to take care of before the actual remodeling can get underway.

Speaking of getting your project underway, when the time comes to start home remodeling, Charleston, SC residents can rely on the experienced team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville. Worried that a Charleston handyman can't tackle remodeling? We are actually licensed to build homes from the ground up, so you can rest assured that we are capable of taking care of the entire remodel to make your house beautiful and turn your remodeling ideas into reality. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standards of quality workmanship and excellent customer service on every job.

1. Decide on the Scope of the Remodeling Project

The very first thing you should do is take some time to work out the overall scope of the project. While this may sound pretty obvious, it is a very easily overlooked part of the process. People tend to start out thinking they know what they want, but they realize as they go on that there's more they want or need to add in—and that can cause the budget to spiral out of control.

Start at the end by envisioning what you want the final result to look like. Then, create a list of all the changes, big and small, that will be required to get you there. Take that master list and divide it into two categories: what you absolutely need to make your home comfortable, safe, and habitable, and what you want that may not be strictly necessary but is still important to you. Having that list in hand as you go through the rest of the renovation will make everything easier and smoother.

2. Make a List of Every Component

This might sound exactly the same as the previous step, but it's not. The last list was changes you need to make. This list is for the actual items and components that will be required for your home remodeling. Charleston, SC homeowners have a wide array of products available, and it can feel overwhelming. Having a list of absolutely everything you need, from the critically important (drywall, tile, light fixtures, etc.) to the seemingly insignificant (toilet paper holders, small décor items, and so on) will be helpful when you get to the budget planning step. You will be glad you took the time to do it when your remodel is complete and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.

3. Choose a Style

If you have been living in your current home for a while, you have probably already developed a style throughout the home—though sometimes it isn't the most intentional design process. This is your opportunity to strengthen and complement the design aesthetic you have already created or choose to go in a different direction.

The style of your home goes deeper than just stuff like artwork and furniture. Finishings and other components, such as tile, wall color, countertops, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and interior trim, do a lot to present a certain look or aesthetic in your home, so they should be chosen with care. And, don't forget details that will infuse your home with your own personality and sense of taste. For example, a reclaimed wood accent wall gives off cozy, rustic vibes, or a hidden refrigerator is the perfect touch for a sleek, minimalist kitchen.

4. Sketch a Floor Plan

This applies more to kitchen or bathroom projects in Charleston or other rooms that feature a lot of built-in parts such as counters, cabinets, fixtures, and appliances, but it can be a good step for other rooms as well to see where the furniture will go. If you aren't planning on changing the layout, it's not really necessary. But if you are, grab a pencil and paper and sketch out the floor plan you want. Don't worry, it doesn't need to be a creative masterpiece.

Just seeing your design laid out before you on paper can be really useful for identifying potential trouble spots or for remembering that one thing you really wanted to include in your home remodeling. Charleston, SC remodelers will also want to see it, so they can better understand exactly what you have in mind.

5. Plan Your Budget, Then Add to It

Next up, it is time to plan out your budget in detail. Use that list of needed components you created to make sure you are including every last thing that will go into your Charleston home remodel. Once you have everything factored in, it is a good idea to pad the budget with an extra contingency fund.

Home remodeling is notorious for going over budget, even in the most carefully planned scenarios. That could be because the homeowner changes their mind part of the way through and wants design modifications, but it is often because the renovation process uncovers an unexpected problem that has to be addressed. For example, your handyman may remove floorboards and discover serious water damage that needs to be addressed, or go to install a new lighting fixture and realize the electrical wiring is outdated and unsafe. Those types of unpleasant and unexpected issues can really throw the budget into chaos and be a big source of stress.

The best way to deal with the possibility of unexpected expenses is to pad your budget with some extra funds that you can fall back on. By adding 20% or 30% more than you think you will need to spend, you'll have some "wiggle room" that will make those expenses a lot less stressful to deal with. And if you don't end up needing it, you've got the start of another remodeling fund!

6. Find a Qualified Charleston Handyman Team

Planning out your renovation is one thing, but then you need to actually find a capable, experienced crew to carry out your plan for home remodeling. Charleston, SC has many options for remodelers, but like any other profession, they don't all offer the same level of skill or keep their focus on customer satisfaction.

There are a lot of different types of work involved in home remodeling, from electrical and plumbing to carpentry and tile installation. But hiring multiple contractors and specialists to take care of this, that, and the other thing, and then managing them throughout the project is a big, time-consuming hassle. You need a convenient, one-call solution to reach an entire handyman team that can take care of every last thing you need for your home remodeling. Charleston, SC residents are in luck because that is exactly what you get when you call Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville.

Pro Tip: Ask the Right Questions Before Hiring

Before you seal the deal and hire a Charleston home remodeling company, it is a good idea to ask a few questions so you can ensure they are the right fit for you and your property. Any remodeler who is proud of the work they are doing should be pleased with the opportunity to tell you about it, so don't hesitate! The questions could include:

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How much experience do you have with this type of work?
  • Is this a locally owned and operated Charleston business?
  • Is your workmanship guaranteed?
  • Can you show me photos of your completed work?
  • Do you have references?
  • Do you require your employees to have a criminal background check?
  • Are your employees screened for drugs and alcohol?
  • What is your rough estimate for how long this will take?
  • Will you clean up after yourselves when the work is complete?

7. Schedule Your Home Remodeling at a Convenient Time

Once you have a plan in place and are ready to get started, you need to find the best time to schedule your home remodeling. Charleston, SC homeowners sometimes choose to remain in their homes during a renovation, and that may be a perfectly feasible option—but some types of remodels will make it very difficult, unpleasant, or even unsafe.

You may not have much trouble staying in your home during the remodel, as long as you have access to a bathroom and at least a make-shift kitchen cobbled together out of a microwave and mini fridge. But if your kitchen or only bathroom are being renovated and therefore are out of commission for several days or weeks, you will need to arrange for alternative accommodations. Even if you do have bathroom and kitchen access, there may be other considerations that would cause you to need to vacate the house. For example, if you have family members with special needs, pets, or small children, it may not be safe to have them living on a renovation job site.

It makes sense to try to choose a time when it will be most convenient for you to be living elsewhere, and you may want to consider taking time off work to reduce the pressure and make the whole experience less stress-inducing.

8. Prepare the Space

Before the remodel actually begins, there are some steps you need to take to get the area ready. The level of preparation that is expected will vary according to your Charleston service professional, so clear communication is important. For instance, some contractors will happily take care of moving furniture out of the way, and others will expect it to be already done. Make sure expectations on both sides are clear, so everything gets off to a smooth start.

Here are some prep steps that you may need to consider:

  • Remove all furniture and items from the room (or rooms) that are being remodeled, including anything hanging on the walls, curtains, and even items tucked away inside closets or cupboards.
  • Make sure the circuit box and water shut-off valves are accessible. Even if your remodel isn't in the bathroom or kitchen, it may be necessary to turn off the water at some point, and it will almost certainly be necessary to flip a few breakers.
  • Ensure there is somewhere for your home remodelers to park their service vehicles, whether it is in your driveway or on the street. Since there will be a lot of heavy and awkward things to carry, try to make it as close as possible to the house.
  • Create a space for pets (including pets in aquariums or cages) that is completely blocked off from the remodel area and won't be contaminated with drywall dust or other airborne particles.
  • Roll up carpets and rugs or cover them with plastic sheeting so they won't be dirtied or damaged by construction materials and dirty work boots.

Ready for Home Remodeling, Charleston, SC? Call the Pros at Mr. Handyman!

Whether you are in Charleston or a nearby area, such as Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, or Moncks Corner, you can trust the remodeling experts at Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville to provide the best quality of workmanship and an excellent customer experience.

Pick up the phone and give us a call today to book an appointment for Charleston handyman service, or chat with our friendly customer care staff about what you have in mind for your home remodeling. We look forward to transforming your Charleston home to make it more appealing, comfortable, and livable!