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6 Steps Before Hiring Remodeling Services

So, you've finally done it. You're taking the plunge and renovating your home. Perhaps your kitchen is outdated or your bathroom has seen better days. Maybe your basement is unfinished, and you're ready to maximize the space. Whatever improvement projects you have in mind, it can be easy to dive into the renovation without taking time to properly plan it out.

You might be tempted to start by researching remodeling services and interviewing contractors in your area. And while this is an important part of the process, there are a couple of other steps to take first to help you mitigate the common problems—such as going over budget and dealing with unexpected issues—that pop up during a renovation. Although you might still experience some surprises, the more prepared you are the more successful your renovation will be.

Before hiring remodeling services, pay attention to the following advice. It'll help you plan your remodeling project carefully, stay organized and end up with the bathroom, kitchen or basement of your dreams.

1. Make a Realistic Budget

As most homeowners know, any project needs a budget to keep costs in check. But when it comes to renovating your home, it's all too easy for that budget to get out of hand. A common mistake homeowners make is to create a rough estimate that's not a realistic reflection of how much your remodel will actually cost. That's why it's imperative to diligently research labor and materials. Armed with the information of what the project will actually cost, you can gauge expectations accordingly. If you're uncertain, you can always ask a contractor to review your budget and confirm that it's realistic.

2. Decide on a Reasonable Scope of Work

Upon settling on a realistic budget, it's important to outline what work will actually be done—and when. Make a list of changes to make, and then divide that up into what you want to do and what you need to change. This will help identify the project's priorities and provide structure to the renovation. While deciding on the scope of work, ask yourself:

  • What areas will stay the same?

  • What will be changed/replaced?

  • Are you moving key fixtures, like a toilet or oven?

  • Are you installing additional features, like an extra sink or counter space?

  • Does the electrical system need to be adjusted for more outlets or additional lighting?

  • Will you be tearing down/building walls?

  • Are you replacing or adding tile? If so, what type?

  • Are you replacing the counter?

  • Do you have sufficient storage space? If not, how will you add more storage?

  • What color palette appeals to you?

  • What kind of accents (faucets, cabinet knobs, etc.) will you add?

  • What items will you splurge on?

3. Have a Clear Vision

If you're ready to remodel your bathroom, kitchen or even your basement, you probably already have an idea of what you'd like. But while you might have the “big picture” in mind, it's very important to map out all the details of the design process. Being as specific as possible will help you, your family and your contractor be on the same page. The clearer you can communicate your vision, the more likely you'll get what you want once the project is completed. Gathering inspiration is an important step. Look through interior design magazines, Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. Collect these images in a place you can easily access and share with your contractor. For instance, make a Pinterest board, save photos in a file on your computer or put together a mood board.

If you're struggling to come up with a clear vision, we suggest booking a design consultation with a professional. An interior designer will be able to take your inspiration and help you create a space that's truly your style. He or she will also be able to help you choose materials, outline your options and give you ideas that you might not have thought of on your own.

4. Plan Life Around the Remodel

The trickiest part of any home renovation is living in your house while the project is being completed. It can be a frustrating experience for your bathroom and/or kitchen to be out of commission—especially if your remodel is quite extensive. As the renovation goes on, this disruption to your daily life can take its toll on your household. To help alleviate some of that stress, we suggest making plans for how you can live in your home while it's being worked on. Perhaps you can stay on the top floor, or have access to a second bathroom. Keeping in mind that remodels might not be safe for your little ones or pets to be around—not to mention your home will be filled with dust and noise—you might want to find different accommodations. Consider staying with friends or family, or staying in a hotel until your house is more liveable. You might even take advantage of the renovation by going on a vacation!

5. Stay Positive

While you might start out excited for your renovation, as time goes on that feeling could fade and warp into stress, anxiety and frustration. Even if everything goes according to plan, most homeowners can only take so much of ordering in takeout for every meal or cooking off a hot plate. Even staying in a hotel for too long can feel tiresome—and get expensive. During the project, some days will go smoothly and others will seem like nothing is going right. It's important to keep in mind that ups and downs are a natural part of the process. When something goes wrong, try to think productively. For instance, ask yourself “What can we do to fix this problem?” instead of fixating on the issue. When you feel overwhelmed, remember that nothing lasts forever. Your remodel will end, and then you'll be able to enjoy the beauty of your new and improved space for years to come.

6. Find the Right Team for the Job

Finally, after diligently planning and researching your improvement project, you need to get the ball rolling by hiring remodeling services. When it comes to finding the perfect contractor, take time to research your options. Read through reviews and interview your prospects to find the perfect match. When vetting a home improvement professional, ask the following questions:

  • How long have you been in business?

  • What is the time frame for completion?

  • Will I have a dedicated team working on my job?

  • What's the best way to get in touch with you?

  • Will you clean up at the end of the project?

  • Do you have a warranty/guarantee?

Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling Made Simple

At Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia — Arlington to Haymarket, our highly skilled remodeling contractors have an average of over 10 years of industry experience. Since 2008, we've completed improvement projects with expertise and professionalism for homeowners throughout Northern Virginia. We offer quality services and remodeling solutions. Not only are we recognized for our excellent workmanship, but also for our exceptional customer service. Our team works together to ensure you have a positive experience with our company from start to finish. From our office staff that keep operations running smoothly to our friendly and dedicated technicians, we treat all our customers like family.

To get started on your next project, we invite you to call our courteous customer service representatives at 703-621-4817 or to request a service online. We look forward to meeting you and making your vision for your house a reality.