10 Things to Do Before You Renovate

Posted by Helene McQuaide on 1st August 2016

Are you considering a kitchen or bath remodel? Before you pick paint colors or choose your new kitchen appliances, make sure you’re ready for your home makeover by checking off these 10 items.

1. Set a Budget

You’ll need to set a budget before you get too excited about a new kitchen with Wi-Fi-enabled appliances or that game room with a high-end pool table. After you come up with a realistic figure, add 20 percent to that number for unexpected expenses. Surprises don’t always happen during a remodeling project, but if they do, you’ll be prepared to cover the costs if you’ve padded the budget a little.

If you don’t understand how to come up with a feasible budget, a Design-Build company specializes in that. They will help you put the budget together based on your goals, your very own selections, material choices and the actual scope of the work. You can rest assure that your budget is realistic and your design meets your expectations. It’s the most efficient process in the industry.

2. Determine the Scope of Your Project

Do you want to remodel the entire second floor, or just the bathrooms? What are your priorities? What parts of the project are you willing to eliminate if your budget can’t stretch far enough? Making a list of the rooms you want to renovate and the features you want to add to each room will help you create an accurate assessment of the project scope.

3. Take a Look at Comps

Spend an evening browsing a few local real estate websites. Are the properties that have been remodeled or expanded priced significantly higher than un-renovated houses? Although the focus of your remodeling project should be to create a home that’s comfortable for you, your return on investment may be lower than you expect if you over-improve your home.

4. Research Home Remodeling Contractors

A little online research can provide valuable information that will help you narrow the pool of home remodelers. Remember, almost anyone can claim they are a carpenter, (have tool belt will travel sort of thing). Check out testimonials on contractor websites and read reviews on sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Take a look at project portfolios on every home remodeling company website and compare photos. When you’ve narrowed your options to four or five contractors, make a few calls and arrange to meet with the contractors on your shortlist.

5. Conduct Interviews

Conducting contractor interviews is an excellent way to make sure the company’s website presents a realistic picture of their expertise. Ask each contractor the same questions, and provide them with a detailed list of project priorities. In addition to the practical aspects of the interview, consider how well your personality meshes with the company’s employees.

6. Compare Bids Carefully

Make sure every quote lists the same features. Keep in mind that the cheapest bid might not be the least expensive in the long run. Ask them to clarify any items you don’t understand or items that seem to be missing from their competitor's bid. Keep in mind that the cheapest bid might not be the least inexpensive in the long run. If the low bidder omitted a few key project elements or plans to use inferior building projects, you might spend more than you anticipated to complete the remodel.

7. Investigate Temporary Housing Options

Home renovations are noisy and messy although a good contracting firm should work around you in a considerate and organized fashion. Some people decide that it’s easier to move out of their homes during construction, while others live on one floor or make other adjustments. If you have young children or work from home, it may be a challenge to live in your home while it’s undergoing renovation. Consider a few temporary housing options if you think it may be too difficult to remain in your home during the remodel.

8. Create a Storage Plan

What are you going to do with your furniture and belongings when your contractor begins working? Whether you plan to move everything to the basement, rent a storage unit or park a storage pod in your driveway, you’ll need to find a place to put your possessions during home remodeling. Even with contractor dust shields and drop cloths, dust goes airborne and can go everywhere.

9. Improve Security

It’s a good idea to place valuables in a locked storage area or safe during a home renovation project to protect them from accidental damage or theft. Upgrading your security system, adding exterior lights and taking advantage of locks controlled by your smart phone can give you some peace of mind during construction, particularly if you plan to move out during the remodel.

10. Review the Schedule

Find out when contractors will arrive each morning and when they’ll leave in the evening. This information will help you ensure that you have plenty of time to make a cup of coffee or get the kids off to school before the sawing begins and the dust starts flying.

Are you ready to begin your Pittsburgh remodeling project? We’ve helped countless homeowners transform their homes in an efficient and painless way, and we are happy to answer your questions and offer a few suggestions. Contact us to get the process started.


HGTV: 7 Things to Do Before Calling a Pro http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/7-things-to-do-before-calling-a-pro

Houzz: 10 Things to Do Before the Renovation Begins http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/22752545/list/10-things-to-do-before-the-renovation-begins

House Beautiful: 10 Things to Never EVER Do Before You Start a Renovation http://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/renovation/tips/a2504/what-to-do-before-renovation/

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