1. What exactly needs to be done? Make a list of everything that you want to improve with your project. Check beyond the visual appearance and look at the structural elements of the room you are considering remodeling. For an example; if you are bathroom remodeling and replacing the tile on the floor, find out if the subflooring is in need of repair.
2. Why are you remodeling your home? There are a number of reasons to take on a remodeling project; preparing your home for resale, repairing structural damage, improving safety issues or just updating your home. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a mental image of where your remodeling project is going to go before you begin.
3. Some key points to remember when hiring a contractor.
a. Ask your friends or neighbors who have recently completed a kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling project for recommendations.
b. Speak with a number of remodeling contractors about your project and obtain several quotes.
c. Ask for references from their former customers.
d. Be aware of quotes that are far below the competition.
e. Request an accurate timeframe in which the project will be completed.
f. Obtain a written proposal that spells out the scope of the work to be completed and specifications of the materials that will be supplied.
4. Are you prepared to be inconvenienced until the project is completed? Even though the remodeling contractor may have the project under control there are things that could cause the project to take longer due to; weather delays, delivery problems, personal issues or unexpected additions.
5. Will your home be livable during the remodeling project? Depending on the type of work that needs to be completed in your home, you may not be able to reside in your home during certain portions of the remodel. You may need to relocate for a period of time, until the work is completed. Or you may be able to physically live in your home, but important areas, such as the kitchen or bathroom might be unusable.
6. What is your budget? Have a realistic budget for your remodeling project. Every home is different but you can get price ranges for your project from friends or neighbors that have already remodeled similar projects in their home. Items that would effect your budget.
a. Permits, call your city or municipalities to get an idea of what they will cost.
b. Materials, are you going to supply them or is your contractor? A contractor can usually buy materials cheaper than you, the home owner can. And are you buying the right materials? It’s usually cheaper to let the contractor supply all the materials, that way you have a total cost.
c. Relocation expenses, if your home isn’t habitable during the remodel. If you need to leave your home or if the rooms such as the kitchen will not be usable be sure to allocate funds to deal with those issues.
7. What types of permits are necessary? Obtaining permits is usually a necessary part of any home remodeling project. Your contractor should be very knowledgeable about which permits are necessary for your project. Also your local city or municipalities can provide you with a wealth of information.
Remember… although a home remodeling project takes a lot of time and planning, the rewards can be outstanding and having a home that you can live comfortably in and be proud of is well worth the effort.