Top 8 Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Home

Remodeling your home can be an exciting adventure that transforms the essence of your family’s space.

Remodeling your house creates an opportunity to optimize your space, whether it’s for improved flow with fewer choke points, more bedrooms, or a new architectural style. You might also incorporate gutter guards, a modern fireplace, or anything else your home’s current design lacks.

No matter the scale of your remodeling, there are a few key points that you need to consider to prevent headaches and ensure you get what you envisioned.

1. Don’t Start Remodeling Too Soon

If you have just purchased your home and are thinking about remodeling it right away, you might benefit from waiting one or two months and spending time living in the house first.

By taking the time to get to know the house as it is, you will become familiar with its common choke points, the general flow from the kitchen to the lounge to the laundry room, how the sun and rain hit it, and even the house’s “soul”.

All this information will inform your remodeling designs, so you can create a new space that doesn’t have the same problems as the old design.

2. Define Your End Goal

Before any work begins, you need to formulate an idea of both what your remodeling will cover and what your end goal is. Is your goal to increase the resale value of your house with the intention of selling? Or, do you plan to live in this space for years to come?

If you plan on reselling the house, you won’t benefit as much from extra personalization, which will cost more. If this is going to be your family home for some time though, then spending a little extra on the kitchen and bathroom that you always wanted or the art room your kids have been asking for may be worth it.

Your end goal will then help you decide exactly which areas of the house need remodeling.

3. Try To Add Everything You Will Need

You don’t want to go through the remodeling process again in a year because you forgot to include a crucial element in your initial design plans. If you can afford it, it is best to try to get as much done in one go.

You will already have contractors and other professionals on-site, and parts of your home will already be packed up while the remodeling work is taking place, so try and tick everything off the list at that moment.

This could include adding gutter guards or gutter covers to prevent organic material from clogging your external drainage system. It could mean adding pet doors or even making a bathroom wheelchair accessible for a relative who you know will be living with you shortly.

4. Set Your Budget and Expect to Go Over It

Setting your budget and working hard to stick to it are key components to a successful remodeling project. You will still need to expect the unexpected, though, which includes planning for when you go over budget. Sometimes things take longer or material costs rise above the initial quote, so set aside a contingency fund of at least 20 percent, just in case.

5. You May Need to Pay for Temporary Housing

If it is just a partial home remodel, you can set up a reno-free area in the house for your family to relax in. However, it can be much easier for everyone involved if you organize a few days to stay outside the house when major work is taking place.

If there are strong fumes, lots of dust, or any instance when the house is unfit for you and your family to live in during remodeling, then the best course of action is to stay elsewhere. Communicate with the contractors and find out how long they need to finish that stage of work, so you can tell your family how long it may be for.

6. Know Your Limits

Avid DIYers will love the opportunity to help with their own home’s remodeling. If this is you, then you need to know your limits. Be honest about what tasks you can do to a high standard and which ones should be left to the professionals. This will prevent injuries and costly disasters.

7. Work With a Designer, an Architect, and a General Contractor

Since this is going to be a large investment, you need to have the mentality of doing it right the first time. From the start, you should work with an interior designer and an architect so your vision has a better chance of becoming reality. This will also take a lot of stress and burden off your shoulders since you won’t be going at it alone.

You should also hire a general contractor to help oversee the entire project, instead of relying on individual installers. A general contractor can coordinate all the different teams of contractors, help you meet specific deadlines and they can solve problems using all their experience in the trade.

Your architect and general contractor will also know exactly what permits you need for your remodeling project, as well as how to apply for them.

8. Specialty Materials Require Special Expertise

Unique materials that are not commonly used will come with their own installation techniques. If your contractor doesn’t have experience working with these materials, it might be better to hire other contractors with the right installation experience.
Your general contractor can still take care of everything else while the specialty installers do their work.

Remodeling your home can create a space customized to what you and your family need. Just remember to understand the bigger picture first, define your goals, expect the unexpected regarding your budget and work with the right professionals from the start.

- by Matt Watts