Your Home Remodeling Checklist

When your entire home, or just a room or two, doesn’t meet your needs anymore, you really have two options: move or remodel/renovate. The former is obviously a very extreme choice filled with challenges. While the latter sounds simpler — and certainly is—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework before embarking on any sort of home remodeling project.

Real Simple recently offered a handy checklist for home remodels that we find invaluable:

Plan

  • Make a wish list. In one column, put your wants; in another, your needs. That way, when faced with tough choices down the line, you’ll have a clearer picture of your priorities — what has to happen now and what can wait.
  • Determine your budget. Before you meet with a contractor or architect, you’ll need a ballpark estimate — then both of you will be able to talk honestly about what’s possible. (It’s a good idea to build some padding — at least 10 percent is recommended — for the unexpected uh-ohs and might-as-wells that will crop up.)
  • Consult the calendar. What’s your timeline for the renovation? If you want the living room done for, say, a graduation party, don’t wait until spring to start talking about it. Likewise, you might not want to install a new roof during the rainy season — or schedule major demolition a month before you host a family reunion.

Research

  • Begin looking for a contractor. This isn’t the time to consult the Yellow Pages. Ask everyone you know about their experiences, good and bad. You should also consult the websites for the National Association of Remodelers (nari.org) or the National Association of Home Builders (nahb.org); the professionals that belong to these organizations are bound by strict codes of ethics and business practices.
  • Interview contractors. In addition to asking for references — and contacting them — prepare a list of questions for prospective contractors. Make sure you’re comfortable with the answers and have a good feeling about working with the company you select.

Remodel

  • Examine the fine print of the contract. Don’t just sign a contract without reading it. Be sure you’re comfortable with all the clauses it contains. If your peace of mind would be aided by having an attorney review it, then do so. (If the contractor balks at that, it may be a red flag.)
  • Finalize household arrangements. Once you know when the work will begin, make any additional plans, such as reserving storage space for furnishings or booking a hotel room for the day when the water will be turned off.
  • If possible, carve out an oasis for yourself. Select a room that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos and equip it with whatever you might need to keep yourself sane for the duration: a DVD player, electric teakettle, yoga mat, earplugs, etc.

The idea of remodeling your home to make it more livable for you is a great one, and the process to get there can be pain-free when you use this checklist. Contact us at Authentic Designs & Remodeling to discuss your wish list. We’re here to help.

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