You have finally made the decision to move forward with your renovation!
Whether you choose to remodel your kitchen, upgrade your bathroom, rebuild a deck or add additional living space to accommodate your growing family, you need a plan. Being prepared will help to alleviate stress and eliminate feeling overwhelmed.
Hire a licensed and insured professional. When you select a general contractor, designer or architect, ask them for references. Check their qualifications for credibility via the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce. Visit websites like Houzz and Guild Quality for firsthand customer experiences, reviews and pictures of their latest projects.
Don’t hesitate to discuss your budget with your builder. At Under Construction Builders, we use the design/build process to assure that the architect and builder are unified regarding the scope of the project and the budget. The renovation will be designed from the very beginning with your target budget in mind. Equally important, the builder and architect collaborate to assure that your vision is feasible from a design perspective and confirm that your budget is sufficient to support the selections. The total cost of a project can vary widely based on the selections that you make as well as the size and the complexity of the job. For a kitchen remodel, for example, the cost of the cabinets can vary greatly between stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Prepare yourself… what you see on HGTV is not usually realistic. They often portray high expectations on a low budget.
Gather ideas so you are ready for the selection process. Whether you clip pictures out of magazines, save pins to a board on Pinterest or create an idea book on Houzz, your contractor or designer can guide you to select the best products for your house. At Under Construction Builders, we accompany our customers when they choose cabinets, flooring and plumbing fixtures. We help you stay within your budget as well as recommend the optimal products for your design.
Establish the best time frame for the project. If you are renovating your beach house, keep the vacation season in mind. You may want to plan the renovation before Memorial Day or after Labor Day instead of in the middle of the summer. If you have renters scheduled, be sure to allow extra time for the project to be completed to meet your rental obligations or consider starting the job in September. Depending on the scope of the work, adjust the time frame to allow for a sufficient start and end time, so that it doesn’t infringe on your vacation.
The logistics of the job are also an important factor. Do you need to set up a temporary kitchen because yours will be under construction for a few weeks? Do you have an alternate entrance to your home if your deck and stairs are being replaced? Do you have a secondary bathroom or outdoor shower to use while your bathroom is being remodeled? You may be without certain areas of your living space while the renovation is in progress. Your contractor will discuss the best options to allow you to keep your household running as smoothly as possible.
Communication with your team is vital. Typically, a pre-construction meeting is scheduled to review the project with the homeowner and introduce you to your project manager prior to the start of the work. Throughout the construction, your PM will be available for daily communication. Having one point of contact is particularly helpful when running a project long distance. Your PM can text you daily with a progress report and pictures of your home. Trust your team. You selected them for their knowledge and skill, so let the experts do their thing!
It’s important to do your homework before beginning your house renovation. Planning ahead increases your knowledge and makes the process more enjoyable.
By Cathy Landrum, as featured in Bay Magazine Fall 2018