Before you hammer the first nail, your home remodeling and improvement activities will face important decision milestones along the way. The decisions you make at these milestones can be important to the success of the project. To get the most of your home improvement dollar, don’t forget to follow the tips below to keep your home remodeling projects on track and within budget.
Hire a pro-Good architect, decorators and contractors will add to the initial cost of the project but can lower fees you money and frustration in the long run. Their expertise will help you find design troubles early that can cause budget and timeline problems later. So how do you find a good architect, interior designer, remodeler or contractor? The best way is through word of mouth and referrals. Talk to your family, friends, and co-workers to see if they recently completed a home improvement project. The agent is may be able to recommend a reliable architect, interior designer, remodeler or contractor. Also, determine if they would use the individual or organization for future projects. Another great source can be your local parade of homes or home builders association.
Design Charges and Contractor Fees – Most significant remodeling plans will require the services of an accomplished interior designer, architect or contractor. Insist that each provides a bid that includes a detailed bid covering the scope of the work, any subcontractors they intend to use and the timeframe for completion of the effort. Do some analysis to determine if the costs are comparative when you shop for rates. The lowest priced rate firm may leave you with more clean-up and finishing work. The highest priced bid may include oversight costs or project management charges that you can do yourself.
Be prepared- Like any complex project, proper planning is imperative to success. Take the time early in the project to spend the quality time needed to make informed decisions ahead of time. Be sure to thoroughly review bids from contractors and don’t pick a contractor just because the agent is are the lowest cost provider or are available immediately. Do your homework. Choose the design materials family room to avoid working with costly changes later.
Breaking things down- Write cost and timeline goals and stick to them as much as possible. Breaking the home improvement project down into smaller activities makes it easier to estimate the charges and control the timeline later.
Self-involvement- Stay involved and help where you can. By removing old fixtures, cabinets or doing other steam clean-up work you can lower fees on the overall remodeling project. If capable, do some of the final finishing projects yourself to also drive down the fees. Painting, touch up or installing faucets or other fixtures yourself can keep you within cost and give you the enjoyment of knowing you did some of the projects yourself.
Design Decisions and Customizations- Using custom cabinetry, windows, doors or other products can quickly drive the fees up for any home improvement project. This is one of the areas where you can exercise a great deal of control over the charges. A customary window at your local home remodeling mart may cost $300, but a custom-sized window will budget more than double. Some activities of the project will need to be site-specific and possibly customized. But some product categories – such as windows, doors, and cabinetry – offer a wide variety of standard or semi-custom decisions. Adding your own trim or trimmings later may make these customary decisions look customized.
Avoid distractions- Don’t let yourself get sidetracked. For example, if you are painting your bedroom and you discover that the adjoining den paint now looks dingy, don’t get sidetracked. Schedule the other room for another project. The desire to add or change along the way will be tempting and inevitable. If your home improvement jobs stick to the original plan, most will finish on time and within budget.
To reduce the scope and avoid escalating costs during your remodeling jobs, be sure to properly manage the variables along the way. Estimating charges for home remodeling activities is both an art and a science. The better you plan, manage those variables and stick to the original plan the more likely you are to be delighted with the project and complete it within your cost and timeline budgets.