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How to plan for a successful home remodel

Carpenter Measuring A Wooden Plank.

If you’ve owned your home for a number of years, you may find that over time your aspirations have changed, and some of its once-perfect features have now become less attractive or useful than they used to be. It happens to us all.

A home renovation, however, isn’t something you just jump into. Having spent years renovating and flipping homes, I discovered early on that I needed to thoroughly research and plan every aspect of my home improvement to ensure I had all the essentials covered. And here’s what I learned.

Find your why

Change is constant, as we all know. Let’s say you’ve always pined after more closet and storage space. And now you’re also thinking about adding an in-law suite for your aging parents to move into.

If you have an extra room, you could knock down walls and convert them into a luxury walk-in closet. For the in-law suite, you could convert other unused spaces such as a shed or a garage. You’ll then want to equip it with aging-in-place modifications such as grab bars and a sit-down shower in the bathroom. Plans also need to be made to improve accessibility – things like having the kitchen’s upper cabinets lowered and building a wider entryway and a ramp.

When you know what your goals are, it’s easier to stay focused on what needs to be done.

Be flexible

We may think we’ve saved up enough to get all the renovations we’ve planned for done. But costs can add up and plans can go awry. Be willing to compromise and find other alternatives when necessary. Also, allow for a bit of a cushion in your budget for cost overruns.

Explore home improvement loans and several other financing options. Home credit is often a good fallback to consider.

Find yourself a good team

It isn’t the greatest idea to take an entire modeling project on by yourself, especially if you have no experience. When I was first starting out, it took several interviews with potential contractors for me to find myself a qualified, licensed, and adequately insured team to work with.

Due diligence is a crucial part of finding the best guys for your remodeling project. Everyone needs to be on the same page in terms of expectations, which means being clear on commitments and deliverables. You can use online resources and ask for solid references before deciding on a crew to work with. It makes sense to take the time to interview several companies and hire only the most qualified professionals that you’re comfortable with.

When I work with contractors, I make sure that I have a written contract in hand and that we agree on crucial aspects such as timelines and completion dates before starting any work. I am also clear on the specific materials to be used.

Permissions and problems

Legal permits are part and parcel of any major remodel. A good contractor will not only take care of securing the necessary building permits, but they will also make sure that everything done meets local building codes and safety regulations.

In an ideal world, everything will go according to plan. But the reality is that equipment can break down, supplies may not arrive on time, and miscommunication can cause delays. All of these can impact your budget.

Set ground rules for your team and keep communication friendly but professional. Make allowances for parking and equipment storage and prepare a dumpster for all the refuse.

To renovate your home beautifully yet inexpensively, be sure you’re clear on your goals. Have an experienced realtor with a strong building background helps you achieve what you want and need. Make things easy on yourself: call 480.518.2222 or send an email to melikian(at)mindspring(dotted)com today.