Remodeling a home can be a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be as frustrating as most of your friends and neighbors make it out to be. With the right plan, you can eliminate most of the friction people typically complain about and enjoy the fruits of an exciting transformation
The Challenges of Home Remodeling
As exciting as the results of a home remodel can be, the process of getting there is often filled with twists, turns, and inconvenient potholes. The typical remodel project presents numerous challenges, including:
- Staying on schedule. The trouble with remodeling projects is that they can drag on for weeks or months longer than planned. This is especially frustrating when it’s a big remodel project that forces you to live in temporary housing. Every week that you’re off schedule costs you money!
- Unexpected events. If you’ve ever watched a remodeling or house flipping shown on TV, you know that there are always problems. When you take up flooring, remove a wall, or try to relocate something in the home, problems are bound to occur. These unexpected events can be time-consuming, costly, and stressful to deal with.
- Spending too much. Though you may begin with a dollar amount in your head, one thing can quickly turn into another. Before you know it, you’re not just replacing the kitchen countertops, you’re also fixing the floors, cabinets, hardware, and appliances. It’s easy for costs to balloon out of control.
4 Tips for a Smoother Remodel
There will always be variables that you can’t control, but a proactive plan will allow you to avoid some of the costly and frustrating challenges that are known to derail and delay remodeling projects. Here are some tips for a smoother remodel:
- Hire the Right Firm
The team you select to handle the remodel will make or break your project. The wrong team will cause distress, while the right team will keep things moving forward. And rather than piece a team together, you should consider hiring one design-build firm.
“Hiring two separate companies means two separate contracts. As you can imagine, this can create a lot of confusion and could result in time-consuming legal work if the project gets off track,” Mark IV Builders explains. “With a design-build firm, they’ll have a simple and effective process in place. One that’s been tested over years of experience in the local community. One team, one contract — the best way to go.”
- Set a Realistic Budget
Price is a major concern. And if you aren’t careful, the cost of bringing your project to completion can end up being way more expensive than you originally anticipated. The key is to work with your design-build firm to set a realistic budget.
Be conservative in your numbers. (For example, if countertops will cost somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000, assume that they’ll cost you $5,000.) Once you reach a figure, add in a cushion of 10 to 20 percent to account for unforeseen expenses and issues.
- Articulate Wants vs. Must-Haves
In every home remodel project, there are a list of items you want to get done. However, unless you have a massive budget, you probably won’t be able to accomplish everything. It’s important that you learn to differentiate the wants from the must-haves. For instance, if your windows are broken and you can feel a draft even when they are closed, then replacement windows would be considered a must-have, and must-haves come first and then if – and only if – you have room in your budget leftover, you can tackle some of the wants.
- Consider Temporary Housing
“Saws sawing, hammers hammering… big remodeling projects are inherently noisy (not to mention messy, with all the dust they can stir up). If it’s financially and physically possible to get away from the racket with a short-term stay elsewhere, do,” This Old House suggests.
Options for temporary housing include extended stay hotels – Extended Stay America, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites all come recommended – Airbnb listings, and even short-term apartments.
When moving into temporary housing, bring as little as possible. However, you should try to do as much cooking as you can inside your temporary residence. Attempting to eat out for weeks or months at a time will put a huge dent in your budget. Treat this is a brief period of minimalistic living. You may even find it enjoyable!
Do You Have a Plan?
It’s wise to plan ahead and formulate a plan regarding how you’ll deal with each facet of the home remodel process. The more deliberate and specific you are in your approach, the less friction you’ll encounter. Good luck!