Are you thinking about overhauling your favorite retreat, remodeling the cabin kitchen, or adding another bedroom for that growing litter of grandkids? With any renovation project, the last thing you should do is dive right into the work. Every remodel requires careful planning and preparation.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers the following list of the 10 most important steps to take before you even lift a sledgehammer:
1. Research your project. Get a good sense of cost, scope of work, return on investment and new options for products and materials.
2. Plan your project for the long term. Think about how your needs and family structure might change over time, and ensure your project will fit your lifestyle for years to come.
3. Search for professionals. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals, and check online reviews and social media to see how those professionals interact with their clients (past and present) as well as their peers.
4. Set your budget. Decide on a realistic budget and arrange financing for your project. This number needs to include everything – the project, products, contingencies, etc. Share your budget with your prospective remodeler.
5. Ask the right questions. Get your prospective professional remodeler to dish about his or her education, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask how the remodeling process will work.
6. Verify your remodeler. Check information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite.
7. Review contracts word by word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler, so review this carefully. Ask about terms you don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities.
8. Keep design in mind. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Gather design ideas from websites like www.CabinLife.com, www.pinterest.com and www.houzz.com, and take notes about what you like.
9. Make your selections. With so many options to choose from, delays in product and material selections are one of the primary reasons that project timelines get extended. Consider quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.
10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Make sure a communication plan is laid out at the beginning of the project. It should clarify everyone’s roles, including communication methods, availability and frequency of communication expected.
SOURCE: National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), www.nari.org