You’ve decided that its time for a change. But, what will you do next. Here are a few thoughts about how to proceed from concept to completion!
Determine the scope – How far must you go to make your home more compatible with your changing lifestyle.
Gather Ideas – Clip interesting magazine articles and photos, visit local builders model homes to see todays design trends. Visit area showrooms and home centers. Speak with professionals about products, services and costs.
Set a realistic budget and dont be afraid to share it with your family, and those providing components and services. If you dont know how much to budget, you will get a wealth of information from friends and neighbors with past experience, local retailers, the internet and local contractors engaging in similar projects.
Determine how much work you are willing to tackle yourself and how much should be left to the pros. Labor often represents up to 60% of the total cost of a remodeling project. There is savings to reap and enjoyment in completing tasks on your own. But, a word of advice, dont compromise the health of your family, your pride or future resale value by trying to tackle tasks that are beyond your ability to achieve a professional quality result.
Find talented professionals that you feel comfortable working with. Hopefully you will have found possible candidates as you visited area showrooms gathering ideas. Another good way is to check out referrals made by friends and neighbors with similar experiences.
Get references – Check out those you plan to contract with. If at all possible, visit a project or two that they were involved with. How well did they complete the project? How long did it take. How many days past without work being performed. How do they handle problems. How did the actual price compare with the original contracted price. How often did the contractor seek moneys for unanticipated extras., How is the fit and finish? In hind site, what would the referral have done differently?
Be Flexible – Expect the project to take longer than planned. Expect the unexpected. Expect additional costs for add-ons and changes that you will want to make as the project progresses. Expect inconvenience and stress as the project progresses. Plan for stress reduction by scheduling dinners out, setting up a temporary kitchen or living area, taking a long vacation weekend, etc.
Dont pay the final payment until you are satisfied! A truly professional firm will never ask for total payment, until they have completed the project to your satisfaction.
A little preparation can go a long way to achieving a truly successful and worthwhile project.