I’ve had a lot of experience with remodeling. My husband, Larry, and I have built three houses together, completing a lot of the work ourselves on our first two. We’ve also completed some renovations along the way, remembering the importance of keeping a home fresh and updated. Between home life and real estate life, I’ve learned some important remodeling lessons. I want to share some do’s and don’ts of renovation with you.
DO CONSIDER YOUR OVERALL DESIGN AHEAD OF TIME
Decide what your style is, find pictures of rooms YOU like. This will help you arrive at a cohesive plan that will steer the whole project. Pictures and color palates help contractors understand your vision. The old adage is a picture is worth a thousand words really is true. As I see photos of designs I like I save them in a photo album on my phone titled “Things I Love and Want!” Anytime someone else shares an idea I love too, I keep it corralled in that photo album.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PUT YOUR PLAN TOGETHER
Big Decisions start in the beginning, DON’T wait on those type of decisions…. Hardware choices, for example, may affect style or design. So I feel making these decisions at the beginning help you to stay on track. Will you be moving Walls? Changing the overall layout or working with existing cabinetry or the same existing floor plan?
Putting all of this on paper, collecting pictures and samples of tile, colors, paint, styles all will result in your best outcome.
DO THINK THROUGH YOUR PROJECT
If you are doing a bathroom or a kitchen DO think the entire project through as one decision may affect the next one. Like for example If you currently have a two drain sink and are converting to only one drain, (Farm style sink), such a change could cause you to have additional plumbing costs as you’d need to move the plumbing. Which leads us to the next “DO”…
DO HAVE A BUDGET
Decide how much you can comfortably spend and then stick to that budget. Period. Well, as best you can. Your budget will also be a guide for your project. That doesn’t, of course, mean you have to sacrifice quality. It also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be willing to sacrifice an element so you can achieve your overall desired result. A budget will help you decide what areas you aren’t willing to skimp on, and where you can choose a less expensive version of an element you want, like hardware, tile, etc., that will give your project the same feel. I’ve also found, from experience, that you can save money by completing some of the demo or painting yourself. But other than that I feel it’s best left to the professionals. Personally I’ve chosen to have it all professionally done. The professionals know the most efficient methods to achieve the best results. That’s why they are the professionals.
DO GET ESTIMATES AHEAD OF BEGINNING THE PROJECT
You might think you will save lots of money by doing remodeling projects yourself; but, if you aren’t experienced, you’ll probably actually save yourself time and money by hiring a contractor. Just like every other major purchase in life you want to make sure that you get the best quality for your hard earned money. Ask friends and family for contractor recommendations. Get bids. Chose a contractor that understands your design vision and needs, has a history of quality workmanship, and that you feel comfortable with
DO ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS
Remodeling can be both exciting and a little scary. Especially if you don’t fully understand how and when everything will happen. Make sure your contractor explains the process of your renovation. If there is anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Understanding the general timeline will ease your mind. Asking questions also might reveal miscommunications in design plans and give both parties a chance to get on the same page before the first bang of the hammer.
DO TRY TO STAY ON TRACK
Most importantly be sure to stay with your plan and you will see your desired outcome. Straying from your original plan can add additional time and destroy your budget. Of course, things might arise along the way that will require you to alter some of your your plans. Unforeseen problems such as prior improper wiring or plumbing, of course, must be taken care of. Sometimes those issues make you reconsider some of the projected design to make room in the budget. Otherwise, stick to your plan!
Want to chat further about remodeling and my experiences? I’m always happy to share!
Always Here to Help, You!!
Your REALTOR®, Connie Hladik
Connie Hladik is an Associate Broker with Don Peterson & Associates and is located at the downtown Fremont location (100 E. 6th).