Planning your Remodel
Step 1: Identify your objectives & Scope of work. You can do so by answering some simple questions like: What do I want to accomplish with this remodel? How do I use the space? What could I add or take away from this space that would make it it work better for my family? Is my goal to increase space, functionality, style, resale value or a combination of these things? Make a list of your answers so you don't loose sight of why you decided to remodel in the first place. From there you can determine specific aspects of your remodel. Be specific and make another list of all areas that need attention.
Step 2: Identify your Budget. Budget is going to be a major factor in any project. It will in many cases effect the size, scope and quality of products included in the project. Most homeowners have no idea what a project like theirs will cost. We recommend starting with a resource like Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, which gives you the average cost of 35 of the most popular remodeling projects in the country and what you can expect for return on your investment in terms of increasing your home's value. Be sure to use the location filter so you can see exactly what projects are going for in your area since a kitchen remodel in Texas likely will not cost the same as a kitchen remodel in Boston, or California. Once you have a general idea of what your project may cost, you need to determine what you really want to spend. Remember to add approx 15-25% on top of your estimated project cost as a contingency for added costs that may come up along the way. You should also consider how you will be funding the project -whether you will be drawing on funds or investments on hand or will have to secure a loan for the project. The process of securing a loan can add a significant a...
Step 3: Start Dreaming: Now that your objectives and a realistic budget are set you can begin determining the types of products and finishes you would like to incorporate in your remodel (this is the fun part!). You can start the search for some inspirational images that will help your design professionals and remodeler better understand your style preferences. This will also allow them to better advise you on how those choices will affect your budget. You can create a custom ideabook on Houzz so all of your ideas are in one place, this will make it easier to share your vision with your design & building professionals once the time comes.
Step 4: Choose your Design & Building Professionals. Dependent upon the size and scope of your remodel you may need to contact both an architect & remodeler. If your project includes building a new structure, an addition, or major structural changes to your home, an architect should be your first decision. Here is where your friends advice may come in handy, ask around about who your friends have used or know has a good reputation in the community. You can also look to a local trade association like NARI.org to find reputable companies that will have all of the proper licences and credentials necessary. Remodelers and Architects often times have good working relationships with other professionals in their industry that do the same caliber of work and could make a valuable recommendation as well. If your friend loved working with a specific remodeling contractor, they may be a good resource for an architect referral, and if they already have a good working relationship with your architect, your remodeling project will have a better chance of being a success.
Step 5: Leave the Rest to the Professionals. Now that you've done your part to ensure that you've planned all of the details of your remodel, including selecting the right professionals for the job, you can leave the rest to them. They'll walk you through the design and final planning phases, permitting and the other specifics that you will need to know before the project begins. Make sure you keep really good communication through the rest of the design & planning phase so you are well informed about how their specific process works and what your role in that process will be. A well planned project makes for a much smoother and faster remodeling process and will help you make your dreams of a newly improved home a reality, without the headaches!