Remodeling Tips: Getting Started
No one likes to cut a budget, especially when it's their own. But when it comes to planning a remodeling project, homeowners must establish a realistic budget . . . and manage it.
Preparing for a remodeling project is a lot like preparing to buy a car. You may know the room and style you want, but the options you choose may drive the price higher than you can reasonably afford.
• The most important step is finding a professional remodeling contractor for your job.
• Hire a professional contractor who is familiar with the building codes in your area. Replacing work that does not meet code can be extremely expensive.
• A well-written contract can prevent costly mistakes or additions to the scope of your project. It is a critical step in maintaining your budget.
• Save money by planning ahead. Go through the design process first and choose everything you want to include in the new room(s), from appliances to light fixtures. This will define your budget and prevent hasty (and costly) decisions later in the project. Be sure to include all your product and material selections in the contract to avoid confusion and unnecessary change orders.
• Product choice is the number one way to decrease the cost of your remodeling project. In addition, pay attention to how labor intensive some design features may be, for example laying ceramic tile on kitchen countertops and the backsplash.
• Compare products and their prices carefully before you make final decisions. And keep an open mind when you discuss product and design ideas with your contractor.
• Make decisions based on value and quality, not just price.