When you purchase a new home, it becomes yours to reinvent. This may mean painting the walls, adding new carpet or completely demolishing your bathroom. HGTV and other networks have done a great job at making home remodeling seem like a piece of cake. You watch one home show and think you’re an expert in home remodeling. But before you tackle your first home project, there are some things you should consider so you don’t end up with more headaches than necessary.
Determine if You Need a Permit
Determining if you need a permit can be very challenging and overwhelming. A lot of permit departments have more interest in the commercial side of construction than individuals who want to tackle their projects alone. Each city, state and country have different requirements for permits. A phone call to your local permitting office or county inspector’s office is the best way to determine if you will need a permit for the project.
When you speak with the permit office, ask if your property is currently up to code and if it’s had an inspection. Sometimes properties can undergo renovations without getting permits. It’s better to know in advance so you can make any adjustments you need for your project.
If you’re doing the work yourself, they’ll help you draft a plan and guide you in the appropriate direction. If you plan to hire a contractor, the contractor should be taking care of the permits and inspections. You don’t want to start a new project and then realize you have to put it on hold for permitting reasons.
Be sure to have all of your information in one place. Make it easy on yourself by writing everything down. Keep track of your warranties, contractor estimates, quotes, prices for materials and permits. You never know when something could go wrong. It’ll be extremely beneficial to stay organized through the entire process. Being organized could also help you stay on budget.
If you end up going over budget, this will help you determine where your money went. You may be able to rearrange some of your funds in order to avoid completely busting your budget.
Hire a Contractor
There are many contractors out there, so it’s important to select one that you can trust and know will do a good job. Ask your friends and family for referrals. You could also try a site like Angie’s List for reviews and recommendations. After you’ve contacted a few contractors, ask them some qualifying questions. They may be willing to come out to your home to give you a quote for free. Be sure to ask before they show up with an estimate and a bill.
Decide if You Need a Designer
If you’re a first-timer, you may want to consult with a designer. Unless you know exactly what you want, the number of options available can be overwhelming. A designer can help give you a vision for a room or your entire house. If you’re spending all of this money to redo your house, you want to make sure it’s done right and looks good.
Decide if You Should Hire a Project Manager
Most likely the project manager is you. However, if you’re working a full-time job and trying to maintain a life, it might be challenging to add the project manager title to your job description. Having one person who can manage the entire project from start to finish may be worth the additional cost. They can manage your contractor, orders and deliveries and can even help with the design of the project.
Just like with a contractor, you want to shop around for the materials you’ll use. Your designer and project manager will have their preferred suppliers, and this is a good place to start your search. Before you get your heart set on anything, see what’s out there. Many retailers may have the same supplies for different prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and tell them where you found a better deal. They want your business, so it doesn’t hurt to see if you can try and get a deal in the process.
Renovating your home can be a big undertaking. Whether you’re doing it alone or hiring a contractor, preparation is key to success. You can never be too careful when it comes to designing the home of your dreams.
Have you recently remodeled at home? What tips and tricks do you have for fellow readers to make it a success? Let us know in the comments below!
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