Planning your Home Remodel
If you want your home remodeling project to come out just right, then you need to put in plenty of time in advance to plan, before you start buying materials and lining up contractors. There are several good reasons for making outlined plans before any other task, not the least of which is the need to find the most suitable contractor for your job.
Planning in advance will allow you to purchase materials in quantity or at advantageous prices, negotiate a more favorable rate with a contractor and get the permits you need in place before you start working. Never attempt a remodeling project without a proper plan and consider involving a professional in the planning process.
Think About Off-Peak Contracting
Did you know that many contractors have an off-peak season during which their rates are lower? You may be able to save as much as 10 percent on your labor and materials if you schedule a contractor between January and April. If you can schedule your contractor well in advance, then you may even be able to negotiate a lower rate in exchanged for guaranteed work during the slow time of the year.
Create Written Plans
There are several benefits to drawing up plans for your remodeling project during the planning phase. Written plans make it much easier to explain your project to a contractor or utility company. It is also best to get approval for your building permits before any work has started to ensure there are no pauses in the work.
Plans drawn out in advance also allow you to create a materials list that helps in estimating your costs. A good drawing can become invaluable in scheduling the project and helping a contractor to correctly determine the completion date.
Get a Professional Involved
While you do not have to hire an expensive architectural or engineering firm to create your plans, you should involve a qualified general contractor in the planning process. A contractor can give you advice that will help you to avoid mistakes and also give you price quotes to help establish your budget.
A certified general contractor should be very familiar with local building codes, which means they can let you know if your project will get through the zoning board or not. Repeated submissions to have your plans approved can waste some of your budget and time. Professionally approved plans are an investment that will pay for itself several times over.
Plan on Doing Some of it Yourself
While it is best to hire a contractor for your project, that does not mean that you should avoid doing some of the work on your own to save money. Are you confident in your ability to remove old flooring? Then let the contractor know that you will do that part on your own, reducing the cost of the contractor's fees.
Some of the other aspects of your project that you can do yourself include:
- Some demolition of existing walls and structures
Always be smart and safe when doing home remodeling tasks yourself and be realistic about what you can feasibly do. If you have the time and are capable, it is usually a good idea to undertake some tasks on your own, and include that in your plan.
Sell Your Trash
Pay attention to the debris that comes out of your home remodeling project because there may be value to it. Charitable organizations such as Habitat For Humanity will take certain building materials, old cabinets, old doors and other items for their own projects. This reduces the amount of material that you have to take to a landfill and will help you keep your costs down.
If you see metal or any other materials of value in the debris, then call a local recycling center to see if they will buy it from you. Any time that you can turn trash into cash is a winning situation.
Good planning for a home remodeling project can keep the costs down and make sure the project progresses safely. If you have the itch to make some changes to your home, then start writing out your ideas and get a professional general contractor to check them over. With help from professionals and a little ingenuity on your part, you can make sure that your home remodeling project goes off without a hitch and you are happy with the end result.