How to Plan Your Remodeling and Home Improvement Projects

It’s pretty rare to find a turn-key property that offers exactly what you want in a home, with no upgrades or improvements necessary. In fact, it’s practically unheard of. Even new construction or completely remodeled structures are likely to feature issues that plague you. You might not come up against major plumbing or electrical concerns, and you may even be happy with the overall functionality of the layout, the cabinetry, and so on. But every homeowner has their own cosmetic preferences. That said, whether you’re planning to gut the kitchen or simply paint and add a backsplash to make the space your own, you need to create a plan that will see you through to completion. Here are just a few steps you’ll want to observe where planning is concerned.

The place to begin is by setting a budget for your project, and this may not be something you can do without first completing some research. If you don’t have the faintest notion what materials for your project are going to cost, chances are good that other expenses like labor are well outside your wheelhouse. Luckily, this situation is easily remedied. You can start shopping around for materials in order to compare prices, as well as bring in several contractors to provide you with bids for the project. In many cases, a contractor will not only supply labor, but also take care of getting needed materials for you. However, you need to exercise caution here.

While contractors may be able to use their industry connections to net you a better price on materials, they’ll also charge you for (a) the time required to pick up materials, (b) a “finder’s fee” that ends up being a percentage of the purchase price of materials, or (c) both. Unless you have some reason to implicitly trust your contractor, chances are good that you can save more money by putting in the time and effort to shop around and find the materials needed to complete your project, keeping in mind that your contractor is likely to have certain bulk items like cement, nails, etc. on hand.

Next you’ll want to set a timeline for completion, and again, you might not have the faintest clue as to what your particular project entails. Whether you’re painting your entire home interior or you’ve decided to knock holes in the roof in order to install dormers, your contractor can likely determine the scope of work to be done in the course of your home improvement project in order to estimate a reasonable deadline for completion.

Of course, this is all assuming that you’ve decided on pro home improvement rather than DIY projects. And both are valid forms of making upgrades, provided you know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Without proper training, there are certain tasks you should probably leave to the pros if you don’t want to do more harm than good. But there are definitely things you can tackle on your own, from painting and laying down carpeting to tiling and swapping out lighting fixtures. Online tutorials can help in a big way and you can always hire a contractor for the rest.

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