Remodeling Home? Start here.

Thinking About Home Remodeling? Start Here

Sooner or later you may join the millions of people who remodel their homes each year. Perhaps it's at that moment when you realize that avocado green and harvest gold are no longer the "in" colors for today's trendy kitchens. Or maybe you have an epiphany one day as you stand in line to use your own bathroom. Whatever the impetus, the thought crosses your mind: Maybe it's time to start a home remodel. The reasons for home remodeling are as varied as the projects we undertake.

Some of these include:

  • Adding more space
  • Upgrading cabinets, counters, appliances and fixtures
  • Creating a floor plan that's customized for your lifestyle
  • Improving energy efficiency with new windows, doors, insulation, and climate control systems
  • Increasing the resale value of your home

Where to Begin

The first step is to develop an idea of what you want to do with your home remodel. Write a prioritized list of your needs and wants. There are many sources to find design ideas for your home remodeling project. Look at magazines and websites and collect pictures of homes or remodeling projects you like. The more clearly you can envision the project and describe it on paper, the better prepared you'll be in making your decision.

Think about traffic patterns, furniture size and placement, colors, lighting and how you expect to use the remodeled space. If your decision to remodel involves creating better access for someone with limited mobility, you may want to consider contacting a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.

You may want to improve home efficiency and hire a professional remodeler for green home remodeling. These projects include replacing windows and doors, upgrading heating and cooling systems, adding insulation, and other remodeling to make the home more energy-efficient, easier to maintain, and comfortable.

Figure out how much money you have to spend on the home remodeling job, furnishings, landscaping or any other cost you might incur.

Can you do it yourself?

Once you have created your list of priorities, you’ll need to decide how to accomplish that vision. For the handyman or woman, a do-it-yourself project can be both rewarding and cost-effective. However, more than 30% of all jobs home remodelers perform come from failed DIY projects.

Hiring a professional remodeler is the best way to ensure your project’s success. These remodelers are dedicated to maintaining the highest integrity and standards in the industry 

 "Low Bid Does Not Always Win."

By: Stephen J. Trott, MT Builders LLC, Custom Builder and Remodeler, member HBA Remodelers Council

Everyone from contractors, clients, architects, and sales professionals have been through the process of obtaining or supplying pricing for various jobs, products, and services.  As an end use customer, collecting bids for projects can be a stressful task.  The process is often stressful for a client due to the lack of information regarding the project or products that are being reviewed.  This article will be a helpful tool in evaluating that process when you are dealing with multiple professionals and needing to make the ultimate decision as to what professional to trust with your investment. 

When all of your bids are collected the most stressful days are just ahead.  You need to properly evaluate the bids you've collected and make your selection.  Too many consumers look at the price and make a decision by simply accepting the lowest cost presented for the project..  This process needs to be better evaluated to make sure that you are making the right decision.  Have the contractors given you everything you need to make the correct choice?  Have they presented referral clients for you to contact?  Have they supplied any specifications for products that you are not familiar with?  Are they properly insured for your project? And lastly, what are their guarantees and warranties?  This information is critical in making a decision to work with a reputable contractor for your project.

When it is time to compare the actual bids or estimates for the project it is important that the bids are comparable in like materials as well as a similar style of performing the work.  Often times the prices can be different simply due to a level of standard materials that a contractor uses.  You will not always know this information unless you have asked for it or specified what the contractor should price for you.  

What type of schedule have they discussed for your project?  Often times a price can be reflected higher if the project is being done in a very short timeframe.  As a client for a small home remodeling project you would likely want to know if the project will take two weeks or six weeks?  If the contractor that has a slightly lower price says it will take six weeks to complete the job, and the contractor that is a small percentage more can perform the task in two or three weeks, it may be much better to not have your home dismantled for longer than you need too.  It is also very important to ask those contractors how they will protect your home while they are working?  Will your home feel like a complete construction site for the duration or will they take every step possible to not inconvenience you more than they need.  

Make sure that all of the above topics are considered when reviewing pricing for projects in your home or business.  All of these factors could affect the price of the project, simply based on the style and professionalism of the contractor supplying the estimate.  "Low bid does not always win."  You have to understand that paying a bit more for a project may get you the level of quality and completeness that you are ultimately looking for in a contractor. Price often directly relates to the performance of the contractor on your project.  It is always important to consider all of your options when planning a project.  

Work with experienced contractors and sales professionals and place yourself in a comfortable situation to make the best decision for your home, do this by choosing a proven, quality company, with a high focus of honesty and integrity to trust with your next investment.