Planning for any kind of remodel project can bring on a mix of feelings. From excitement or fear, to a sense of being overwhelmed with all of the little details that go in to planning and designing a beautiful kitchen or luxury bathroom. You may be tempted to skip to the exciting stages like shopping for plumbing fixtures or selecting your new paint color, however you’d be missing out on some important key steps in the process. A full scale remodel or minor makeover of your space doesn’t have to be stressful though. With the help of an experienced remodel contractor and the following tips that we’ve compiled, your home remodeling project will run smoothly and stay on track.
#1 Identify Your Goal for the Project
Why do you want to remodel? Are you upgrading to improve the resale value or making modifications to live and age in place? Knowing your end goal for your project is vital. If your focus is around resale value, then you’ll want to consider the other home values in the neighborhood and know which projects will provide a good return on investment. For the latter, you’re likely to be more focused around such things as durability for the years ahead, safety-conscious modifications, and designing around your needs now, as well as the future.
#2 Establish a Comfortable Budget
Establishing your budget is one of the most important steps in planning your home remodel. There are two parts of budget planning that you’ll want to carefully think about.
Project Budgeting – This is the total cost that you are comfortable spending on your renovation. This number should include contingency funds for unexpected issues that arise. For example, having $75,000 to spend on your remodel, while knowing that you could come up with an extra $5,000 should it be absolutely needed. Unexpected issues are items that are unforeseen during the design and planning phase and are not revealed until the demolition and build are underway. Faulty wiring or the presence of mold is commonly unforeseeable that is not known about until the walls in your home are opened up.
Incidental Cost Budgeting – These expenses are commonly not thought about when it comes to remodeling, but can add up in a big way if not careful. Being mindful of the ramifications of doing your home remodel like having to eat out while your kitchen is torn apart or for a hotel stay for a night or two during construction.
#3 Know the Limit of What You Can Handle
While many North Jersey homeowners think they can self-perform part of their home remodel, it is important to know your limitations and the pros/cons to your DIY. While doing some of the work yourself may give you a sense of accomplishment, more often than not it comes at a cost. A professional remodeling contractor has been doing kitchen and bathroom remodeling for years and likely has the processes down to a science in order to operate efficiently. By performing tasks yourself, you are essentially disrupting their lined out construction schedule, which can cause delays and result in fewer savings than it’s really worth. Know which tasks should be left to the pros from a cost and schedule standpoint. Lastly, it may not be worth self-performing tasks that could cause limitations to your contractor’s warranty or workmanship guarantee.
#4 Think Through Your Daily Routine
Consider how the remodel will affect your routine. Be clear about your daily schedule with your contractor to avoid any mishaps or delays. It is essential during the planning phase of your project that you discuss the contractor’s start and end times each day. This will avoid the crew showing up while you’re still in your pajamas or their work day running into other appointments that you may not be able to miss.
Will you be away from your home during the construction phase? Now is a great time to discuss that schedule with your contractor and determine how they will have access to complete their work each day. Many Phoenix homeowners set up a unique garage code for access, utilize a lockbox for storing a house key that only the contractor has the code for, or having a friend or neighbor at the home to unlock and lock up each day.
#5 Water and Electricity Outages
Depending on the scope of work for your project, there could be times where your contractor will need to shut the water off from the main valve or turn off an electrical breaker while work is being done. Most commonly these are only temporary outages but are still something to be aware of for those families that are home during the day. Planning ahead by having bottled water on hand for drinking and cooking, and a contingency plan for bathroom emergencies can take the stress out of any possible situation.
#6 Set Up a Make-shift Kitchen
Most North Jersey homes have two bathrooms, so while it may be a slight inconvenience having one torn apart under construction, it is not a huge tribulation to live through. Kitchen remodels are a different story though. Before starting your kitchen remodeling project, we recommend setting up a make-shift kitchen in another room of the house. Incorporate small appliances such as a microwave, coffee maker, and beverage cooler or ice chest to provide a functional way to make food and drinks while your kitchen is out of order. Another great idea is to plan meals that you can cook on the grill outside.
#7 It’s Time to Pack
In an effort to keep your items protected and clean during the renovation process, it’s recommended that you pack up and move any items from the construction zone. Consider using an extra bedroom, storage pod, or off-site storage room to store your stuff. This will also provide a safe work area for the contractor’s crew to get to work.
#8 Create Drawings & Keep Them Handy
You may not be required to have a full set of blueprints drawn for obtaining a permit depending on the details of your remodel project, but it’s worthy to mention the importance of working with a reputable contractor that has an on-staff design team that will still create drawings and/or renderings of your project with dimensions. It is recommended that they remain near the work area or posted on the wall in the room where they can easily be seen. Not only does this provide a reference if any questions arise, but it also goes a long way in helping to make sure you and your contractor are on the same page with the goal for your space.
For many homeowners, this may be your very first home renovation project. Hopefully, these tips can minimize that overwhelming fear of the unknown and have you ready to get your project underway confidently. A well-done quality remodeling project takes time to complete, but utilizing these guidelines from day one of your planning will help you be better prepared and ensure that your project is a success.
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to balance between trying to stay on time, on budget, and on top of the thousands of details and moving parts that are involved in doing a luxury remodel. It’s a full-time job! That’s why you’ll want to hire the professionals for your upcoming remodeling needs.
North Jersey homeowners looking to remodel are likely to hear about the team at Berceli in their research or have used them for other home improvement projects. Our team has been a leading contractor in the Bergen County area performing full home remodeling design-build services. Over the years we have built quite a reputation for our great customer service and impressive portfolio. If you are ready to start planning your next home remodeling project, then you’ll want to reach out to our on-staff design team or stop into our Fort Lee New Jersey design showroom to begin exploring ideas for your home. Visit our website at www.bercelinj.com for our business hours and to request your appointment today.