1. How About a Budget?

You have to be able to afford everything that you want to do. You don’t want to get halfway through and have no money left and have to stop in the middle or borrow when you shouldn’t need to. The best way to create a budget is to put down everything that you want to do with the remodel and then consult a professional contractor to get a cost quote for all of the work. Thereafter, if it turns out that you cannot afford everything that you want to do, then you will have to start removing things. Be careful, though, because certain things have to be done if you want to accomplish certain other things. One example would be needing to leave a load-bearing wall in place to be able to expand a room. If you can’t afford both, then you can’t just have the expansion without building a supporting wall.

2. What Are My Priorities?

You have to pick the things you want. Even if you cannot afford everything that you want, you can still do some of the things. That way, you can complete the renovation at a later date. Of course, anything that’s required to support something that you want will have to be done. A good way to look at it is:

• Functional stuff, such as the aforementioned load-bearing wall, cannot be left out.

• Must-haves are more important than nice-to-haves.

• Being responsible and cost-conscious is better all around in the end.

3. How Is it Going to Affect My Life?

When the renovation is something minor, then you likely don’t have to make allowances for it. If you’re putting in a new kitchen, then you could have to order in or go to restaurants for at least a week. Adding an extension could make several parts of the house either uninhabitable or, at the very least, inconvenient. So, it pays to plan for the time that the contractors will be at your home. Once you know and accept what’s going to happen, it makes it far easier for you and your family to get through it.

4. What Do I Need to Do Before the Remodel Begins?

You can’t just start building. You have to obtain the requisite permits first. The first step is getting approval from the zoning commission. You can’t, for example, modify the property if the result will go against zoning laws. There may be local bylaws, too, to which you must adhere. Once you have all the paperwork in order, then you can proceed.

5. Whom Should You Hire?

If you look up “general contractors,” then you will find dozens of entries in Google. How do you know which contractor is the right contractor? Read reviews on sites like Trustpilot. Take a look at the business’s profile on the website of the Better Business Bureau. Does the business have full accreditation? Is it rated A+? Are there lots of complaints? If there are complaints, has the business resolved them successfully? Seek out testimonials. Once you’ve collected all the relevant information you can, then you can make a well-informed and reasoned decision about whom to hire to complete your remodel.

Preparation is the key to success. So, budget, set your priorities, consider the effects, do the paperwork, hire the contractors, and break ground. Good luck.

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