Remodeler's Survival Guide, Part 1: Preparation

Many homeowners wait years for the opportunity to design the kitchen or bathroom of their dreams. The remodeling process is exciting… it can also be overwhelming.

A great deal of planning goes into a remodeling project, not to mention the budget, construction woes and typical long months of dust and debris while your room is transformed. But with the right tips and tools to guide you, the process may go more smoothly than you think.

We’ve created this five part series to help you navigate the always eventful, oftentimes stressful, process of remodeling a room in your home. Our Remodeling Survival Guide is sure to make the process more organized, if not quicker than you’d like.

Once you’ve made the decision to begin a remodeling project, you’ve got some work to do. Taken in steps, your job will seem a bit less overwhelming. And with each item you check off your list, you’ll find a sense of accomplishment that will help you make it to the next phase – starting the remodeling project!

Step 1: Do Your Research

Taking time to research projects online and among remodeling contractors will give you a good sense of what’s involved in taking on a project of your size. You’ll get a good idea of price ranges, return on investment, product options and design styles from which you can choose.

Take time to think about how long you plan to live in your current home. If moving is in your five year plan, ROI will have much more significance than if you plan to stay for the long haul.

Also consider other factors that play into your five-year plan. Kids? Pets? In-laws? Age and health concerns? Be sure you take all of these into consideration. Armed with all of this information, you can now move on to step two.

Step 2: Set Your Budget

Before you can begin your home remodel, you’ll need to determine your project budget. With the wide array of choices and broad spectrum of prices from value to premium, settling on a firm budget can be difficult.

Unfortunately, remodeling budgets can quickly get out of control. Once you’ve settled on a budget, stick to it! Project budgets have a way of going well over what you’d intended, so it’s important to keep it under control.

Be sure to share your final budget with your remodeler, as professionals should be respectful of your limits and work to create a plan that stays within your means.

Step 3: Hire The Right Trade Professional

The online world makes it easy to find trade professionals for any project. And with the advent of social media, getting referrals from friends, family, and even strangers has become easier than ever.

Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. 

Check online reviews and social media platforms to get a complete picture of their relationship with clients and peers. Your local ProSource Showroom is a great resource as well. You can also find a local pro here.

Once you’ve narrowed your choices to the top three, it’s time to conduct interviews. Ask each professional remodeler about his or her background and training, and ask to see past projects and/or a portfolio of recent work. 

Review their remodeling process, go over your budget, ask for several references (and be sure to check them!) as well as insurance information and certifications.

Choosing a trade pro can be a difficult decision, but if you do your homework and follow your instincts, you’re sure to pick the right one for the job. Read more on how to find the right trade professional.

With the completion of these first three steps, you’re ready to dive into the second half of pre-planning for your remodeling project. This will include laying out your new room design, selecting and purchasing materials, and reviewing your remodeler’s contract. Let’s dive in!

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