Considering the Impact
Remodeling is stressful for myriad reasons, one of the biggest being the disruption to your home life. Dailiy routines can really get thrown for a loop; it is inconvenient and inconvenience really stresses us out. Before you jump into a project, particularly a major one, stop and think for a moment about the impact it will have, and proceed accordingly.
If you or someone in your household has other ‘stuff’ going on at the moment, would it maybe be better to hold off until a later date? If you are moving forward, stop and think about the various issues that will arise because of the remodeling. How can you head off disaster as best you can, and maintain some sense of normalcy in your routine? Thinking about this beforehand can head off a lot of problems and emotional distress once the project starts.
Don’t Rush In…Really Think about What You Want
This is a really important consideration, and one many people overlook much to their detriment. Without carefully considering what you want, and the scope of the project, you run the risk of many undesirable outcomes, such as spending more money than you anticipated, contractors making assumptions that turn out to be ‘wrong’ and not being happy with the end result. That last issue can particularly sting—after spending all that money, and going through the whole stressful process, feeling dissatisfied with the result can be a big blow.
So, before you take the plunge and start ripping the space apart, really think about what you want. Curb your enthusiasm, and give it some proper thought first. Look at magazines and websites for inspiration and to get an idea of your personal tastes. In rooms like bathrooms and kitchens, don’t forget function comes first. The clearer you are, the happier with the results you’ll be.
Choose Contractors Wisely
The importance of this can’t be understated, whether you are looking for someone to install granite countertops in Phoenix, remodel your bathroom in Pittsburgh or add a room to your house in Pasadena. You must choose your contractor with care—while the chances are low you will be one of those remodeling horror stories, you don’t want to push this. Make sure any contractor you are considering has the proper license and insurance, and they have a physical address in your area.
Get references and actually check them—lots of people skip the second step with the assumption they will probably say good things so why bother? You want people who had similar projects done. Don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions. Don’t ignore your intuitive nudges. If you find a great contractor, but he isn’t available as soon as you would like, wait for him. Don’t go with your fifth choice because he is available most quickly. When evaluating bids, make sure you ask any questions about anything unclear—do not make any assumptions about the type of materials being quoted, and what is included in the price being quoted.
Remodeling is exciting—you get to create a space you will love and it’s important to love your house. But poor planning can leave you with big problems. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to minimize the risk.