Remodeling Your Connecticut Home: First Things First
When you plan to remodel your home it’s easy to skip to the exciting “finishing touches.” After all, that’s when all the fun stuff happens and when you finally get to see everything coming together. But it’s important to focus on some fundamental things at the beginning of the remodeling process because they are the things that will determine whether your home renovation is successful or not. And even the most expensive finishes can’t cover up a poorly thought out plan.
Remember Your Fundamental Goal. Why are you remodeling in the first place? You need to be asking (and answering) this question before you even draw up the plans. Do you need more space? Do you want a more user-friendly kitchen? Is your home looking a little tired?
Most home renovation projects are either driven by a desire for things to look better or by a desire to have things function better. And sometimes “functioning better” means a combination of comfort and convenience.
Outline your goals clearly before you draw up plans. If you’re after aesthetic improvements (how things look) make sure you have a clear idea of what the finished product looks like. Are you shooting for more open space? Do you have a particular style that appeals to you? Are there new building materials that you find attractive?
If you want to improve the functionality of you home, be specific about that as well. Are you after a better workflow in your kitchen? Are you changing the purpose of a room (from a bedroom to a den)? Are there structural considerations you need to take into account? Think about what you’re trying to accomplish before you pick out color chips for the paint!
Paint a Picture. Many homeowners have a hard time telling their builder precisely what they want. Many of us belong to the “I’ll know it when we see it” club. There’s nothing wrong with that. If words fail you, take a picture of a friend’s home that captures what you’re after. Spend a few dollars on home decorating magazines and cut out pictures of the things you like. Browse online and print out images of design elements that match what you want. Then work with your builder to make those elements “yours.”
Money Matters. Thinking about the money isn’t always the most fun part of the remodeling process, but it’s absolutely critical. Many homeowners get themselves in over their heads because they didn’t create a budget. It may take you several passes before you reconcile your final plans with what you really want (and can afford) to spend. And that may mean making compromises. Or you may come to the realization that it’s worth it to spend a little more on something you really want. A good contractor can help you budget. Most of us have been around the block a time or two and can give you at least a fairly accurate estimate for what your renovation will cost. Of course, before work starts you’ll want a specific estimate that you and your builder will sign. But you’ll have a general idea of cost before you get that far.
Choosing Your Contractor. You’ll probably want to hire a contractor to do the building, pull all the permits, and make sure your project passes inspection. There’s more to choosing the right builder, however, than just seeing if he’s listed with the local Better Business Bureau. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time (and money) with your contractor, you’ll want to choose somebody you feel comfortable with—someone that understands what you want done and how to do it.
There are a lot more steps in the remodeling process. But we recommend you take these before you tackle the others. What else would you
like to know before beginning your
home remodeling project