Without the right planning, a promising home remodeling project could turn into a logistical and emotional nightmare. However, if you get things right, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, comfortable, and efficient home to enjoy forever.
From your budget to material choices, there’s a lot to think about. We’ve broken down some of the most important aspects of home remodeling so that you know where to focus.
Remodeling doesn’t have to be overly complicated. There are ways to make the process simpler and with minimal stress. Learn some tips that will make your project more manageable with better results.
Remember the Bigger Picture When Planning Improvements
It’s easy to focus on the big improvements when planning whole home remodeling. The aesthetic and the feature improvements come to mind first. You could get excited about your new living spaces and forget some of the critical yet hidden aspects of home improvement.
Efficiency is one thing that many homeowners fail to calculate. Failing to improve the efficiency of your home could limit the value you get from a major project.
- Fill your walls in every room if you want lower heating and cooling costs in the future. Insulation doesn’t last forever. If your home was built more than 20 years ago, you’ll need to have insulation inspected to see if it needs to be replaced. The right insulation will make your home more energy efficient and can even address noise problems.
- Replacing older windows can also increase energy efficiency while keeping your home quieter. Low-e glass is specially designed to filter sunlight and its heat-producing radiation. It also keeps heating and cooling energy inside.
- Small cracks and gaps around windows and exterior surfaces could be causing energy leakage. If you are investing in whole home remodeling, have your contractor inspect the interior and exterior of your home for damage that could be repaired or filled.
Addressing efficiency during home remodeling will give you the most comfortable home, and you’ll make better use of your budget without having to come back and perform improvements later.
Plan Your Home Remodeling Right Down to the Finest Detail
The more you plan, the smoother your Des Moines home remodeling project will be. Some homeowners plan at a high level and then let contractors fill in the details. This can result in a situation where you aren’t completely on-board with the decisions that are made. Eventually, this could lead to change orders while the project is underway, which is a sure way to blow your budget and increase turnaround time.
Work with a contractor that can provide 3D modeling of all your planned improvements. At HomeWorx Iowa we work closely with our customers using CAD software so that they can visualize how their homes will look. It results in better decision making without surprises once work is underway. Talk to us today if you want to learn how our planning and consultation process results in better homes.
The areas of planning where you should place extra attention include:
- Material selection and alternatives for items that aren’t available from a supplier.
- Colors and textures. Make sure you have seen samples for materials and fixtures before you settle on a decision.
- The floor plan of remodeled areas. If you are removing walls, changing room layouts, or adding to your home, make sure you’ve seen a detailed floorplan so that you know exactly what you’re in for.
- Storage for personal items. Many homeowners underestimate just how disruptive a remodeling project can be. Make sure that valuables are stored in a designated area. You may also need to cover or move furniture and electronics that could be exposed to dust.
You may also want to explore alternative accommodation options for the duration of remodeling. This can make the process less stressful because disruption to your daily routine will be minimized. Some homeowners even coordinate home remodeling projects with vacations and business trips.
Talk to Friends and Family
If you have never remodeled or renovated, you could be in for a shock. The best contractors work to minimize disruption and inconvenience. However, the reality is that whole home remodeling is a massive undertaking, and you will be surprised at how quickly you can feel like you’ve lost control of your private space.
Talk to friends, family, and colleagues who have performed major renovations or remodeling. They can give you insights surrounding the process while also sharing their own coping strategies.
Remodeling fever is a term given to the temporary loss of control and anxiety that can come from having contractors and other professionals in your personal space. It happens to even the calmest homeowners and the only way around it is to plan and understand that it will pass upon completion of the project.
The quality of your Des Moines contractor can limit the impact of remodeling fever, so it’s important to work with the best.
Keep Track of Your Budget and Prepare for Cost Overruns
If you plan well, your allocated budget should cover the entire project… right?
One of the hardest things to understand on your first complete home remodeling project is that your budget can and likely will go beyond your initial estimate. Professionals recommend that you budget 20% above the contract price for unexpected work and overruns.
There are countless variables that can increase the cost of remodeling.
- Material prices can change mid-project.
- Labor fees could increase.
- Your contractor may discover problems that need to be repaired before remodeling starts. Some problems can’t be found until demolition begins.
A payment schedule will be developed before work begins. Larger projects use milestones to track progress and keep the budget in line with estimates. Make sure that you follow every milestone and keep an eye on costs. There will be fewer surprises when you are actively involved.
Experienced Des Moines contractors can limit budget bloat, which is another reason why you should only work with a reputable local home improvement company.
Get a Detailed Contract
You wouldn’t take out a loan without reading the terms. You wouldn’t accept an employment offer without reading the agreement in full. In home remodeling and renovation, you should never give the green light for work without signing a detailed contract.
If you go into your project with an ambiguous contract you are only setting yourself up for a high amount of risk. If the contract isn’t detailed, the project manager could go ahead with work that is completely out of line with your original vision.
You might think this is an obvious suggestion, but there are countless homeowners who end up in disputes and even litigation because they failed to get a detailed home remodeling contract.
The contract protects you and the home improvement company. If a contractor is willing to go ahead with only a basic agreement, then that should be an instant red flag.
Set Some Basic Rules to Keep Everybody Happy
You don’t want to be inconvenienced beyond reason during your whole home remodel. Likewise, contractors and their teams don’t want to cause contention and issues that could compromise the working relationship.
You need to set ground rules to follow so that everybody is on the same page. You also need processes in place so that potential problems are communicated before they snowball. Some important things to consider include:
- Where will contractors park, and what are acceptable working hours?
- Which areas of the house are ok for access, including bathrooms?
- How will a contractor communicate setbacks or anything that could increase the budget or project completion time?
- What happens if materials or hardware are unavailable? In most cases you should expect to sign off on any alternative choices. If you are confident in your contractor, you can have them make the call, but this will need to be stated in your agreement to avoid disputes later.
- Where will materials and tools be stored?
- Where will construction waste be stored, and how often will it be removed during the project?
- What specific steps will contractors take to protect areas of your home that aren’t being remodeled. A dust mitigation plan is essential.
- Who is the point of contact when issues arise?
Make a Home That You Will Love to Live In
Most importantly, plan a home that will bring convenience, comfort, and enjoyment. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trends and make hasty decisions regarding home improvement. The latest fad wasn’t designed for you and your unique needs. Keep your improvements personal and you’ll get better overall value, especially if you plan to live in your home right through to retirement.
HomeWorx Iowa makes renovation and home remodeling simple because we understand how important the planning process is. We will work with you to create designs that are functional and beautiful. We provide detailed drawings and 3D models so that you know exactly what you will get at the end of the project. Every one of our projects is professionally managed and we operate on a culture of ownership and transparency.
Our mission is to make the process stress free, while building homes that matter.
You don’t need to be a home improvement expert to get amazing results. Talk to us today for a free consultation, and we’ll take your concept and create a proposal to bring it to life.