You’re inspired to finally do that upgrade project to your house this Spring! But before you can make your upgrade dreams a reality, there are a few steps you should take to help get it started properly. Here are some tips:
1. Have a Vision for Your Project
It’s important to have a clear goal for your project. Start with a little research by browsing similar type projects online or visiting home improvement stores for ideas. Much of your vision will depend on your budget. Some important questions to answer include:
- Do you want to remodel every room or just a specific area?
- How much of your property do you want to remodel?
- Do you need to add a room or new story
- How long do you want the renovation to take?
- Do you want to renovate all at once, or possibly break it into multiple projects over time?
2. Establish a Budget
A budget helps you figure out how much you are willing to spend and sets expectations for yourself. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself financially by setting limits and making project decisions you can actually afford. Figure out how much you must spend or if you need to borrow money from a lender for your project. Get quotes from a few contractors to find the most professional business at the best price. It’s also a good idea to add a buffer of at least 15% to your budget in case there are complications and the work costs more than anticipated.
3. Choose a Contractor
Hiring a good contractor is the best way to make sure your project goes smoothly. You should try and find a good communicator who will listen to you, be mindful of your budget, and will be trustworthy in your home. Ask around for good references and make note of a contractor’s experience with similar projects to your own. Make sure to do your homework because you’ll probably be working with your contractor for months.
4. Check on Certifications and Permits
Many home improvement projects require permits, especially if you are adding on to the property. State and local authorities will issue these permits to ensure compliance with building codes. Permit prices average around $1,000 but can range anywhere from $400 to $1,600. This cost should be factored into your budget. To find out about permit requirements, go to your governing municipality’s planning office, talk to them about your project and ask what your options are. It’s a good idea to bring photos of your property, measurements of the rooms and perimeter of your house, and any sketched plans that show what you plan to do. They will tell you if a permit is required or not, and will let you know about the submittal requirements, as well as review and processing times.