Renovation Planning - 10 Steps

Before you get completely immersed into a renovation project, make sure you look at the entire scope of the job, from the budget to the materials to finding the right contractor.

Houses in a Growing Neighborhood

1. Research Pays

If you do research it will pay off. Check out your project on the National Association of the Remodeling Industries website and you can get a sense of what to expect with the price and the return on the investment [1]. You need to check out the property values in the neighborhood and make sure your plans are in line with the surrounding homes.

Family Near The House

2. Plan Long Term

You need to think long term for example, how long do you plan to stay in the home? Will the size of your family change? When you answer these questions it helps you decide if your project will match your expected lifestyle years down the road.

Drawing Up a Realistic Budget

3. Protect Your Pocket

This is a difficult one. Settle on a budget. Before you move forward with plans make a realistic budget for the materials and the work plus some extra buffer. You need to make sure this number shared with a remodeler and the professionals are mindful of your budget and they plan accordingly.

Contractors at a Construction Site

4. Make Informed Decisions

You need to spend time getting a contractor. Get referrals from friends and family and research them online. Check out their credentials their licensing their certifications and their memberships and trade associations. Making sure you choose the right remodeler is the most important decision you can make.

Conversation with The Contractor

5. Ask Everything

Make a list of questions before hand. A remodeling project consists of more than just cost and a timeline. You need to have a detailed list of questions to prospective contractors. Ask them about their background, training and experience, previous jobs and special skills that make them well suited to your project.

Checking Information on PC

6. Look Into It Now

Make sure you do a background check. Contracting is not a business which you can trust anyone blindly. Double check all information such as licenses and certifications and asked to visit an active worksite. A true professional cannot be offended but will see it as a positive sign at successful partnership. They should expect you to ask.

Glasses with an Inscription - "Read The Fine Print"

7. Read The Fine Print

You need to read the entire contract Word for Word. This protects you and the remodeler and make sure you get everything you asked for. Ask for an explanation on anything you are not familiar with. Make sure it is all spelled out clearly from fees to timeline to responsibilities. If it's not in the contract, it doesn't exist.

Custom Interior Project

8. Nail Down Your Idea

Don't overlook your design. This is the most important reason for the entire project. You need to clearly express what you want and don't like about the space and what you need to change. You need to feel free to use images as examples but articulate what aspects of the photo you like most.

Building Materials

9. Know Your Materials

When choosing materials most people don't anticipate how labor-intensive selecting these materials and products can be. It is a long decision-making process and the number one reason for all pushed back extended timelines. You need to factor quality, style and costs into the selections and include them in the contract to make sure you lock down the correct pricing.


10. Communicate

Everything needs to be communicated upfront and talking about this communication is included. Don't fall prey to the classic renovation mistake of not laying out in advance how you contact your remodeler. Make sure you nail that down at the beginning of the process and discuss their availability, method and frequency of communication.

[1]: National Association of the Remodeling Industry