Home Experts: Local News
Home improvement made easy
Story Updated: Jun 3, 2011
How to Plan a Home Improvement Project
Home renovations start with a dream, but if you're not careful, they can become a nightmare. While it's impossible to anticipate every one of the inevitable setbacks you'll encounter during your home remodeling project, planning ahead is the key to reducing problems and staying within your budget.
Even if you're planning a drastic home improvement initiative such as a kitchen remodeling or a bathroom remodeling and you're going to hire an architect to help you, it's vital that you visualize your ideas. Sketch out your idea to the best of your ability. This exercise helps you clearly see what you are and are not trying to accomplish with your project.
Talk to other homeowners about their experiences with home renovations and try to learn from mistakes they may have made. Use their insights to plan your project in as much detail as possible, and conduct thorough research to ensure you're being realistic about your budget. Home remodeling costs can quickly spiral out of control if you don't plan carefully. If you're planning on making dramatic structural changes while remodeling your home, check to see if you'll need a permit. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that municipal building codes are met. Fines can result if you fail to comply.
One product that you can use to make planning much easier is home remodeling software. These programs allow you to create computer-assisted drawings of your proposed home renovations, create budgets, track expenditures and make schedules.
Things to Consider When Hiring Home Remodeling Contractors
While general contractors can be expensive, they also help you control your home remodeling costs. If you have a big job, or if you're unsure you have the expertise to do the task yourself, you should hire a professional. Ensure that any home improvement contractor you're considering is licensed, and ask for referrals to past clients. View examples of the contractor's work and check to see if there are any outstanding complaints against the contractor pending at your local Better Business Bureau. While experience can go a long way, hiring a newer contractor can save you some money, too. Home renovations can add a great deal to the value of your house, but they can also add up to big headaches. Take the time to prepare properly and you'll be ahead of the game.