6 Critical Tips You Need to Know Before Renovating

If you are considering a home renovation or remodel, there are a few things you absolutely need to know. Newbies especially, pay close attention. There is a lot of construction going on in the gorge so when your contractor is ready to take on your project, it is very helpful to have all your ducks in a row. You want to be someone that people want to work for. Do your homework and get educated before you tackle a renovation. It truly makes all the difference in the process and result.

Photo Credit: Blaine Franger / BlaineBethanyGallery.com

Create an Overall Budget:
When considering a renovation or remodel, consider your budget. Getting a realistic idea beforehand on how much materials and labor costs, can help you gather the information you need to create a realistic budget. This will help you gauge what you can anticipate spending on your project. Key step – always have a contingency budget. Home Improvement shows are misleading when it comes to timelines and budget.

Specify the Sensible Scope of Work:
Once you have determined your budget, it’s time to solidify the scope of work. When tackling a remodel, “scope creep” happens. It can be hard to draw the line as to where the project starts and stops. You might have to ask yourself some tough questions about what you really need versus what you genuinely want. This will help you identify the true intentions of the project. For example, I’m currently working on a remodel where we are fully renovating the kitchen and master bath. Since we are changing the kitchen layout, we must address the flooring. The hardwood flooring runs throughout the whole main floor. Do we just change the floor in the kitchen, or do we replace all the hardwood? This is a question my client and I are currently weighing.

Remember the Big Picture:
When taking on a renovation, it is important to think of the big picture. Long term maintenance, energy loss, repair expenses, etc. should all be factored into making your overall budget. All the individual materials; the flooring, cabinetry, countertop, hardware, plumbing, etc. need to tie together. Remembering they all need to coordinate to fit your overall big picture design is essential in achieving the desired space.

Know Who You Are Hiring.
Whether you are hiring a general contractor or the individual sub-contractors yourself, finding the right team to execute your home remodel is important. For some, friend word-of-mouth recommendations are enough. For others, they need a full-blown background check, checking on license, lien history, and insurance to ensure you are dealing with a professional who is in good financial standing. Equally important is making sure you get along with your contractor. It is important to be able to communicate effectively about a variety of topics. These can be the big-ticket items, such as budget and overall scope of work, to the numerous details as the project progresses.

Photo credit: Gorge-Us Photography

Splurge Worthy Items
Yes. You can splurge. Determining these items upfront can save you time along the way. Think about the items you use all the time. These are items you might want to splurge on, even with a higher price tag. Then there are other items that are easy to change out later if the money becomes available. Splurge-worthy things could be the kitchen cabinets, or the backsplash. I like to think of the more permanent items being ones we should splurge on, as they are an investment, often being hard to replace and costly.

Create a Clear vision
From the plumbing fixtures to wall tile to the appliances, anyone who has completed a home renovation can tell you having everything selected before you start the project is important. Having selections chosen in advance lets your project keep moving forward, instead of pausing while selections are considered.

During construction there will be numerous questions that arise that will require your attention. The more you can have selected ahead of time, the better off and more educated you will be. There are online tools like Pinterest and Houzz, and you can visit showrooms, and order samples. Do not be afraid to purchase some items to get the ball rolling, while also consulting with your designer before purchasing to make sure it is the right size, and the product will fit your project.

If you keep these six items in mind before you begin a remodel, you will end up much happier with the result. Let me know if you’d like assistance executing your remodel.

Ashley Neff-Hinkle is a local White Salmon resident servicing clients design needs in new construction and remodeling. To learn more, visit www.neff-designs.com

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