Read this before you remodel.

You want to remodel.

You’ve looked online or in the local pages for a contractor. So you know you want a more efficient kitchen, or a bigger bathroom. You know you want newer, better and more up-to-date appliances.

Here are the top ten things you MUST do so your project comes out well and you don’t lose your sanity or money.

  1. Hire a contractor with a good reputation and a current license. Check his or her credentials and references
  2. Read the contract…all of it. Know what you are and are not getting for your money.
  3. Tell the contractor you want a time guarantee; you do not want your job to drag out forever. Create a timeline with him or her. Plan major purchases so the job is not held up when supplies take longer than expected.
  4. Set a budget for the project and then add 20% to it. There will be unplanned expenses. You can count on it.
  5. If it is an extensive renovation, you will want to hire an architect, or at least, a draftsman to create plans. You will need these to guide your contractor and for pulling permits.
  6. When taking bids do not consider the lowest bid to be the best. Check references. Ask to see before and after photos. Know the quality of work you want and expect to get what you pay for.
  7. Plan your remodel with care and consideration. Does your bathroom extension affect other rooms in the house? Will the new plumbing going in to the new Jacuzzi bathtub create noise in the adjacent bedroom? Extra insulation might solve that issue. Or maybe that new bathtub needs a different location.
  8. Listen to your contractor. You may want something in a certain location but he tells you he can save you money by locating it somewhere else. The wall you want to remove is a load-bearing wall, so he has another idea. Don’t just assume you know best. Hear him or her out and then decide.
  9. You do not have to use the tradesmen your contractor says to use. If there is someone you want to do a particular job on the project, then say so. It is your money afterall.
  10. Lastly, do not expect perfection. Expect that some things will go wrong and be open to solutions. This doesn’t mean you ever have to settle for shoddy work. Have a plan, but know that plans never go 100 percent as expected.