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10 Questions to Ask Before Undergoing Residential Remodeling

Looking to do some residential remodeling? Remodeling your home can be a lot of fun. But before you take the plunge, ask yourself these questions.

Keyword(s): residential remodeling

So you’re looking into a home makeover. You’re excited about the finished project, but perhaps a bit worried about the process? Residential remodeling is something that should be well thought through before leaping to it.  There are lots of things to figure out in detail.  How do you want your home to look and feel? What materials do you need? How much time and money can you spare?  With so many questions, the whole process can become a chore. If you don’t know what to ask, scrambling for answers just becomes more confusing.  To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of questions you must ask yourself before giving your home a makeover.

1. What’s the Specific Purpose?

What’s your specific motivation for the residential remodeling project?  Is it in response to damage? Is it outdated?  Is there something that doesn’t work? Or are you just sick of it?  Take your time and determine the specifics of your project. Also, consider the weather you’ll be dealing with.  You don’t want a roofless house in the winter, or constant traffic through your doors letting the heat out.

2. How Long Do I Plan to Stay?

The right course of action differs based on whether or not you’ll be living in the house for a long time.  Is this where you want to live for the rest of your life? If not, where do you see yourself in five years? Do you plan to sell soon?  The financial considerations are very important, especially if your goal is to sell the house.  Let your passion guide you if it’s your long-term home, but stay smart about your investment if you think you might sell it later.

3. What’s My Ideal?

Once you know what you’re replacing, it’s time to start thinking more about what you want instead. Don’t just take suggestions or pick the first nice looking option.  If this is your long-term home, it needs to feel the way you want. You should love living there.  Look at inspiring photos and save the ones you like. Don’t think of why you like them or what they may cost. That will only get in the way.  When you have a nice collection, it’s time to analyze and compare.  What are the common denominators between your favorites? Is it the style, colors, or materials? Compare and narrow things down.  Define your vision and keep it in mind through the whole remodeling process.  Making compromises can be convenient, but you may regret not sticking to your vision. Always ask yourself how you’ll feel about it in the future.

4. Is It a Worthy Investment?

That’s where the money comes back into the picture. If you can’t afford something, you can’t. Make adjustments to fit your budget.  This is especially true if you’re fixing the home to sell it.  Look online for homes up for sale in your area.  What are the prices like? What raises the price and what lowers it? How committed are you already to your house financially?  Is the best idea to gut the house and do a huge, expensive project? Does it make more sense to save and preserve, only doing superficial changes?  Will selling give your money back?  Imagine being a prospective buyer looking at your finished home. What do they expect? What will impress them?

5. Will I Rent It Out?

This is a crucial question. You may need to reconsider some changes if you plan to do this.  First of all, that personal ideal may not be what’s pleasing to the most people.  And if you worry that tenants may ruin that fancy, fragile stuff you just installed… You shouldn’t install such things in the first place if you’re going to rent it out.

6. Is This Realistic?

Keeping your vision realistic can be a challenge. Consider these points before moving forward.

Budget

Set a sensible budget. Things may cost more than you expect. Prioritize what has the biggest impact for the least expense.  See how much each project starts at before deciding on them. You don’t need the perfect material for every detail.

Permissions

Find out if you need to apply for any permissions or have your design approved by officials.  Some days and times of day are off-limits for construction work. This varies based on location.  Make sure you meet all the requirements.

Time

You must be available to your contractors. That means getting up early before they arrive, and not leaving town for long periods of time.  If you need very exclusive components and materials, prepare to wait for a few months. Making and shipping them is often a long process. Ask for the lead time and plan around it so you can avoid having to pause the project.  Predicting the time frame of your remodel takes some extra thinking.

7. What Can I Do Myself?

Answers like “nothing” and “everything” must be disregarded.  Can you paint? Can you install light fixtures and toilets? You can save a lot of money doing simple tasks like this.  The more you can take off the contractor’s to-do list, the more you’ll save.  Keep in mind that you must leave plumbing and electricity to professionals – without exceptions.

8. What’s the Best Material?

This is where that original vision becomes really useful again.  What is it you love most about that vision? The walls? The floors?  Rather than pinning down the exact material, see if you can recreate the look with cheaper or sturdier materials.  For example, if you like marble, see if marble tiles do it for you.  Pick out the most important, non-negotiable items for each area. Adjusting the rest will not only cut costs but may highlight the focal points too.

9. How Long Can I Be without it?

Residential remodeling projects tear apart your home and have a big impact on your life.  Even if you’re only remodeling certain parts, get ready for lots of changes. Being without a kitchen or a good bathroom can make things more difficult.  Plus, living in a noisy, dusty, messy environment full of tools and cords can get frustrating in no time.  If you’re going to do a big project, you have to stay somewhere else. Even if your project is smaller, it’s a good idea.  Staying in hotels can be expensive, especially when your remodel gets delayed.  Friends or family may let you stay for a while, but how long before they need you gone?  You need to understand how long your residential remodeling will take, and plan around it.

10. Where Will I Stay?

This is just as important as how long you can be away.  A hotel or short-term rental home can work if you’re doing minor remodels and have the money to spare.  Another option is to buy a caravan or RV with a kitchenette. This is like having a mini-apartment in your yard.  If you’re going for a major home makeover, it’s best to rent another home for the whole duration.  If you really don’t want to leave, get ready to change your habits a lot.  You may have to get used to having dinner in the garage and using a portable toilet. Perhaps you’ll have to do dishes in a tub in the backyard. Improvise.  Prepare to have a lot of meals out or food delivery. Regardless of where you stay, you’re likely to need or prefer this. Make room for it in your budget.  Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t share your bathroom with contractors. Set one aside for them. It’s easiest if you rent a portable toilet.

Get Residential Remodeling Advice

There you have it. The most important questions to ask yourself before starting your remodeling project.  Having a plan mapped out makes everything easier. We can help you with your remodeling needs.  If you want to know more about remodeling, check out our blog!