Once the snow melts and the temperatures start slowly climbing, you may find yourself planning a remodeling project for your home. Remodeling takes a lot of work, but you’ll get through it if you plan ahead properly. Make yourself a checklist of a few important things you need to do before you pick up the paintbrush or hammer, and you’ll accomplish the remodel of your dreams on budget and on time with as little hassle as possible.
Reserve a Dumpster
It may seem silly to worry about garbage almost before you worry about the finished look of the room you’re remodeling, but rent a temporary dumpster for your project as soon as possible. You may not be able to reserve one if you wait until the last minute, and if you book one early, you’ll have it delivered in time for the project. There’s also the possibility waiting will add extra late fees to your reservation or leave you with a pile of debris you can’t get rid of until a unit is available, so cross this item off of your list in the planning stage.
Put Together a Stylebook
The image in your head of the perfect new room isn’t going to make it a reality. Talking about a specific shade of a color isn’t the same as having a sample of that color, for instance. Put together a stylebook with images you find online and in magazines of rooms that have features you want in your new room. If you’re talented at drawing, sketch what you’d like your room to have. If you’re working with a designer, these ideas will prove essential to making your dream room a reality. Even if you’re working on the redesign alone or with family and friends, having these references to consult every step of the way is the best way to accurately capture your vision.
Decide on Your Budget
The biggest mistake a homeowner can make when it comes to a remodel project is to lose sight of the budget. An interior designer will know how to cap the work at a certain budget, even if she has to convince you to do without some of the additions you’d like. If you’re working without a designer, add up every receipt vigilantly and don’t open purchases until you’re sure you can afford every feature you plan to add to the room. If, for example, you wanted a new light fixture but you discover after a week of work you can’t afford it, if you haven’t opened it, you can still return it. To have a beautiful and enjoyable room you can afford, sometimes you must let go of the less important aspects of your vision.
Pick a Deadline
Like money, time is another thing that can get away from you when doing a remodel. Set a deadline for project completion and stick to it. Be realistic; you’re not going to gut an entire room and have it ready for a party in a week. Speak with an interior designer or acquaintances that have remodeled in the past for an idea of a realistic deadline. You may actually have to allow yourself more time than you originally thought necessary.
Double-Check Your Permits
All your preparation work can come crashing down if an inspector fines you or work is delayed while you wait for the correct permits. Not all remodel work requires permits — a simple paint job and rearranging furniture is work the county doesn’t need to know about, for example. But more extensive work does, especially work that requires adjustments to plumbing and wiring. An interior designer can help you acquire all necessary permits, but if you’re working without one, take your design plans to city hall and ask for assistance.
The Wall Street Journal claims Americans spent $130 billion in 2013 on home remodeling projects, an increase over 2012, and the most since 2007. With the economy becoming more stable, homeowners are more comfortable with spending money on projects they’ve put off for years. However, you’ll regret it if you rush into your remodeling project this spring just because you finally think you can afford it. Make sure your remodeling project goes as smoothly as possible with a few simple precautions before beginning.