Planning a home renovation? Check out these FAQ’s! They answer everything from how to hire a contractor to how to plan a budget and so much more. These are the top tips you should know before you start renovating your home.
1. How do I pick a contractor?
Ideally, you want to build the same kind of relationship with your contractor as you do with your real estate agent: one built on trust that makes you want to go back to that person for any future needs. Contractors should be very good listeners and communicators. They should “get” your vision for the home, and to keep you in the loop every step of the way. Do your due diligence by checking out contractors’ reputations, talking with other clients, and looking at work they have done previously. It is also important that they understand your neighborhood and zoning. Once all this is done, it’s time to make a hiring decision.
How much will my project cost?
Of course, the answer depends upon the scope of the project, but in order to get the best estimate from a contractor, take time to write down each detail of your plan so that the contractor can include everything in their estimate. Renovations are famous for taking longer and costing more than originally planned. This is why putting a buffer in your budget is so important. Overruns often happen because the homeowner makes additions or changes along the way. They also may not realize that, for example, if a wall is moved in a home, the contractor may have to then reroute electricity and outlets. One item often leads to another, so make sure to look at everything piece by piece.
How long will renovating my home take to complete?
As we said above, this depends on the amount of work being done– and how many changes are made along the way. The more pre-planning that is done, the better estimate a contractor can give. Remember good things take time, be patient. Once the project begins, be on site to oversee the project. If that doesn’t work with scheduling, it’s worth hiring a project manager. Things will happen and decisions will need to be made immediately. Also, if you show up you can keep track of what is going on at the house.
How do I prioritize projects?
If you are living in your home while renovating your home, you may want to plan out the project in phases. This allows living in some rooms while others are being worked on. You may also need to phase projects based on cost and availability of funds. Contractors can help with timelines and costs to help make these decisions.
Where do I begin?
Conducting a lot of research! Start a look book for your home, either in a notebook or online. It’s important to choose the materials and finishes you want up front. Collecting pictures of the look and finishes you want will make the decision process go smoother. Talk to different contractors, and visit kitchen, bathroom, appliance, and flooring showrooms to get ideas on selections and pricing.
Do I need permits?
The contractor will know what projects require permitting. Make sure to abide by permitting regulations. Failure to secure proper permits can stop work or cause issues if further work is needed down the road.
How much will renovating my home increase its value?
Every homeowner hopes that making improvements will increase their home’s value, and this is usually the case. Sometimes what homeowners view as improvement can turn out to be liabilities to future buyers. For example, don’t put so much money into the house that it becomes more expensive than the rest of the neighborhood. Also, be careful not to add personal style preferences that can’t be easily changed, like ornamental fixtures, radical architecture, or unusual landscape features.
How should I pay for renovations?
If you have the cash to pay for your renovations, that’s certainly a good way to go. Otherwise, consider a home equity loan with a manageable monthly payment or a revolving line of credit that can be used for renovations as well as emergencies that may arise later.
For more questions on renovating your home or real estate in Snohomish County, Camano Island or surrounding areas, contact Laura HERE.