Tip # 1. Don’t rush into renovation
Do your homework first! Take time to analyze your existing problems in order to outline your remodeling goals. Think of the details. Try to envision how your ideal space should look. Get ideas. Browse some magazines, visit showrooms, talk to professionals. Choose some options you believe will work for you.
Tip # 2. Consider hiring a professional to review your ideas and to finalize your plans
You will be better off having a professional consultant who will come to your home to finalize your remodeling concept. In many cases you will benefit from making professional scaled drawings done. Experienced professional will translate your ideas into scaled floor plans and 3D renderings. It is important that you can fully visualize your future space before starting the construction! That beautiful concept you saw in magazine, might not look the same in your particular situation. Or it might be not the most cost effective way to achieve your remodeling goals. There can be other options available which you didn’t even consider!
Having a solid set of plans will allow you to compare estimates from different contractors more accurately since all of the contractors will be bidding on the same scope of work. Otherwise, you simply are not comparing apples to apples.
During the renovation, there will be no room for disappointments and costly change orders, because your ideas have been translated into plans and drawings that contractors can follow.
Tip # 3. Prepare for remodeling
Once you know exactly what you do, start getting ready. Pulling a permit from your Town can take several days.
To reduce your waiting time during construction, purchase some materials/fixtures/appliances you want to use. Some tiles or tub you liked, might need a few weeks to arrive. Make sure you have discussed your selections with the contractor and he has approved all the specs.
Stock everything you purchased in your garage and clear the area you will be remodeling.
It is now time to start the demolition.
Tip # 4 Consider having a general contractor
Many customers are on a tight budget and, trying to save some money, they split the work between different contractors and sign separate agreements with each of them. It often looks like a good deal but it can extend the construction process and make it more stressful. To make things worse, it might also void some warranties on the job, because no one would take full responsibility with the other parties involved. If something goes wrong you will have no one to blame.
If you still want to hold all the strings in your hands, be prepared to take frequent hours off work to meet with your contractors. Be ready to coordinate their schedules, sequence of work and act as an intermediary between them. You will be the one to be present for deliveries and installations. Final result? It will depend on how lucky you are. Yes, you may save some bucks here and there but you may also get yourself into costly change orders if you make a mistake or miss something.
Even DIY options are sometimes questionable. Some demolition work requires special skills (like removal of old wallpaper). If you do it wrong you will damage the sheetrock underneath which will result in additional repair or even replacement.
The bottom line is, hiring a professional is often the best way to save money, avoid unnecessary stress and to get the job done right and in a timely manner.