Remodeling your home is an exciting but big undertaking that takes a lot of planning and preparation to create your dream home. If you’ve ever been through a remodel you know how stressful, time-consuming, but also exciting it can be.
The best way you can make sure things go to plan and end up looking just how you envisioned is to get organized, plan, and create a checklist that you can follow step by step. In this article, we’ll look at a home remodeling checklist you can use to help guide your decisions. It’s the exact one I’ve used in the past, and has helped make sure my remodels have been a success.
1. Set a budget
Before you do anything, it’s important that you set a budget for what you feel comfortable spending on your remodeling project. Create your budget, and then add 10% to it, as more often than not, renovations end up costing more than initially planned. You’ll want to have flexibility in your budget and be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you’re comfortable with your budget before putting your plan in motion.
2. Create your design plan and vision
In order to bring your vision to life, you will need to create your design plans in detail. First, plan out exactly what you want to renovate, and what your goal is for the space. Then, find images of your vision and think about what you’ll need to achieve your dream design. Having photos will help you and your team be able to better visualize what you’re looking to achieve.
Ask yourself what the intention is behind your renovation – whether you’ve set out to increase the value of your home, or if it’s a personal project for you. This should guide you when designing your vision.
3. Consider Priorities
While we usually start with grand ideas it’s also important to make sure we have a backup plan if things don’t go as expected. One suggestion I have is to make sure you rank the key goals of your remodel from most to least important. This helps in those tough situations where the budget has been met but there’s still work to do. It’s never fun, and we’d all love to do it all, but sometimes it’s not possible. It’s important to know what you can cut and what is a must-do before getting started.
4. Decide on materials
Now that you know what your design will look like, it’s time to decide on materials. Think about materials including fabrics, designs, colors, wood, and anything else that will make up your new space. Make sure that you’re thinking beyond fleeting trends and are taking functionality into account too. Ask yourself what the purpose of the space is, and if the materials and furniture you’re considering will work well in it.
5. Hire your designer
If you’re looking for extra help in bridging your creative vision to life, then hiring a designer might be a good idea. Your designer should also be able to provide you with technical paperwork, drawings, and designs that you yourself would not be able to create. Designers can also help make suggestions on things like materials and design decisions that bring a level of expertise that most homeowners lack. Hiring a design is not a hard requirement, but for larger projects can be extremely helpful.
6. Hire your contractors
When it comes to hiring your remodeling team like contractors, do your research first. Look through different contractors and their reviews, and reach out to a few contractors that you like. Check for photos of before and after renovations to see if you like their work. It can be beneficial to ask people you know if they have any recommendations based on work they have done in the past. To find a good fit, you need to first make sure that you’ve seen their work, and can envision yourself living in a space with similar remodeling done.
We also have a more in-depth guide to hiring a contractor that’s a good read for first-timers.
7. Set up a meeting with your contractors
Once you’ve chosen your remodeling team, set up a meeting with your contractors. Prepare any questions you may have beforehand, and go into the meeting prepared. If you feel comfortable with your contractor, trust them, and have a good sense that you communicate well with them, you’ve found a good fit.
You’ll want to set up an evaluation of your home’s structure with your contractor to ensure your home is in good condition to start the project. It’s important to work with someone who understands you, your needs, and your vision for your home in order to get the best results possible.
8. Get an estimate
After choosing a contractor you’re confident about, the contractor will give you an estimate once they’ve reviewed your plans, design vision, materials, and home. Their estimate will be based on what the project will cost, and they will also give you a time frame of when they should finish the project. Ask your contractor about the permits you need to complete your project, and the estimated time it takes to get them as in some cases it can take months and can even delay the project.
9. Sign a contract
In your contract, it should state the cost of the project, the estimated timeline, payment method, and schedule, and who will be managing the project which includes materials, permits, organizing workers, and more. Read through the contract carefully, and if you need, have someone else review it with you to ensure you’re happy with the final print before it is signed.
Never rush into signing anything, and take it as a red flag if anyone tries to rush you to do so. Contacts come with legal implications, so make sure you fully understand what yours says and what sorts of rights and responsibilities it conveys to you and your contractor.
10. Oversee the ordering of materials
Oftentimes, supplies including materials, fabrics, and furniture can take months to arrive which can delay an entire project. Oversee that the materials you’ve chosen have been ordered and write down the estimated delivery dates in your project calendar. This will ensure that no materials are forgotten about and that you can prepare for the arrival of all of the necessary supplies. The earlier that you make your orders the better – as it’s quite common for there to be many shortages and delays in the shipping of materials.
11. Clear your space
Ensure that the space where the remodeling is taking place is clear, clean, and safe for your contractors to start working in. This will make it significantly easier for them to work safely, and will also keep your belongings and your home in good shape and prevent any damages. The contractors will ensure the rest is protected, but it’s up to you to clear out your space and keep your valuables away from the renovation.
12. Be reachable
You never know when your contractor or a member of your team will need you, so always be reachable. Whether it’s by phone or by email, keep the lines of communication open. Emergencies happen, and when things don’t go to plan – your contractor might need you then and there. Communicate with your team along the way and ask questions to avoid any unwanted surprises. Being reachable also means that you’re following the payment schedule, and covering any additional costs if there are any. This is important as a slow response can mean work has to stop and timelines are impacted. Your job isn’t done until the remodeling is.
13. Stay flexible
If you’ve ever done a home renovation or remodeling before, you know how easy it is for plans to get derailed, and for things to not go according to plan. Stay flexible, and be open-minded in the case that something changes, is no longer available, or isn’t working the way you had envisioned it. Your contractor will most likely provide you with other options to choose from to fix the issue at hand.
Remodeling your home can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re not prepared and aren’t sure where to start. Investing the time and effort into creating a plan and doing your research is worth it. With a detailed, organized checklist and a reputable team of contractors, and a designer you trust, you can create the home renovation you’ve always dreamed of.