Home Remodeling Basics

Attempting to do any home renovation yourself can be a project that starts off simple, looks fairly easy, and then turns complicated and overwhelming, really fast. You peel back a corner of carpeting on Saturday morning, and a lightbulb goes off in your head: You can refinish these hardwood floors yourself.  You’ve never done it, but you can YouTube it, rent a floor sander, and save oodles of money!

Two weeks later, the floor looks horrible with what looks like leopard spots all over because the sanding wasn’t done quite right.  The wood floor expert, who’s original quote was $2100, comes back a few weeks later and now charges you $2300, plus no warranty because he had trouble with all your “deep spots”.  (This is an actual story that happened to a good friend.)

Some people are really ambitious and decide to completely renovate their kitchen, or build a garage, or even something smaller like add a deck, without the skill set, or even the tools, needed to do the job expeditiously and correctly.

Any medium to high skill level home renovation doesn’t — or shouldn’t — begin with pulling up the carpet or watching HGTV that makes DIY look easy.  It should begin with real-world realizations about the scale of this project and good planning.

Consider these four points before picking up that hammer.

  1. Decide to Do It Yourself or Hire Professionals

You will either hire out the work to professionals or do it yourself.  Please don’t ask the contractor how much you’ll save if you help him! A smart contractor will say the costs double because you will slow him down so much.  At best, be willing to chip in with light demolition, furniture moving, and clean up.

Professionals range from fully vetted high-end contractors to sub-contractors and handymen, all of which you can find through the Renovation Advocate.  Since not all home renovation projects are created equally, you will want to consider on a case-by-case basis whether you are capable of taking on the home renovation project yourself or whether you wish to hire professionals.

  1. Plan for Funding Your Project

Your home remodeling project will always cost you more than you thought.  Renovation Advocate gives you a good understanding of all the costs involved and what to expect, so there are no surprises.  Your choice of funding options may range from simple savings on up to the traditional home equity loan.

  1. Consider the Resale Value

Today, the majority of American homeowners sell their house at least once.  Not only are you renovating your house for you, but also for future buyers. Renovation Advocate helps you make an informed decision, taking into account the length of time you might be there, the housing market, current vs. future values, payback on certain renovations, etc.

  1. Hire a Good Contractor

Some people decide to “general” out the job themselves, thinking it’ll save them money.  Being your own general contractor is an absolute nightmare! Finding fully vetted, capable, reasonably priced, available sub-contractors, and getting them to work together in some kind of time frame, is next to impossible. Plus, they just charge you retail anyway.  General contractors get “contractor pricing” and then mark it up a little (that’s how they get paid). So basically, you get the GC for free!

This is where Renovation Advocate comes in.  We help you choose a fully vetted contractor that is a great fit for your project, your budget and your time frame!

Jim Edwards is the Renovation Advocate.  His clients love how he gives them the options and advice from years of real world construction experience.  He has seen it all, fixed it all and helped homeowners create the home of their dreams. Jim can be reached at jim@renovation-advocate.com or by calling (608)480-1057.

Posted in Basements, Bathroom Remodel, Home Additions, Home Renovation, Kitchen Remodel.