Get ready to freshen up your kitchen with a spring remodel project. Photo credit: JAGwired
If you’re planning a spring remodeling project, you’ve definitely picked the right time. The slow economy is bad news for some but good news for you – the “supply and demand” rule is on your side. Building contractors are tripping over each other for jobs and that means more competitive bids on your project. And, you won’t be put on a waiting list for 2010. That’s right, your remodel could actually happen in the spring.
Depending on the type of remodeling project you’re planning will determine the amount of leg work and preparation you’ll need to do. There are things you can do in advance that will simplify the process and help you avoid certain obstacles.
Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, bath, or basement, get a clear idea of the look you want to achieve. This can be an obstacle in itself because there are infinite designs, products, colors, and materials to choose from. But, once you narrow it down and make a decision, you will have made a giant leap forward in the remodel process. Do your research and gather ideas: online, we have tons of articles and images on our website for you to browse. Look through magazines. Go to open houses and model homes.
Set your budget and stick to it. Research costs and cross-examine your checkbook with your dreams. Are they aligned? There are as many price ranges as there are options – you might have to mix and match high end with middle/lower end to stay within your budget. This is where the creative genius in you comes alive – where there’s a will there’s a way!
Check with your city’s building division to make sure there are no restrictions on construction. You may want to add a one bedroom apartment over the garage, and because your neighbor has one you believe you can have one, but your neighbor’s addition is 30 years old and since it was built there have been restrictions placed prohibiting that type of construction - perform due diligence.
You’ll need to obtain a permit if you’re adding a fence that’s over 6 feet, adding an attached deck or patio, structurally making changes to your home, and other types of construction. Obtaining a permit can take a few weeks though it might be faster now that construction has slowed down.
If this is not a do-it-yourself project I highly recommend hiring a licensed contractor. Ask for referrals and then talk with those referrals. Ask questions about job performance. Was their remodel a positive experience? Did the contractor keep the costs in check? Did the materials and work meet your expectations? A contractor knows how to get things done right. They have connections and can give you ideas you’d never conceive on your own. If you’re going to cut corners don’t cut ‘em here.
Before your project gets underway, make sure to clean out the area that’s to be remodeled. This is something that a lot of people overlook. There’s nothing worse than having the crew show up and not be able to access the space. If you’re remodeling your kitchen then all drawers and cabinets need to be emptied and boxed up – same goes for the bathroom, etc.
Make space in the garage for your builder’s supplies & tools; dedicate a walking path between the job site, garage, and bathroom (or rent a portable pottie) with plastic liner to protect your floors.
If you plan and prep you’ll feel confident through the entire remodeling process and reduce stress as well. Wishing you a successful remodel!
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