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Where to Start When Planning a Remodel

For some people, home renovations are in their blood. They love every minute of the process… from start to finish. No sooner do they finish one project than they’re dreaming of and planning for the next. Unfortunately, there are many for whom remodeling projects are simply intimidating and confusing. Where does one even begin? It can be so overwhelming to figure out what needs to be done and when. The good news, for those of us for whom home renovations don’t come naturally, is that a little preplanning combined with basic preparations can make the process flow smoothly and get us on the road to the home we’ve always wanted.

Getting Started
This step seems pretty basic, but it’s really important to have a clear idea of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Are you replacing all the flooring on the main level of your home or are you completely renovating a bathroom? Does the basement need a complete overhaul or are you looking for ways to make your home more eco-friendly? You don’t want to begin collecting estimates, interviewing contractors or buying materials until you and your partner are on the same page regarding your goals. Make a list of the non-negotiable parts of the project as well as the optional add-ons you’d like if the budget allows. It can be helpful to peruse magazines and online sources for ideas and inspiration. They can really help you see what is possible and help you to define your personal style and preferences.

Budget in Advance
Wouldn’t it be nice if the sky was the limit and you could have every little thing your heart desires? For most of us, however, this simply is not the case and we only have so much money to spend on a remodeling project. While it can be challenging to set a budget prior to getting estimates, you should have an idea of your ideal and maximum price ranges before you get started. Spend some time deciding what features or materials are worth spending a little more on and which are the areas in which you’re willing to be a bit more frugal.

Begin Planning
There are a number of online planning resources that can help you get started and give you an idea of what the project might look like. From kitchen planning resources and space planners to carpet calculators and home renovation checklists, there is a plethora of information and help at your fingertips. Sites like www.houzz.com, www.reodelista.com and www.dwell. com are all great places to start to get tips, tricks and step-by-step plans for your remodeling adventure. A quick google search of “home renovation checklist” yields a number of useful tools for getting a head start on your plan. Spend a little time cruising around the web to see what you can find or head to your local library to find some books that might aid you.

Find Professional Help
Some projects are small and uncomplicated enough that a quick tutorial and some basic supplies will have you on your way. Painting a wall, updating hardware and even some tiling or flooring jobs might be on the list of things you can accomplish solo. For many jobs, however, the involvement of a paid professional can bring peace of mind and the assurance that the job will be done well. Whether you are looking to remodel a bathroom, take a crack at your kitchen or make improvements to the energy efficiency and sustainability of your home, finding the right company can save you both time and headaches. While getting multiple quotes to ensure you find the best value is a good idea, it’s important also to be sure that the company you choose is professional, timely and understands your needs. Good customer service is priceless. When making your decision, be sure to check reviews and references and make sure the company is in good standing with any pertinent associations.

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