Have you been living in your current home for a long period of time and find that it’s just not meeting your needs any longer?  Or have you just been in your home for a little while but are ready for some changes?  In any case, many homeowners find themselves in a situation where they are no longer happy with the house they currently live in but do not want to or are not able to move to another home.  A remodeling project is often the answer to this dilemma.  However, it’s important not to take on a remodeling project, no matter how minor, without doing the proper planning and working with the right professionals.  If a remodeling project is in your future, continue reading for some valuable information!

What to Consider When Planning a Remodeling Project

Kellen Jackson with Preferred Remodel says, “Make sure you are remodeling for the right reasons.  Your home is exactly what it is…your home!  It isn’t an investment or an opportunity to make a few thousand dollars after a couple of years.  If you decide to do any remodeling such as a theatre room, basement bar, family room, etc., make it because it will be an asset to your family and the memories you will make, not because it will add $5000 in value.  In this market, the money you put into your house on a remodel project isn’t promised to you and can ultimately end up costing you the home itself.  What is guaranteed is the enjoyment and fulfillment of sharing that space with those you love, so make sure you are remodeling for that reason.”

Developing your own ideas that work well with your family’s lifestyle is key to the success of your project.  However, considering the ideas and opinions of others is also valuable.  “My advice to homeowners considering a remodeling project is to have your own ideas,” comments Melissa Dirksen of Interior Glass, “but involve other professionals in helping with the details.”
Going out and looking at what is available that you might want to incorporate into your project is a good idea as you’ll never know what you might find that you hadn’t even considered incorporating into your project.  Don Rowe of Millard Lumber suggests stopping by their showroom and meeting with a trained design associate who will listen to you about your new project and offer a team approach to coordinate your project.
Kellen offers a few final tips that homeowners should keep in mind: “Mentally prepare yourself for being inconvenienced,” he says.  “Home remodels typically disturb your usual day to day routine.  Generally, it’s noisy, it’s a mess and, unlike what you see on HGTV, it doesn’t take half an hour!  Lastly, unless you absolutely cannot live without it, choose materials that are local to your area.  Special ordering materials such as tile or vanities, for example, can cause setbacks to a timeline.  If you are a homeowner who wants your project done rather quickly, exhaust every resource to pick materials that are majorly in stock.”

New Trends In Remodeling

Knowing what is new, popular or trending in remodeling projects is always a good idea as the more information you have on options, the more likely you are to choose project details that will work for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

“Spring time remodeling tends to move outdoors,” says Don of Millard Lumber.  “We continue to work with people on their window and door replacement needs.  It seems that the wood windows and doors that were installed 15-20 years ago are now in need of replacement.  The windows we are using today feature much more energy efficient glazing options and low maintenance exteriors.  Andersen’s Low-E4 Smart Sun Glass offers not only energy efficiency, but also high visibility, high UV protection, solar control and they are easy to clean.  The Perma-Shield cladding offered by Andersen is a seamless one piece, pre-formed rigid vinyl frame cover that is secured to the exterior of the wood frame to maintain an attractive appearance while minimizing maintenance.”

Don goes on to say, “Replacement of old wooden decks is also an area of increased interest this season.  While Cedar and Eco-Life treated lumber can be used to create a beautiful deck for your home, the new composite materials used today offer many benefits.  Timber Tech decking maintains its color and beauty for years without the work of painting, staining or sealing.  It also resists mildew, warping and insects, so there is no need to replace rotting, uneven or termite-damaged boards in the future.  Timber Tech offers a great warranty for their products as well.”

On the subject of current trends she’s seeing, Melissa Dirksen with Interior Glass says, “Homeowners are smartly updating their master baths to include tearing out the framed shower doors and installing frameless doors.  Most of these are clear glass, which makes the space look larger and does not cover up the new, beautiful tile that has been installed.  Clear glass is now protected with a water spot protectant that can be applied to keep it from spotting.  This product is called Clear Shield and carries a 10-year warranty.”

Working with Professionals

Working with the right professionals is an extremely important part of your remodeling project.  It may be tempting to try to do everything (or at least some things) on your own to save money, but this often creates more problems that will cost you money in the end.  “Professionals will be able to create a space you will love,” explains Melissa Dirksen.  “This is what they do every day, so take their advice.  Also keep in mind that they need to be involved in the project before any remodeling begins so they can see and solve problems before they become bigger issues.”

When it comes to choosing a general contractor, Kellen offers the following advice: “Make sure to choose a contractor with a valid license and check with the BBB for their rating and any customer issues or complaints.  There are a lot of options out there for remodeling projects and a good contractor will provide you with the quality consultation and expertise to ensure you meet your goals within your personal sense of style.”  He adds, “The old saying you get what you pay for holds very true in construction.  The lowest estimate is not always the best, and neither is the highest.  Generally, the dilemma that confronts many homeowners is their desire for a top-notch job at the lowest possible price.  Get as much information as you can on your desired contractor.  Ask for referrals to be sure of who you are dealing with and be flexible with your estimates—they are given based on what is seen, so it’s always safe to allow for budget overages for things unseen, especially when you get into kitchens and bathrooms and are looking to reroute existing plumbing and electrical.”

“Your contractor and their subs need to treat your home as your home, not just a construction site,” points out Nancy Sempek of Christensen Drywall.  “It can be a fine line as construction in and of itself is a messy proposition.  However, you need to make sure you are comfortable with who is working in your home.  That’s why asking friends, coworkers and others for referencing is so important.”

It’s always good to come up with a list of two or three contractors that you’ve narrowed down by asking for referrals, checking references and looking at finished projects.  Once you get it down to a manageable number, you should consider meeting with each one of the companies and seeing how you get along with the person or people who will be working on your project.  Sometimes a company can look good on paper, but you find that issues crop up when you actual talk to them.  Developing a good working relationship with the contractor is very important to the success of your project, so it’s usually a good idea to go with the contractor that you feel the most comfortable with and whom you feel you will be able to communicate with the best.

Planning a remodeling project should not be taken lightly.  If done incorrectly, it can mean months of disruption for your life and the lives of your family members, not to mention the amount of money it could cost you.  However, if done correctly by planning properly and working with the right professionals, your remodeling project can bring you and your family increased enjoyment of your home for the remainder of your time there.