A home remodel can completely transform your home visually, structurally and functionally.  Whether you are completely gutting your home, just making a few simple updates, or focusing on one area to improve, it is important that you employ your resources to get the best results.  There are many local businesses that you can team up with for your residential remodeling project that offer invaluable professional experience.  As with any home renovation, the project will entail plenty of planning, budgeting, coordinating, choosing and installing.  While remodeling is a ton of work, improving your home is a worthwhile investment of your time and money and the results are well worth the effort.

Eric-MadejMadej Enterprises can take on many home remodeling projects, such as kitchen and bathroom renovations, interior and exterior painting, and deck building.  Eric Madej, owner of Madej Enterprises, stresses that three essential things you should expect from any company assisting you with your project are attention to detail, quality workmanship and customer service.  Madej says, “A remodeling project is an important decision for any homeowner.  Choose a contractor who shows they care as much about your project as you do.  A lot of contractors are just looking for the next “job” and then move on.  Look for someone who takes pride in their work and will treat you, your project and the process seriously.  A contractor who is not in it for just the paycheck will offer you several options to save money, upgrade at reasonable costs and give you the features you desire in your remodeling project in order to end up with a win-win situation.”  He adds, “The best tip I can give a homeowner for their next remodel project is to trust your instincts.  When you meet the right contractor for the job, you will know it.  They may not be the lowest bid, but you will be glad you trusted your intuition.”

Michelle-ChristensenMichelle Christensen, owner of Papillion Windows & Siding, agrees that you shouldn’t be afraid to use your instincts in selecting a contractor.  If you are not comfortable with whomever you choose, chances are the experience will be less than pleasant all around.  She emphasizes that the goal of her business is to provide a stress-free, simple, straight-forward approach to residential remodeling.  For exterior improvements, Papillion Windows & Siding offers custom made replacement windows of all styles and colors, vinyl and cement board siding, custom front entry door systems and exterior doors, and roofing/gutter products.  In addition they offer specialty customizable items, such as pergolas, under deck drainage systems, insulated patio covers, and custom decking.  Their staff can provide assistance to the homeowner with their design selections, and they offer lifetime labor warranties with most of their product installations.

Christensen advises to do your homework when selecting products and a contractor if necessary.  This includes getting references and more than one bid before selecting your contractor, and it is a good idea to check their Better Business Bureau online rating as well.  She adds, “Don’t be afraid to ask your potential contractor specific questions, and make sure the project you have envisioned is one that you are going to be satisfied with.  After all, it is your home and you deserve to have the amenities you choose.  Ask about manufacturer’s warranties, and more importantly the process of filing a claim if something were to happen with your products.  With our company we take care of any warranty issues directly with the manufacturer, including service and installation, at no charge and no hassle to the customer.”

When choosing options for your windows, it is important to consider options for tinting as this will save you a lot of money.  Glass tinting is a great way to improve your home’s comfort, energy efficiency and safety.  Jay Heffelfinger, owner of Professional Glass Tinting in Omaha, says there are plenty of options for window tinting, depending on your needs.  Professional Glass Tinting offers more than 80 grades and colors for tinting your windows. They also offer over 200 decorative films that can be used as part of your design on virtually any glass surface your choice, such as tables, windows, cabinets, or shower doors. Tinting the windows in your home not only controls the amount of UV light that enters your home, but can cut down glare and keep out heat during notoriously hot Nebraska summers. Window films will reject as much as 85% of the sun’s heat from coming into your home through your windows.  Keeping the excessive heat out helps your HVAC system work more efficiently in order to maintain a regulated temperature.  This allows your home to stay comfortable with ease while you save money.  Tinting your windows can also provide more privacy, increasing your safety while you are in your home and the safety of your belongings or children while you are away.

Angie-TimmOne of the best times to consider upgrading your heating and cooling equipment is during a home remodeling project.  A major reason is that if you are doing any sort of addition there may be a need for larger equipment.  Also, remodeling is messy so there is no better time to start fresh with a clean system—especially newer systems that are more environmentally conscious and energy efficient.  Complete Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning offers many options for upgrading the heating and cooling systems in your home.  Angie Timm of Complete Comfort says not only are their newer systems more energy efficient, but there are several options for equipment available to make homes very comfort year round.  She explains, “In geothermal or traditional heating and cooling equipment you can get variable speed and two-stage equipment that will provide the maximum comfort level by controlling temperature and humidity levels.  Many homeowners are not aware that they can put a geothermal system into their existing home.  Most of the geothermal heat pumps that we do at Complete Comfort are retrofits into existing homes.  You would be amazed at the small amount of space that is needed to drill the loops.  Geothermal is the most affordable way to heat and cool your home, plus the systems quality for a 30% no cap tax credit.”

Derek-LeibertDerek Leibert of Attic Solutions adds that most homes are not adequately vented through the attic.  In addition to bringing your home up to code, attic ventilation helps prevent or minimize a number of problems year round, including mold, ice dams, high utility bills, excessively warm upper living areas, high home humidity, water spots, and loss of insulation R-Value.  Attic Solutions consults with homeowners and their general contractors when building or remodeling to help ensure efficiency updates and remodels also factor in the critical role of the attic in managing a home’s excess heat and moisture. They design each ventilation system using the HomeFIT approach and tie in ventilation, insulation, roofing and home science. Leibert says “When remodeling your home, be sure to have a professional that is savvy in Home Sciences thoroughly assess the moisture needs of your home as it relates to your attic ventilation, insulation and especially the venting of your shower fans.”  He also notes that they are seeing recent trending toward maximizing potential living space by remodeling or refinishing attics, and Attic Solutions can help with this as well.  During this time, they can actually tie in the roofing, gutters, siding, insulation, attic ventilation, baffles, and bath fans in one smooth project.  Additionally, after the April hail storm they are seeing many projects that incorporate roofing repairs with remodeling of attic space, and this is a particularly opportune time to manage multiple projects.

Mark-Pechar-headshotFor any electrical updates that are necessary, either by choice or as a result of the changes in an area that you are remodeling, Concept Electric Company Inc. offers full service installation of electrical equipment.  They also offer design tips and lighting suggestions based upon experience.  Mark Pechar, owner of Concept Electric Company Inc., says that “We feel although the finished product is the most important thing when it comes to a residential remodel, what you can’t see is equally important to us.  The quality of installation of the wiring that is concealed behind the wall can tell a lot about your electrical contractor and we take pride and pay attention to detail whenever we are installing electrical wiring.”  Pechar advises to get to know your electrical contractor and feel comfortable with them before the job starts to ensure that you feel safe about the install after the job is completed.

There are a wealth of businesses and online resources to take advantage of when planning for each phase of remodeling your home.  Here are some general tips for residential remodeling projects:

• The most important step is finding a professional remodeling contractor for your job, if the scope of the project is larger or more complicated than simple do-it-yourself projects.  Hire a contractor who is familiar with the building codes in your area, as updating work that does not meet code can be extremely expensive.

• Define what you need before you consider what you want.  It is easy to get lost in all of the fun stuff you wish you had in your home and forget the impetus for the project.

• Save money by planning ahead.  The design process is crucial, and should be completed well ahead of time to define your budget and prevent hasty decisions later in the project.  Choosing everything ahead of time, including all product and material selections, will avoid confusion and costly mistakes.  It is also a good idea to save 10-20% of your budget to allow for items added during the process as even the best planned projects are subject to a certain amount of change during execution.

• Shop around.  The #1 way to decrease the cost of your remodeling project is product choices.  Be careful not to sacrifice too much quality, but also be open to options that can achieve a similar look with a less expensive product.  Additionally, pay attention to how labor intensive some features may be.  You should make your decisions based upon finding harmony with the value and quality, as well as price.

• Keep an open mind when you discuss product and design ideas with your contractor.  Your contractor should have a great deal of knowledge with respect to their area of expertise, including many new products and options available that may have just been introduced to the market and what they have found to be the best for each specific project.

• Be creative!  There are often multiple solutions to accomplish a remodeling objective, and some are more expensive than others. The trick to remodeling is finding a balance with linear objectives such as budget and installation, while finding inspiration through design and how you imagine the finished product to look and feel like.  The sky is the limit, and that can feel liberating and overwhelming all at the same time.

• Don’t base anything on assumption.  Make sure every detail, as minute as they may be, is included in your contract before you sign on the dotted line.  This will ensure you are on the same page, or will be upon review of the final contract after any necessary revisions, before any crucial moves have been made.

• Be prepared to make a LOT of decisions.  Even down to the knobs on your cabinets and doors, everything plays a part in the finished product.

From the small changes in paint and hardware, to updating or re-purposing a room, and on to a full scale renovation; remodeling projects are on a spectrum and should be managed accordingly.  Furthermore, there are special considerations to be made in planning for the type and scope of the project you intend on undertaking.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed or swept away in the fever of remodel and get in over your head—so it is helpful to divide up the projects, diligently plan for each, and place the proper amount of consideration in hiring someone you trust to offer their professional expertise in managing the project and perform the work that you can’t do yourself.  With the proper planning, a good design that accommodates both your wants and needs, and an experienced contractor on your side, remodeling your home is an exciting process that will rejuvenate and optimize your living space and transform your home with a fresh look you can take pride in.