Do these 2 things before you renovate…


Spring time is right around the corner (I know, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!), and you’re looking around your home for opportunities to upgrade. Doing some homework before heading out to Lowe’s or Home Depot or picking up the phone to call a contractor, will save you a lot of time and headache.

renovation wish list

Is it a kitchen over haul? A quick paint job for the half bath? Or are you considering gutting the family room to create new living spaces? I’ve worked with clients that wanted to redo the living room, dining room and kitchen all at once. It’s not impossible but there are pros and cons for such a large job.

So what should you do before launching into a home project? Here are my 3 simple steps:

  1. Prioritize what you want to renovate.
  2. Get quotes.

First Second Third PrioritiesLet’s prioritize the wish list. How you decide what goes on your top 5 is specific to each family and depends on several variables. For example, are you remodeling to put your home on the market or is it due to your family’s growing needs? Both choices bring a different set of priorities, budget and time.

No matter the reason for remodeling,I suggest you explore thecost vs valuetable to give you an idea whether the project will add value to your home. You can even call me and I’ll work with you to determine how much value the home will have pre and post modeling project in your specific community.

It’s fairly common to begin with one project in mind, only to have it grow into an actual list as you look closely at the different rooms in your home. If your list is growing (and maybe growing out of control), prioritize the list depending on a variety of criteria:duration of project, return on investment, needs, budget,andtimeare some factors to consider.

an arm and leg

home-renovationThe excitement you developed for the project will quickly diminish when you find yourself digging through couch cushions to pay the never-ending bills for the project.

Once you’ve prioritized the projects, calling for quotes will help you to establish a realistic budget for the remodeling job. There are many ways to get quotes, and I’ve listed a few here.

  • Referrals – one of the most common practice is to ask friends and family who they’ve used for their own remodeling projects. You can send a quick email to everyone or, and this IS the 21st century, post your question on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
  • Yelp– I always appreciate the time Yelp reviewers spend in writing their reviews, so it’s worth some time researching different contractors for personal opinions on the quality of their work.
  • Better Business Bureauwill give you a heads up if the contractor(s) has been naughty or nice. Formal complaints will give you a sense whether you should pursue them at all.
  • Googlegets you started in finding contractors in your area. You can use the results of your search to dig deeper using Yelp, BBB and Angie’s List.
  • Angie’s Listis a paid service that gives you suggestions and feedback from other paid members.
  • Yellow Pages, yes they still do exist and on the world wide web.

I’m a wildly impulsive person. I am also a huge fan of shows on HGTV, where every home project starts and ends perfectly within a thirty minute episode. The reality is that home remodeling projects can be timely and costly, but with the right pre-planning, you’ll find it quite the pleasant adventure.

As always, I’m here to help you figure it all out. If you have a questions, ask in the comments section or if you would like a more in-depth discussion, feel free to email or call me directly.