What to Know Before Starting Your Summer Remodel Project
Spring and summer are popular seasons to embark on major construction and renovation projects, and it’s easy to see why. The weather is mostly good, meaning that crew members can work easier and faster. Usually, a contractor’s busy season begins as spring sets in and doesn’t slow down until mid-autumn. That’s why it’s crucial to plan your summer remodel project carefully to avoid delays and surprises once work begins.
If you wish to begin a home remodel project in the summer, the best time to start planning is the previous winter. Experts advise you give the project 3-6 months of planning and groundwork, depending on its scope. This is enough time to set a budget, create a plan, find your service providers, and even change your mind. However, It’s never too late to start!
Here are important details to consider before starting your project.
Step 1: Decide What You Want
Homeowners usually carry out remodels to solve an existing problem or improve the space for better functionality. Adapt your remodel project to the family’s needs (then wants) and think about what will make you happy. So, before you seek the contractor, create a plan. You should determine your remodeling vision and goals. Ask yourself:
- What is my home doing/not doing that I need it to do/not do?
- What will I need from this space now and in the future?
Don’t get carried away with Pinterest boards and decor improvements before deciding what functionality your family needs both now and in the future. At this point, it may be helpful to get a design professional — an architect, structural engineer, or interior designer. The first two can help with major remodel projects (those that affect structural integrity). The latter can help if you only need to change your setup, style, or decor designs.
Step 2: Check the Trends
This is the fun part of the project. Browse online and look at several remodeling projects to see the trending designs in the industry. This is an integral part of research because you don’t want to implement outdated technologies that are inefficient or will become obsolete in a few years. This research phase gives you a feel of what you might like for your own space. Check out:
- The latest trends in materials and artistry — consider how you will feel in a few years.
- Intelligent technologies that your family will benefit from.
- Different styles — modern, classic, minimalistic, etc.
- Plan for interior decoration — find furniture reviews and decide on other style elements.
Of course, consider your current style and how the changes you want work into what you have. Define the style at the beginning and stay focused as you find your service providers.
Step 3: Find Your Team
Choosing your design professional and contractor is perhaps the most crucial decision in the project. Start looking a few months early because construction professionals are extra busy in the summer. You can take your time, interview multiple firms/people (at least three), and then make an informed decision. Find out their reputation, certifications and licenses, insurance, and quotations for the project.
Start by checking the local/state building offices to see if your prospective contractors have complaints or liens. Online sites like the Better Business Bureau can also help with reputation research. When you have your scope from step 1 above, find out how they would go about the remodeling project. Ensure that you sign a contract but never pay for the project in full. Instead, decide on milestones and how much you will pay once the contractor reaches them.
Step 4: Set a Budget
You have decided the scope of work, researched current trends, and interviewed the professionals you need. Now is the time to consider your budget. Many people put this step way too early and make poor decisions just because they are cheaper. The cheapest professionals are not always the best. You must balance cost, reputation, and expertise to have a seamless project.
Home remodeling costs can quickly get out of hand. Of course, you have been saving for some time, and you know how much you can afford. Bring up your budget at your contractor interviews and see how they can work within that budget to fulfill your scope. Always have at least 20% of the total cost as a contingency fund. This fund will cover you when unexpected expenses come up once the project begins.
Step 5: Set Timelines
Finally, consider how long you want the remodel to take. Be realistic and flexible. Remember that home remodels carry many uncertainties that interfere with the best-laid plans. If you start early, you can get the professionals you want — in that case, you’ll have to work within their timelines. Also, remember that summer projects may get delayed because workers can be hard to find when everyone is so busy. Weather delays can also happen in the summer, and the availability of materials and funds can fluctuate.
Get Qualified Professionals to Run Your Home Remodel
By following these steps, you can increase the chances of your summer remodel project staying on time and within budget. That said, always remember to be flexible and make the best of unforeseeable delays or budgetary needs.