10 home renovation tips from the pros
Anyone who has been through a home renovation project can tell you: it can be overwhelming.
While there’s no way to completely eliminate the disruptions that come with a home makeover, you can reduce the stress on your home and family if you follow some advice from remodeling professionals. These home renovation tips on planning, organizing, budgeting, and financing can make the process a bit smoother.
1. Plan Ahead
One way to prevent delays later is to spend time making product selections now. Picking and ordering your materials and finishings can also keep you on budget, experts say. “You’ll end up making the same decisions, but you’ll know what they’re going to be and what they’re going to cost ahead of time,” Ridley Wills, founder of The Wills Co., a design-build firm in Nashville told Better Homes & Gardens.
2. Have a budget
Establishing your budget—and sticking to it—is an important part of any home renovation project. “As contractors, we design our projects to our clients’ budgets. Homeowners need to know what their budget is upfront and be realistic about what they can afford,” architect J.P. Ward of Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John, Maryland told the Washington Post.
3. And then budget some more
You should also add in a contingency cushion for any unexpected or incidental costs you didn’t anticipate. HouseLogic recommends adding a 15 to 20 percent contingency “for the unforeseen problems and changes that occur on every project.”
4. Figure out your financing
According to Zillow.com, most homeowners pay for improvements with either cash or debit (57 percent) or with a credit card they pay off immediately (27 percent). There are three basic types of loan options: cashing out on a mortgage refinance, taking out a home equity loan, or establishing a home equity line of credit (HELOC). HomeLogic suggests that for the vast majority of homeowners, the best way to borrow is via a home equity line of credit, which qualifies for a lower rate than other loan types, and the interest is tax deductible.
If you’re in need of a roof replacement in particular, Long Roofing has convenient financing that fits every homeowner’s budget. Plus, the benefits of company financing often outweigh direct-lender financing.
5. Find good help
To find a contractor you trust, the experts at HouseLogic suggest getting “recommendations for at least three contractors from friends, neighbors, and other tradesmen who you trust. Give each one your project description and specific product lists and request an itemized bid.” In addition, be sure to check references and ask to see examples of recent work.
6. Get it in writing
Putting everything in a contract, including payment schedules and procedures for changes, helps clarify both parties’ expectations at the beginning. “The contract needs the right address, a start date, a completion date, and a detail of what is and is not going to be done,” Rosie Romero, founder of Legacy Custom Builders in Scottsdale, Arizona told Better Homes & Gardens.
7. Declutter and organize
A home renovation is the perfect time to pare down and organize your home. Get rid of unwanted items, move furniture out of the renovation zone, and pack and store nonessentials in a garage or short term storage. “If there is something you use only a few times a year…those items can be stored away in a basement or closet,” professional organizer Debbie Lillard told HGTV.com.
If you’ll be living in your home during the renovations, consider your family’s daily needs and pack essentials accordingly. Houzz recommends using storage that moves, such as a portable covered clothes rail and some lightweight drawers on wheels. Pack everyday necessities in clear, labelled, plastic bins so you can see what’s in them.
8. Pack Away Your Valuables
“A remodeling project is going to affect every room in the house,” A. J. Paron-Wildes, general manager of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in St. Louis Park, Minnesota told Better Homes & Gardens. “The homeowners need to take down pictures, move vases, and pack away valuables before work begins.” Put down paper to protect your hardwood floors, drape furniture with tarps or plastic, and move your valuables to a safe or a safety deposit box offsite.
9. Plan a renovation-free zone
Experts suggest having at least one functional space where your family can spend time together in at least semi-relaxation. “If you opt to stay in the home during renovations, pick a room in the house that is off-limits to everyone but you,” recommend the experts at David Gray Design. “This should be a quiet room where you can go to relax, get work done, etc., and escape the noise and chaos of renovation.”
10. Take a mini vacation
There’s no shame in running away (briefly) from all the dust and destruction, says designer and blogger Cathy Poshusta, who is chronicling her renovation of a 105-year-old farmhouse in Washington on her blog The Grit & Polish. “Give yourself a break when you need it,” she told Architectural Digest. “Renting a hotel room for the night doesn’t cost that much and can give you the renewed energy needed to complete a renovation.”
Want more home renovation tips?
Our number one home renovation tip? Go with the professionals. Whether it’s a new roof, windows, siding or doors, the LONG family of products are the go-to replacement and installation experts for all your home renovation projects. Contact Long Roofing at 866-270-7058 or visit us online to request an estimate.
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