Preparing for a home renovation with eyes wide open

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A home renovation is often compared to childbirth. Anticipation, excitement, and then the seemingly unending pain of bringing a completed remodel into the world.

AppleNews’ Carrol Baker says, “A renovation that runs smoothly, stays within budget, and is completed on time is always a desired outcome.” Then she performs a reality check: things don’t always go according to plan; material availability, weather events, and unforeseen issues that aren’t evident until construction begins can all have an impact on the home renovation.

Of course, communication — no, transparency — is key between ALL parties. Contractors need to inform their clients of the realities — what to expect, how long it will take, as well as a breakdown of contractual payments and potential hitches along the way. No surprises. Over-explaining and disclosures are better than none. And the homeowner needs to be open with the contractor about their expectations and what they can afford.

Finding the right contractor is often half the battle, so how do you begin to vet them? Source a registered contractor (you can go to your state licensing board’s website to check out their track record) and seek genuine credible references from jobs they’ve completed. Satisfied clients are their biggest advertisements. They do, after all, work for profit while working hard to ensure their clients are happy with their work. Your contractor should be no different.

Baker says that the most successful home renovation projects result from excruciating planning and agreement even before that first nail is hammered. She cites a contractor who says when contemplating a home renovation three big questions need to be answered.

(1) Are you and your partner in agreement? Do you want to achieve the same thing?” Each should take the time to create a priority list and then see how well their lists align. Your contractor can often help with this process.

(2) Why are you renovating? To update it aesthetically? To make better use of space? To enlarge it to accommodate guests? To prepare your home for aging-in-place? Now is the time to reverse-engineer your home renovation; by visualizing the end goal you want to achieve, you’ll ensure every decision you make along the way keeps the project pointing in that direction.

(3) How much can you afford? To get the best-value home renovation for the best possible price — value, not cost — looking only at the price tag and not the quality of the goods or services you receive can quickly lead to serious trouble, according to a contractor Baker interviewed. “This law is universal — we all know that you get what you pay for.” Plain and simple, contractors understand what can be done and how much it can be done for. Unless you know what is physically possible as well as the way to achieve it, you can never truly conceive of the price point.

As for planning, it’s in the details. Having an open and honest conversation with your contractor will go a long way toward assuring a stress-free renovation that won’t break the bank.

A safety net is crucial. If you ever watch renovation shows on HGTV, every show host has what is called a “contingency fund” in place for unforeseen events — a financial safety net that can help to soften the blow. “Cost overruns can be mitigated by effectively prioritizing your needs and wants so that if there are additional unforeseen costs, the budget can be trimmed and work rejigged accordingly,” says Baker.

She advises that you check that you’ve covered all necessary permits and regulations before you begin. If you can work with your existing floor plan without adding to your home’s footprint, it reduces costs and planning permits. “Internal walls that are non-structural load-bearing can be removed to open up spaces, increasing light and improving flow and functionality,” adds Baker. “Rejigging and repurposing rooms, such as trimming a generous laundry in an older home, can make space for more storage or a study nook, for example. Think outside the box and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve without adding to the size of your home.”

When renovating, some homeowners start with kitchens and bathrooms thinking over time they’ll add different aspects to the renovation. Others can’t fathom the idea of living in a construction mess with zippered walls and drywall dust for any length of time.

According to experts, while it sounds more palatable, doing a renovation in stages is not always the best course of action. Why? Scheduling trades to come back and forth for different stages inevitably ends up costing more time and money.

Going into a home renovation with both eyes open, agreement between all parties, a contractor who has earned the trust of his former clients, and realistic expectations are all part of the magical elixir that results in a thing of beauty. Oh. And if you don’t use up that contingency fund, prepare yourself for wanting to replace some of your old furniture as well. Then let the housewarming party begin.

AppleNews, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Alpha Loan Group- Alterra Home Loans

14800 Quorum Drive, Suite 110, Dallas TX 75254

Company NMLS: 258527 /133739

Office: 469-628-4544

Cell: 469-628-4544

Email: jc@themortgagegoat.net

Web: http://www.themortgageGOAT.net

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J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

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Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Cell: 469-628-4544


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