Home Renovation 101: 10 Tips for Remodeling Your New Home

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Many people find the prospect of buying a new home exciting because it lets them do a home renovation. You get to put your stamp on the space and make it your home instead of a home.

As exciting as the home remodeling process can be, you still want the best results for your money. So, keep reading for some home renovation tips that will let build your dream home.

  1. Don’t Rush the Process

After buying a new home, many homeowners jump into the home renovating process immediately. This strategy doesn’t always work out quite the way people expect.

Every home has a certain character that you can only learn about by living in the space. If you can, actually live in the house for a few months before you start your renovation planning. You may discover that the house needs extra storage more than it needs a furnished basement or new flooring more than it needs new appliances.

  1. Budget for Renovations

One of the most common mistakes people make during renovations is not building in a buffer for cost overruns. Unfortunately, overruns happen on virtually every renovation project for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Material cost changes
  • Changes in project scope
  • Changes in material/product selection
  • Unknown problems on-site

Take a ruthless look at your finances and set a hard cap on your renovation budget. Then, subtract 20% from that number to get your actual renovation budget. This gives you a cushion for those cost overruns that are nearly guaranteed to happen.

  1. Do Your Research

As a general rule, you should let home renovation contractors handle the purchase of raw materials for the work. They can almost always negotiate a better deal on lumber, tile, and sundries.

When it comes to finishing touches, though, you should take the reins. In most cases, you can find those drool-worthy, high-ticket items for a much lower cost than a straight retail purchase. For example, many “scratch-and-ding” appliances offer you name brand quality with virtually non-existent cosmetic flaws.

  1. Hire the Right Help

It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of hiring the right help when moving to a new home or renovating one.

You should investigate the local contractors, architects, and designers. Speak with their previous clients. Visit buildings they designed or built.

All of this research helps you get a better picture of whether you’ll get a reliable partner in the process or someone who wants a quick buck for shoddy work.

  1. Focus Your Efforts

Not every new homeowner can afford a full home renovation. This can lead to half-measures such as doing a little work in every room. These efforts routinely leave no one satisfied.

If you can’t do the whole house, focus on one or two rooms. If your new home has issues in high-traffic areas where functionality matters, such as a kitchen, start there. Otherwise, work on one or two rooms where you plan to spend a lot of time.

  1. Schedule Smart

Contractors experience their busy season during the summer and early fall, which makes those the worst times to schedule interior renovation. By contrast, contracting works falls off substantially in late winter and early spring.

If you can wait until then for your renovation, you’ll get a more attentive contractor. You might even talk them into a discount.

  1. Ask All the Questions

Never forget that you’re the customer. If you don’t understand something, ask about it. A good designer or contractor will answer all of your questions.

In fact, take it as a warning sign if your designer or contractor blows off your questions or can’t provide good answers. Justifying costs or decisions is part of their job.

  1. Keep Valuables Safe

Contractors typically run honest crews, but you can never know for sure what anyone faces at any given time. While you can’t reasonably clear out all of your electronics, you can take steps to minimize temptation.

Lock up any expensive jewelry and important paperwork, like passports and birth certificates. You can get a safe for your home or get a safety deposit box at a local bank.

Don’t leave cash sitting around on counters or desks.

  1. Know Your Measurements

For most homeowners, part of the renovation process is new furniture. Furniture shopping is a lot of fun for most homeowners, but you should approach it with measurements in hand.

For example, you should know the space available in your bedroom for a new bed. Ponying up for a California King won’t make any sense if you can’t assemble it in your bedroom.