By: Paul Zuch, Capital Renovations Group President
With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us, it’s a great time to start planning your remodeling project. Depending on the size and scope of your project, it can take several months to complete designs, product selections, budget estimates, trade bids and permitting.
If you have hopes of building that spectacular outdoor living space or renovating that outdated pool in time to enjoy this summer, you better get started now.
Get a jump on any plans to renovate your interior spaces as well. If you’re considering tackling that new gourmet kitchen, creating a spa-like master bath or building a room addition for your expanding family, the same early planning rules apply. You don’t want start the process after the kids return to school next August if you have expectations of having family over during the next holiday season!
Many homeowners tell us they have no idea how to get started and what the design and construction process entails? We have assembled a list of five questions we hear from prospective clients and practical answers that will help you navigate the design-build remodeling process.
2. How do we determine a realistic budget that we are comfortable with?
|1. Do we need to hire an architect or interior designer for our project?|
|A. It depends. If you’re planning an addition or a major remodel that involves moving walls, chances are that you’ll need an architect and ideally an interior designer as well. Some of the larger design-build remodelers have an architect or designer on staff. Many reputable design-build remodelers partner with local architects and designers to bring that team approach to their clients. A professional remodeler can assess your particular project and help determine the best approach for you. Many interior cosmetic remodels don’t require an architect, but a good interior designer is essential to the success of any project and should be considered.|
|2. How do we determine a realistic budget that we are comfortable with?|
|A. Honestly, it’s very difficult to know how much a project will cost until plans and specifications are produced. A seasoned remodeler should be able to provide you with a ballpark budget range for your project based on similar completed projects. In most cases, this can be done before you are required to make a commitment to engage a design team.Another approach is for you to ask a friend or neighbor that has recently done a similar project with a reputable contractor what their project cost. In either case, you will need to determine what you can afford or what you’re willing to invest in your home. I recommend that you determine a reasonable budget and a stretch budget to allow for special upgrades you may want to incorporate.|
|3. Where do I find a trustworthy professional contractor that is properly trained and qualified to handle my specific project?|
|A. It seems everyone knows a contractor, but fewer folks will actually refer a contractor to a friend, neighbor or coworker. Direct referrals from a trusted resource are always a good place to start. Just make sure the contractor is capable of handling projects similar to yours. Another great source for reputable contractors is the local remodeler’s trade association NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) of Greater Dallas www.naridallas.org Members pledge to conduct their business in a professional manner, resolve any complaints quickly and maintain proper licenses and insurance.|
|4. Will we have to move out during the renovation or can we continue living in the house during construction?|
|A. Once again, it depends. Major interior projects that involve work in several areas of the house are most likely good candidates for moving out during the remodel. Many single room projects can be isolated from living space during construction with minimal disruption while living in your home. Ask your contractor to provide you with a plan of how they would approach your project and how to ensure that your family, property & valuables will be protected during the remodel.|
|5. How long will my project take to complete?|
|A. Every project, client and circumstance is different, but a seasoned contractor can provide anticipated project duration early in the process. A detailed project schedule should be provided before construction begins and regular updates provided throughout the project. This is a great question to ask contractors during the interview process.|
Bottom line: It takes planning with a team of trusted professionals to make sure your home remodeling project is successful.