Before Your Next Home Improvement Project…8 Tips from the Pros

blog-photo-01Summer is coming, and with it the sunny skies and long days perfect for home improvement. (And popsicles, of course. Lots of popsicles.) Whether it’s the promise of barbecues with friends tempting you to finally get a quote on that patio project you’ve been fantasizing about, or the high noon sun revealing too many of the imperfections in your outdated kitchen, the hazy, crazy days of summer can be anything but lazy if you’ve got remodeling on the brain.

Below you’ll find some tips from the professionals at Schrader and Company, Inc. to help you visualize your ideal home improvement project, hire the best professionals to work with you, and insider tidbits to make your goals a reality.

1) Dream a little dream.
This is the fun part. What does your dream house look like? What type of architectural and design styles appeal to you? Home and decorating magazines and websites, Pinterest, design apps, and home shows are all great resources to help you determine what kind of design style you prefer. Look at photos and save the ones that catch your eye the most. Label features of the photos. Are there common design themes across the images you’ve collected?

2) First Things First.
Prioritize your desires. A whole house renovation does not always have to happen as one project. Budget constraints and logistics can force homeowner to remodel one area of a home at a time. There is nothing wrong with creating your dream home in stages. Are you the next Julia Child? Maybe your kitchen should come first. Growing your family? Perhaps an addition with extra bedrooms or a family room makes the most sense.

3) Count Your Pennies.
Consider a budget range prior to contacting a designer or remodeler. How much do you want to invest in your home? A good resource to gain an understanding of renovation cost is the “Cost Versus Value” report provided by Remodeling Magazine. This report is available online here.

4) Find a Pro in the Knowblog-photo-02
Contact a design and building professional. If you have had a good experience with a designer and/or remodeler in the past, use them again. When it comes to working in your home and around your possessions it’s best to work with a company you know and trust. If you do not have a design or remodeling professional that you have used in the past, consider contacting your local Builders Association for a list of members. Review websites, ask for references, visit their facility, and understand how they conduct business.

5) Caveat Emptor
When it comes time to hire your chosen professional, avoid considering cost alone. You get what you pay for, and there are plenty of contractors out there willing to do cheap work for a cheap price. Be sure you are comfortable with who you are hiring not only for their price but for their reputation, quality of work, and the respect they extend to you as their client.

6) All-Inclusive
Consider Remodelers that offer Design/Build Services. The design/build system is a particularly advantageous program for home owners. The design professional teams up with the remodelers and owners to create a cohesive design team. The project is designed, specified, and budgeted concurrently.

7) On the Dotted Lineblog-photo-03
Make sure your remodeling work is clearly identified in a proposal. Be clear on what you are getting in all aspects; types of materials that will be used, timeline for the project, potential outside costs, etc. A good remodeler will be happy to answer any and all of your questions.

8) Ready, Steady, Go
Prepare yourself for your home remodeling project. These endeavors are always exciting at first but there may come a time when even the best remodelers become less welcome during a construction project. Hiring a company that understands the stresses associated with the disruption of a remodeling project will help diminish the tension. Remember, the construction phase is temporary. The beautiful results will last for many years to come.