So you’re planning a remodeling project. The planning phase can be so exciting as you pick out materials and colors, envisioning how your home will be improved by the work. But when it comes time to start the project, it can feel overwhelming. How do you know you chose the best materials? Will your contractor deliver the expected results? How long will the project take to complete? What if you run into setbacks that impact your budget?
All of these questions can induce some stress. But there are tips you can follow to help make your remodeling project go as smoothly as possible. Luckily, with exterior remodeling projects, your normal life is much less impacted than with an interior makeover. Following these steps will help you communicate clearly with your contractor and prepare for your renovation project.
1. Start with a Plan
Don’t start work with a contractor without a plan in place. It’s important that both of you fully understand the scope of the project so there are no miscommunications or surprises. If you are tackling a big project or have several projects that need to be done (both siding and windows, for example), it may be best to tackle the project in stages. This might look like doing only the windows on the first story of your home to start with, or doing the windows on the side of your home that is most susceptible to weather. Or perhaps doing first the windows, then the siding at a later time.
Breaking your project into steps like this can help you budget for the project over time. Another benefit is that you can choose to start with the projects that have the highest return on investment first. This means that you will be getting the most bang for your buck early on. Include your contractor in this discussion so they are aware of your plan and can educate you on how different options may impact your overall price for the project or projects.
2. First Fix Problems, Then Make Improvements
If your home has any glaring issues, these should be addressed first. These might include guttering that is not functioning properly, causing water to pool near your home’s foundation, or perhaps windows that are creating condensation collection in between panes or even in your walls. Or perhaps you have damaged siding that has allowed pest infestations to occur. Any of these are problems that can cause permanent damage to your home and should be considered a top priority when utilizing your budget for home renovations.
After problems have been addressed, it’s then time to see what improvements can be made with your budget. Do you want to upgrade your siding to something more durable and energy-efficient? Do you want to add windows that better match your home’s style and don’t allow drafts in? Does your entry door need a fresh look or better security measures? This is the point where you can get creative and really make your home beautiful, while also improving the value of your home for future generations or for the day when you might sell it.
3. Consider Contractors Carefully
When choosing the contractor who will complete your remodel, you will be much happier in the long run if you do your homework first. The contractor you hire should be recognized in your community for the following qualities:
- Excellent customer service both before, during, and after a project
- Listens to your ideas and concerns
- Is clear about the cost of your project and project materials
- Communicates frequently about the status of your project and timeline
- High quality work that stands the test of time and is on par with industry standards
- High quality materials that provide your home with lasting benefits.
You can identify contractors that fit this bill by reading reviews online and asking for recommendations from neighbors. While this can be time-consuming before your project event starts, it is something that will save you a lot of headaches, not only during the completion of your project but for years to come. These are qualities that we work diligently to deliver to our customers. If you would like to work with us, contact us about your project.
4. Plan your Project By the Seasons
Any home project means there will be extra traffic in and out of your home. It’s best to plan this around the seasons so you don’t have your home exposed to the cold as new windows are installed or are having people track mud or snow in your home. A good contractor can implement measures to help with these concerns, such as isolating certain areas of the home they are working on, using shoe booties to keep your home cleaner, and hanging plastic sheeting.
5. Consider Maintenance
As your project takes shape, it’s important to think about the long-term effects of your remodeling choices. Are the materials and designs you choose going to be easy to care for, or will they require frequent cleaning or repair? Are you willing to pay a little more for materials that require less maintenance and are longer-lasting? Choosing materials that stand up to our frequently changing Kansas weather, are resistant to sun damage or cold and ice, and are sturdy enough to handle wear and tear will keep your home renovations looking like the day they were installed. These considerations will help you appreciate the improvements in the long run and make good investments with your time and budget.
6. Energy Efficiency Pays Off
Another factor to consider when choosing materials for your renovation is energy efficiency. This is particularly important in our local Kansas climate where we are sometimes subject to all four seasons in a single day! Protecting your home from exterior temperature changes by using windows, doors, siding, and roofing that is insulating will decrease your heating and cooling bills and keep your home more comfortable year-round.
7. Don’t Skip the Curb Appeal
With all of these considerations to make, your original dream of what your home would look like may go by the wayside as you just want to “stop making decisions.” This is a common feeling homeowners experience as they embark on a project. Your contractor should help guide you through the process to lessen the stress of all these choices. Remember, if you have chosen high-quality materials and a good contractor, this is something you will only do once, so you’ll want to put in the extra effort to achieve the style you imagined. Plus, curb appeal and the little extras that make your home unique and beautiful are what will increase your satisfaction with the project and will set it apart if it comes time to sell.
8. Preparing Your Home for Renovations
There are several steps you can take in your home once the project is due to start that will help keep your home protected from the dust and debris of construction.
- Remove drapes and curtain hardware from any construction areas.
- Protect furniture with sheets or drop cloths.
- Remove any furniture, decorations, house plants, rugs, and belongings from areas that are directly near a worksite area.
- Close or cover HVAC vents and returns to minimize dust being transported throughout your home.
- Discuss any extra precautions that need to be covered with your contractor
It’s also a great idea to discuss your pets with your contractor. Home renovations can be a stressful time for animals in your home. If you have pets that need to be contained in the home, it will be important to discuss this with your contractor so your pets don’t accidentally escape amidst all the extra coming and going. If you have pets that are particularly agitated by strangers in the home, you may want to consider how you can contain them in a safe place away from worksites.
Communicate with your Contractor
Most importantly, talk to your contractor and keep open lines of communication. Your remodeling company may also have tips and ideas about how to best prepare for your renovation project. Asking plenty of questions will keep you both on the same page with your expectations and make “surviving” the renovation process much easier.