Beginning a major renovation project can feel overwhelming. There are many decisions to make and plenty of potential pitfalls, but we’re here to help. Consider the following steps as you get started on your project, so you can make the best decisions for you and your home.

1. Identify your goals

Before you define the scope of your project, consider the big picture: What’s the primary goal of this project?

Identifying the core reasons why you want to remodel helps your design and construction teams rally around the same cause. For example, a common goal might be to make your kitchen, living, and dining rooms more functional. Together, we can strategize on a remodel that brings more light into the space, makes it easier to have conversations across rooms, or gets rid of that unused formal dining room.

Knowing your primary goal makes it easy for your team to recommend what to invest in, or where you might find the most savings. For example, if you intend to sell your home in a few years, you’ll want to consider projects that will add the most value to your property.

Regardless of why you choose to renovate, understanding where to start will help lay the foundation for a successful renovation. It’s a good idea to take out a sheet a paper and make a list of things you need, things you want, and things you could do without. Your project scope might change over time, but having a list of goals to refer back to can help keep you focused on what really matters.

2. Gather ideas and inspiration 

Before any plans are drafted, we recommend getting a clear sense of what you want your new space to look and feel like. This helps you — as well as your design and construction teams — define the project and provide a more detailed quote.

We recommend starting online. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest make it easy to way to explore design trends, organize your ideas, develop color schemes, and get inspired before starting your project.

Similarly, visiting local showrooms is a great way to visualize what different finishes and fixtures look like and feel like in person. Showrooms are designed to help people not only see how they want their space to look but experience it with real staging.

The more you have an understanding of what you do like, you can weed out what you don’t like and feel confident in your design decisions moving forward.

3. Talk to professionals

If you’re relatively new to remodeling, meeting with a general contractor can give you a better understanding of what to expect during the initial planning and construction phases of the project.

  • How much your project might cost
  • How long your project might take
  • If your project requires permits
  • If you need to hire an architect, interior designer, or engineer to plan the new space
  • Unknowns that might affect the project cost or timeline

A home remodel takes a lot of investment and it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a professional that can guide you on your journey. You don’t want to lose money or waste time because you didn’t gather enough valuable information for your project.

For instance, as a way to reduce costs, some homeowners elect to manage major renovations themselves. However, we don’t recommend this approach. Pulling permits, staying on top of each trades’ work schedule, scheduling inspections, and managing your budget will quickly become a full-time job. That’s why, at Pro.com, we assign every client a dedicated project manager to take care of the overall planning and day-to-day tasks on your behalf.

4. Set a budget

Your budget lets you know what you can and can’t do and who you can afford to pay to do it. With that said, your budget needs to consider the scope of the project so that you can project accurate numbers.

To gather data about costs, it’s a good idea to talk to professionals to get a ballpark figure. Most professionals have worked on multiple renovations and therefore, can give you a good prediction of what you could expect to shell out for your project. Additionally, you will benefit from conducting research online using multiple sources. Thus, you get a good idea of how much your renovations will cost you.

If you need help with understanding your costs, we recommend this site to get you started.

5. Consider financing options

Once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to start talking to lenders to consider your financing options. For a whole home remodel, it’s likely you won’t have all the money you need in savings, which is why looking towards lending options is important. There are many financing options available with favorable interest rates. Common financing options include:

  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
  • Home Equity Loan
  • FHA 203(k) Loans
  • Cash-out Refinance
  • Personal Loan

It’s important to note that every financing option has its advantages and disadvantages. With that said, when inquiring about lending options, it’s important to take your needs and current financial status into consideration. We cover more of the nuances in our guide to financing a remodel.

6. Hire a general contractor

Business - home remodel
Construction materials ready to use for a home remodel.

Once you’ve laid the foundation for your home remodel project and have a plan to finance your project, it’s time to hire. There are many contractors available that can help you meet your renovation goals. However, it pays to explore and vet your options carefully.

This means collecting bids to compare prices and vetting credentials to ensure they are prepared to take on your job. Once you’ve found the right contractor for your project, you need to ensure that you get your contract all in writing.  For more tips, check our guide to hiring a general contractor.

Ready to remodel?

If you are preparing for a home remodel and are in need of a contractor to help bring your ideas to life, contact Pro.com for a free quote.

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