Get Organized and Take the Stress Out of Remodeling

by Rachel Laurendeau on September 14, 2012

Many people consider home remodeling to be stressful and taxing. Starting on a home improvement project without an organized plan can be a recipe for disaster. If you aren’t organized, you are setting yourself up for headaches, hassle and, more than likely, overspending. Here are some tips to help keep you on track and stress-free throughout your organized home remodeling.

1. Start by thinking about WHY you are remodeling. Do you want to increase your home’s resale value? Build on an addition for your growing family? Finish your basement so there is somewhere for your teenaged kids to hangout? Or do you desperately need a kitchen remodeling to bring your kitchen into the 21st century? Whatever your answer, will help determine how much time, effort and money you are willing to put into the remodeling and will also determine exactly what the focus will be on.

2. Create a list of wants and then prioritize them – you may want a new kitchen, new bathroom, Jacuzzi tub and media room but you may not be able to take on remodeling on such a grand scale at this time. Figure out what is most important and focus on that for now. The rest can wait.

3. Make a budget and stick to it. (I know, I’ve written about budgets before, but I just can’t say enough about how important it is to go into a home remodeling project with your eyes wide open; not your wallet.) If your project seems to be more expensive than you had originally thought it would be, are there ways to cut costs without cutting corners? For example, you can lay new laminate flooring yourself and save on the installation fees or buy a DIY shed kit instead of hiring someone to build one for you. Do what you can, but know your do-it-yourself limitations and hire professionals for more complex tasks.

4. Before the remodeling process starts, organize the space that you will be working on and figure out how you will manage without these areas of your home while they are under construction. Do you need to move out for a while or just stock up on local take-out menus?

5. Hire the right experts. Get referrals from friends and family, check with the Better Business Bureau and get a few quotes before you sign on the dotted line. Since waiting for tradespeople can really hold up projects, make sure that the people you hire are on the same page as you in terms of completion dates.

6. Get the right building permits, as required. This is self-explanatory and should go without saying. Do you really want to have all of the electrical wiring done in your basement only to have an inspector tell you that is has to be pulled out because it isn’t up to the local building code?

7. Whether you are doing the remodeling yourself or you’ve hired someone to do it for you, pay attention to small details as the project moves forward. You don’t want to miss a crucial step and have to go back.

8. Schedule the workers and try not to have too much stagger time between. The longer the project drags on, the more stressful and chaotic it can become.

9. Finally, and most importantly, be patient and kind with the people you live with. This will benefit you all in the long run. For now, just try to stay organized and keep a good sense of humor about things.

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