How to Prepare for a Home Remodel

Whether you hire a contractor or embark on a DIY remodel, there are some essential steps to ensuring a successful home reno. 

Run the Numbers

Regardless of how deep your pockets are, you need to estimate the overall cost of the project, materials and labor included. 

Whether you hire a contractor or embark on a DIY remodel, there are some essential steps to ensuring a successful home reno. 

You should figure in extra to cover unforeseen expenses and delays. There’s nothing worse than having to stop a project because your money has run out. 

Picking a Contractor

If you’re hiring a contractor, interview as many as makes sense. Ask for references, and check their work carefully. 

We recommend asking for referrals from friends and colleagues. When people are happy with the final product, they’ll happily promote the contractor that did the work. 

A lot of our clients come from referrals. Conduct interviews well in advance of when you want the work to begin. Have a clear outline of the work you want done and the budget you have to do it. Being clear upfront and putting it all in writing will eliminate problems down the road. 

Coming to Terms

Once you’ve selected your contractor, stick to your budget and make sure they do too. Some contractors like to bid low and charge later. To ensure this doesn’t happen, review your agreement with your contractor carefully before signing it.  

Agree on a payment structure. Paying all upfront is dangerous, especially if costs run over budget or, worse, your contractor never finishes the job. We’ve come across angry homeowners desperate for someone to complete a project that their previous contractor left undone. 

Home Loans

Remember, applying for a home equity loan or an equity line of credit is a great way to finance a remodel, especially big renovations. When a loan is used for home improvements, you can deduct the interest, including your mortgage. 


If you plan to DIY, then your budgeting is slightly different. 

Tools, fixtures, flooring and other materials add up. Professionals often get discounts that the do-it-yourselfers don’t receive. 

And then there’s the possibility that you might have to hire a professional to complete specific tasks. Consider when you’ll need the pros to come in, or at least set aside extra if you encounter a problem and need to hire someone at the last minute.

Hire a Pro to Check Your Work

Even the best builder needs someone to review their work. We recommend having a contractor you trust check your work. They’ll provide valuable input, offer advice and help steer you away from costly mistakes. 

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