When starting a home remodeling project, many people don’t even know where to start. First there’s the question of what to remodel, followed by how to remodel. As a home remodeling professional who has been in the business for 27 years, I have some advice on how to get your home remodeling project off the ground.
First, you need to have a clearly defined plan and scope of work. This means, as a homeowner, you need to make some decisions before you even contact a home remodeling contractor. If you are preparing to meet with multiple companies and expect to get a few quotes for the same project, the project has to be presented in the same way to each contractor.
Each home remodeling company will have its own suggestion on how to improve the project and make additions. By the time you’ve met with four different contractors, you’re looking at estimates for four different projects. Go into the meetings with a clear plan for your home remodeling project, and you may get an estimate for nearly the same project each time. This is important if you’re trying to decide on the best contractor for your home and family.
Every company has its own way of doing things. At the company I work for, we have a clearly defined Project Development process. Whether it’s possible for you to use our company or not doesn’t matter. Try to find a company with a similar process, so you know you’re getting a fair and balanced proposal. This way, your priorities as a homeowner can be met and exceeded.
In the Project Development process, the first thing to consider is the homeowner’s needs, wants and wishes. This makes it easier to prioritize aspects of the project and talk budget. From there, we look at pictures the client may have of projects they have seen and liked, and we discuss the products that will be used in the home remodel. Lastly, we scope out where the project is to be completed and make sure it is actually possible in the space provided.
After we have a clear idea of what the customer wants, we put together a concise scope of work that covers all the items to be included. We consider everything from framing, to electric, to trim. From the scope of work, we produce an estimate that we then present to the customer.
If the customer decides to move forward at that point, we begin drawing plans. A fee, which can be applied toward the building cost, is assessed to cover meetings and design time. We submit 1 to 4 concepts based on the job. We then refine those concept drawings and produce a construction drawing.
After the drawings are finalized, we hold an open house with our subcontractors. From that open house, we will compile the subcontractor bids and produce a final scope of work with a home improvement agreement. That agreement has an exact construction cost attached to it that we can provide to our customer.
At this point, we hope that the client will accept the proposal and move forward with their home improvement project. But, if they don’t for whatever reason, the plans are theirs to work with. It may even help them in the future with other bids.
If you’re thinking of taking on a home remodeling project, this may get you headed in the right direction. There are a lot of practical things to consider when you’re getting started on any home improvement project. I hope you find some of this information useful in your own home remodeling design planning.