More and more homeowners are making the decision to stay in their homes longer, and invest on periodic upgrades, necessary repairs and the occasional room renovation. However, any home renovation – from a simple bathroom remodel to a complete room addition – can seem like both an exciting AND daunting undertaking for most homeowners. At Highlight Home Restoration, we’ve made a business out of making that home improvement project even MORE exciting than you imagined – while virtually eliminating the “daunting” aspect altogether. We truly want to make the choice to remodel as easy a decision as possible for you, so we’ve outlined ten easy steps – from start to finish, aptly titled “Remodeling 101″. If, when you’re done reading our list, you think “Hey, we can do that!” – step #11 should be to give us a call. We can get started on transforming your rooms into living spaces where you and your family can make memories together for years to come!
- Establish a Goal: What do you hope to accomplish with your upcoming renovation project? Does your family need more space to spread out or grow? Do you want to open up your existing floor plan? Do you need to update the look of your home? Do you wish to add energy efficient products, windows, doors, etc. that are eco-friendly and will save you money by lowering energy costs and a nice tax rebate? Write it all down on a piece of paper to help you better determine your wants and needs for this project.
- Do Your Homework: Once you’ve established your goal and have a general idea of what you’d like to accomplish with your home improvement project, begin flipping through magazines, visit different home improvement websites, watch home improvement shows (without getting too caught up in the romantic notion that you can go it alone – see our blog “DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor”) and tour new construction homes. Take good notes, print/cut out pictures, take photos, etc. and keep your own scrapbook. This will help you develop an excellent mental image of what you’d like your project to look like.
- Determine a budget: It’s good to have a range and a REALISTIC idea of how much you can spend on any given project. Depending on the size and scope of your project, this may involve a cash outlay or a bank loan to get the job done. Think in terms of the number of people who will be working on your project/man hours, materials, design, quality, etc.
- Where’s the money coming from?: Once you’ve got a fairly good idea of what you are comfortable paying for this project, you need to determine HOW you plan to pay for it. If you’ve saved your pennies and plan to pay in cash – GOOD FOR YOU! However, 90% of Americans obtain some sort of financing in order to complete home improvement projects – so if you fall into this category, you are not alone. Many homeowners view the need for occasional home improvements as a wise investment in not just the resale value of their home, but also in the enjoyment level for their families. You may want to begin the process of securing a loan right away, so there are no surprises down the road once the project has begun.
- Put Your Plan on Paper: Your average, everyday homeowner doesn’t always possess the skills necessary to draw up a set of blueprints. For larger projects, most people require the aid of an architect to develop a set of plans to build from. Because Highlight Home Restoration is a division of Atlanta builder, Highlight Homes – we have a talented architect on staff who will listen carefully to your wants and needs, then design something truly amazing based on your vision. There’s no need to hire a separate architect or designer!
- It’s About Quality, Not Quantity: This is perhaps your most important step of all – finding a GOOD builder to complete your project for you. Needless to say, we’d love nothing more than for you to choose Highlight Home Restoration – but we understand the need to research other builders and receive a number of bids, references, etc. Make certain to request copies of their insurance, and find out if they are fully registered and licensed (like us!) Once you have all the bids in hand, try to fight the urge to go with the builder who is the cheapest – and consider instead who falls within your budget limitations, who you had the best rapport with and who you feel will do the best job. Unfortunately, some builders will come in with a low price and slowly up the ante with last minute change orders for items they “forgot” to include in their original bid. While it is impossible to account for every situation that may occur in a home renovation or addition, and there may be a change order or two in your future – this should be the exception and not the rule. BE CAREFUL!
- Obtain the Necessary Permits: Highlight Homes/Highlight Home Restoration can aid in determining the permits you will need for any given project and help acquire them for you. A step that many Do It Yourselfers may miss is that for any home improvement project, it is imperative under the law that you always obtain a building permit. Permits will also serve to protect you and give you the guarantee that things are constructed according to Local, State & National building codes.
- Complete a Check List: At Highlight Home Restoration, we’re not happy until you’re happy! Once the project is complete, request an official walk through with your project supervisor to make sure that everything is done to your liking. In the event that anything does not meet with your complete satisfaction, make a list of any items that need to be addressed and we will agree on a completion date.
- Call Your Insurance Company: Once the project has been completed, you will need to contact your insurance carrier and let them know about the changes you have made to your home. You may need to increase the value of your policy to make sure your investment is insured in case of fire, flood or other disaster.
- Help Spread the Word: The latest statistics say that most builders rely on word of mouth for an estimated 85% of their business. If you’re happy with the work we did, we simply ask that you help us out by telling your friends and family about us. Not only will we be thankful for it, but your friends and family will be, too!
That’s remodeling in a nutshell! It doesn’t include word one about the excitement you’ll feel as you work with the designer to put your visions on paper, and then watch that vision become a reality within your own home. It says nothing about the hours, days, weeks and years of enjoyment you and your family will get out of the new space you’ve created. It doesn’t mention the fact that you will make your home seem new again and guests will suddenly see your home in an entirely new light. As you can see from the steps above, getting started is easy! We invite you to complete steps 1-4 on your own, then contact Highlight Home Restoration and we can help you with the rest! Fill out our online contact form found on our website (http://www.highlighthomesga.com), e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (678) 873-9234.