May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted remodeling tips everyday (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of “must-knows” from the experts here at Bartelt.
Talk to friends and family who have been through the remodeling process. Time spent listening to others’ experiences will give you a better understanding of the realities of remodeling. They can offer advice, recommendations, and insight about what they wish they would have known going into their remodel.
Prioritize your needs, wants, and wishes for your project, so you can establish a realistic budget.
Meet with a couple of contractors, but no more than two to three. Talking to too many people can lead to paralysis of analysis. Choose the contractor you feel most comfortable with; you’re building a long-term relationship. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Check out questions NARI recommends asking here.
Start gathering inspiration photos for your remodel. These images help you introduce your style and wishes for your home to the designer. Houzz is a great resource to search for and organize your ideas. You can also ask questions about products or materials and share your ideabooks with others.
As much as we all enjoy a good before and after show, programs on stations, such as HGTV, can set unrealistic expectations when it comes to a project’s budget, timeline, and process. Watch these shows for entertainment or inspiration, but be aware that they are far from reality.
The time is now! There’s no better time than the present to get your 2013 remodeling plans and ideas on paper and priced out. Lumber pricing is increasing substantially with no end in sight for the remainder of the year. Once we sign a contract with our customers, we can lock in the pricing and hedge potential surprises in terms of a material price increase.
Hire an experienced designer and establish a strong relationship. Our in-house designers guide the process, solve spatial problems creatively, and educate you on the vast material options available. Meet our designers, Matt and Mary, here!
Work with an interior designer to make selections. Choosing products and materials can be an overwhelming process, sometimes extending the project’s timeline if not done properly. Our interior designer, Mary, works with you to choose items based on quality, function, price, and style. She also helps homeowners stay on task and select products to create a cohesive design.
Remember: Form follows function. Although it’s fun to envision the “look” of your remodel, it’s important to truly evaluate how you live in your spaces. Where are the high traffic areas? What works in each room and what doesn’t? Once you’ve addressed the flow and layout of the room, you can focus on those fun details to showcase your personality.
Establish a communication plan. Your remodeler should lay out the plan from the start. If not, make sure to set expectations for communication methods, frequency, and availability. Also, clarify who you should be talking to on a regular basis. At Bartelt, our production team works diligently to keep the lines of communication open. For most projects, Rick Bartelt, the designer, and the production manager meet with you on-site on a weekly basis to review progress and discuss the next steps.
Before you proceed and fall in love with a design, have a concrete budget and be honest with your contractor. Once we know what you are able to comfortably invest in your project, we can analyze your needs, wants, and wishes list to see what will realistically fit into that number. We don’t want to present plans that don’t work with your budget because it can lead to disappointment.