Seven tips for those looking to remodel

So you’ve finally decided to tackle that remodeling or home improvement project that you’ve been putting off for years. It’s a big commitment, and often, a big investment. Chances are you’ve heard horror stories about remodeling projects gone wrong. It can happen, but there are ways to minimize the risks. Here are seven tips for a remodeling project that is smooth sailing.

Plan carefully
Perhaps the biggest mistake homeowners make when it comes to remodeling is failing to plan adequately. It’s understandable that you’re anxious to get this project you’ve been dreaming of done. But don’t let that make you rush into a project unprepared. Depending on the scope of the project you should spend weeks or even months planning the entire remodel out on paper to the minutest detail before any of the actual work begins.

Don’t cut corners
A remodel can take a long time, don’t be so anxious to finish that you cut corners. If you uncover a problem during the course of the project, don’t sweep it under the rug. Setbacks are a part of the process, take the necessary time to do the project right.

Know when to call the professionals
Doing a remodel yourself is admirable. But for some projects, doing it alone can even be more expensive than calling in the pros if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re making costly mistakes. Be humble enough to admit when you need help and call the professionals.

No half-measures
Don’t keep putting money into things that ultimately need to be replaced. If your roof has more patches than original shingles, stop paying to patch it up and invest in a new roof.

Ask friends to help
If there’s an aspect of your remodel that doesn’t require a lot of expertise, such as painting the home’s interior, don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help. Throw a painting party, order a few pizzas and watch the work get done in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to do the work yourself.

Do your research
If you’re attempting a do-it-yourself project that requires some know-how, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to do the research. You can consult reference books or online video tutorials—however you want to do it. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before you try doing it.

Hire the right contractors
If you are planning on bringing in contractors to do the work, make sure to hire the right people. Don’t automatically go with the lowest bid. Investigate prospective contractors. Find out how many years of experience they have. Make sure they have the proper licenses, permits, and insurance to do the work.

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