Renovating one’s home has nearly overtaken baseball as the great American pastime. A lot of money can be saved by buying a fixer-upper, described by a realtor as a handyman’s special, and then doing the work yourself. If you have ever upgraded your bathroom toilet or replaced your kitchen appliances for newer, more energy efficient models, then you know what it’s like to remodel.
Undergoing a home renovation project, no matter how big or small, is an adventure that provides fodder for stories that you will be telling future generations. You can make sure that your stories have happy endings when you take steps to avoid getting burned out midway through the process. Renovation burnout is a big deal, and it is the number one reason why homeowners face time issues and budget problems while fixing up their home.
Kitchen remodeling is the most popular type of renovation that people tackle while owning their own home or other residence. According to the attorneys general and the Better Business Bureau, it is also the reason behind most of the remodeling-related complaints. When you get recommendations, friends and family are the most popular source as they are people who you talk to frequently.
You should also check out the reviews on the contractor’s social media pages, like Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn. This will show a higher number of reviews from nonbiased people. Look for comments pertaining to things such as: budget, materials, progress, delays, and mistakes. While there are two sides to every online review, you will feel better hiring someone who has a lot of 5-star reviews from customers who are happy with the end result of their renovation project.
What to Ask when Planning Your Kitchen
When planning your new kitchen, first meet with a kitchen planner. Take them a scale drawing of your kitchen. The National Kitchen and Bath Association has a program you can use to create a 3-D version of your kitchen. You can try the feature for free, and then if you like it pay for additional services. You also need to have your wish list, such as more space or an island with a granite countertop. Also be prepared to answer these questions:
- How often do you use your family’s kitchen?
- How many people cook in your family’s kitchen at the same time?
- What types of cooking do you use the most in your family’s kitchen?
- What other activities take place in your family’s kitchen?
- How much entertaining takes place within your family’s kitchen?
Good contractors are often busy, but they are also well worth the wait for their services. Try to schedule your plans around the general contractor worth waiting for instead of forcing him to fit his work schedule around your plans. Once your contractor starts the job, it helps to keep a cooler of bottled water or a coffee pot filled with piping hot java on hand. You don’t have to send out for their lunch every day, but paying a little extra attention will really go a long way.
Stay out of the way of your contractor and his crew. If you hired someone with a stellar reputation, then it is not necessary that you micromanage the job. Keep your children and your family’s pets out of their way, too. Not only does it create distractions and interruptions that slows down the progress of their work, but it also could pose a safety hazard depending on what tools and materials that they are using at the time.
Saving Your Budget from Bottoming Out
One of the best ways to cut corners on your budget without sacrificing materials or time, is to work with what you have in your kitchen. Before you take a sledgehammer to the Formica counter tops, see if you can cover them with expensive-looking granite tile. It offers a lot of the same benefits of granite countertops without the hefty price tag. That is just one example, however, as your kitchen may offer more ways to save money through renovating it.
Another way to save money is to go for energy efficient appliances. The best ones in this category will even contain an Energy Star rating. These appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators, may not be the cheapest ones in the DIY home improvement store right now. However these appliances will save you a bundle on the utility costs that are required to operate them over a long period of time. Do not forget safety features, like a stove with knobs out of the reach of children, as well.