How to Start A Home Remodeling Project
Beautifully remodeled bathroom

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had it. 

You’ve had it with your kitchen, which is too cramped for more than one person.

Or you’ve had it with your tiny bathroom that makes bedtime routines even more of a nightmare.

Maybe you’ve looked at your outdated, “my-grandma-picked-this-wallpaper” guest bedroom and shook your head for the last time. 

Whatever it is, you know it’s time for a change in your home—and not just a new coat of paint. You’ve watched enough HGTV by now to know that you want to remodel. You’re ready to call Chip and Joanna and tell them you’ve had it! 

But not so fast! The idea of remodeling part of your home is exciting, but don’t pick up a sledgehammer—or even the telephone—just yet. First, you’re going to want to know how to start a home remodeling project. And the process starts long before the tools come out. 

In this blog, we’ll give you expert advice on how to start a home remodeling project. This step-by-step guide will be your roadmap to a successful home remodel that you and your family can be proud of. 

1. Ask the Right Questions

General contractor choosing color in color swatch samples chart for house coloring selection in office with blueprint. Construction concept.

When you’re getting ready to tear down some walls, you’ll need to ask more questions than simply, “How to start a home remodeling project.” When you clearly answer the following questions, you can communicate better with your future contractor, set measurable goals, and plan a reliable budget. 

Why do I want to remodel? 

We covered a few house headaches in the intro, but you might have a long list of why you want to remodel part of your home. Most people do! Narrow your list down to a few simple issues. These could include: 

  • Size. When you have growing kids or simply want more usable space for entertaining, the size of a room can be a pain point for many homeowners. 
  • Outdated design. If your house is old or hasn’t been remodeled before, some aspects might be outdated with trends that are long gone, like an outdated floorplan or decades-old design.
  • Worn-out appearance. Daily wear and tear can show up all over your home, especially in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Unused space. Attics and basements can feel like wasted space when they’re only full of cobwebs and mildew. 

Should I remodel or move? 

This is a good question to ask before you remodel as well. Remodeling takes a lot of time and money, and if it’s not worth it to fix your space, you might want to consider moving instead. However, remodeling your home adds value to your home by up to 50% or more, and in an uncertain housing market, it may be best to stay put. 

What part of my home do I want to remodel? 

If you’ve gotten this far, you might have a pretty good idea of what you want to remodel. However, at VADA Contracting, we’ve had clients who start remodeling only to find other parts of their homes they want to remodel as they go! Think through exactly which rooms you want to remodel before making a plan. That way, you won’t have as many surprise expenses or delayed timelines. 

Is this the right time? 

You might be thinking of remodeling your bathroom…but it’s the middle of winter. Weather isn’t always a determining factor for whether or not contractors can do the work, but the time of year you remodel might have an impact on your timeline or even your budget. You might also want to consider if now is the right time for your family. Are you in a good stage of life to remodel? For example, it might not be a good time to undergo a noisy remodel if you have a newborn or young toddler, or if all your kids are home from college at the same time. Also, do you have enough money saved to make a remodel feasible? If you don’t have the money to spend, you might want to hold off and save up until you do. 

2. Clarify Your Goals

Now that you’ve answered the above questions, you can start clarifying your goals for your home remodel. This is the time to dream! (We’ll get to the more practical stuff later.) When you clarify goals for yourself, you can get a better idea of exactly what you want, and then scale it to work with your budget. Here are a few tips to help you get started. 

  • Decide how you want to use your space. Transforming a playroom to a guest room? Adding space to your kitchen counters for better entertaining? Installing double sinks in your master bathroom? Think through how you want to use your space and what it will need for your family to get the most out of it.
  • Gather design inspiration. Scour Google and Pinterest for style and design inspiration that fits your family and the flow of your home. You can even watch some HGTV for pointers—however, remember that home renovations on TV don’t always reflect reality! 
  • Find the fit. Consider how you want the room to work in your space. Will it involve tearing down a wall? How will the space flow with the style and floorplan of the rest of your home? 

3. Solidify Your Budget

You’ve had time to dream—now it’s time to get to the nuts and bolts of your remodel. This is where the rubber meets the road and you have to be realistic about what your budget will allow you to do. It might mean making sacrifices, but in the end, you’ll still have a beautifully renovated space your family will love.

This is the point in the process where you should decide a budget that is realistic for this remodel. If your contractor has given you an estimate for the work, that might help you determine what you are willing to sacrifice in your design. Then, confirm the budget with your contractor. 

Here are a few more things to consider when planning your budget: 

  • Sources of payment: Most contractors will accept either cash or loan payments for work, and usually require a certain percentage upfront. 
  • How far will this budget take you? Go back and reexamine step 2 during this process. It will help you determine what’s most important to you during the remodel. Do you absolutely have to have crown molding, custom cabinetry, or a name-brand appliance? If you do, keep that in mind when you make a budget. You may have to make exceptions elsewhere in order to accomplish your goals. 
  • Be aware of unexpected expenses. You’ll probably come into contact with an unexpected expense in every remodel project. Estimates aren’t always 100% accurate, but it’s helpful to include a buffer in case more expenses arise. At VADA Contracting, we do our best to inform our clients of these unexpected expenses and mitigate them as best we can. 

4. Gather Your Team

General contractor in protective workwear writing on clipboard for home remodel project

Now it’s time to put your team together! This is a crucial step in how to start a remodeling project. When you remodel any part of your home, you want a top-notch team with the know-how to get the job done—and get it done right. Take it from us—choosing the right contractor is a huge step in your remodeling process. 

If you’ve already hired a general contractor, ask them about what subcontractors they work with. A general contractor typically acts as a point person who will organize the workflow and build a trusted team. If you want, you can ask if their subcontractors are insured and licensed. Most general contractors will only work with these types of subcontractors. 

Hire a contractor before you do anything to your space! You might want to try DIY-ing the project, but in our experience, we’ve found it works best when you have a team of professionals in your corner. And contractors book up quickly, so it’s best to have one right from the get-go so they can order the things you’ll need and keep up with the supply chain

5. Map Your Timeline

You might think that now you have a budget, a contractor, and a dream, you’re ready to go—wrong! You’re missing one important thing: A timeline for your project. (Don’t worry, this is the final step!) 

Your general contractor will be able to give you a clear timeline for the work they intend to do. They’ll probably warn you that the timeline is subject to change. At VADA, we create as detailed a timeline as possible, and quickly inform our clients of any delays or changes. 

A timeline also helps remind you when payments are due so you’re never late and things continue to run smoothly. And while you’ll have an anticipated completion date, you’ll also know how long you’ll have to go without using the room. 

Having a timeline is a critical step in remodeling your home. It can save you from a lot of headaches, like shipping delays, late payments, or unavailable contractors. 

Love Your Remodel, Love Your Home

Mixed sketch of a Modern luxury living room and kitchen remodel project

In this blog, we covered how to start a remodeling project with five simple steps. These steps might seem like a lot of thinking upfront, but we guarantee it’s all worth it. Planning for a home remodel is a lot like buying a car—you don’t just walk onto the lot and purchase the first thing you see. You do a lot of research, think about what features you can and can’t do without, and then work with a trusted expert on finding the right match for you. 

This is your home we’re talking about, and you shouldn’t have to walk into a room and think, “I’ve had it!” Get your remodeling project done and done right by setting expectations, creating a budget, and hiring the right people. If you have more questions about how to get started, schedule a free consultation with VADA Contracting. We’d love to help you rediscover a home you love—just the way you want it!

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