When you start remodeling a home, it’s easy to let one’s dreams grow bigger and bigger, till you have a project that takes over your home for months and costs a lot of money. A great way to keep the end goals in mind and keep your budget under control is to have check-ins throughout the process that allow you to evaluate if things are staying on track versus going off the rails. Doing these check-ins really helps you to make sure remodeling is right for you and for your space right now before you find yourself in the middle of a large project without a clear endgame. It also helps you maximize ROI, which a great real estate agent will remind you is a key concern if you’ll be selling soon.
Check-In 1: Start With Functionality You Want
Many people, if they boil it down, want a ‘feeling’ from their remodel: they want to feel like they’re in an HGTV show, or to feel like their home is luxurious. However, buying that feeling can be elusive, and when you keep throwing money at that dream, you can end up with regrets.
With whoever else lives in your house, try to get very clear on what the house currently doesn’t have that you each want it to have. If your list reads, “a space for my parents to stay when they visit, a kitchen island with more countertop space, and a new bathroom off the new bedroom so we aren’t always fighting for the one shower,” it’s much harder to see more things creep into the plan than if you just want a ‘newly remodeled’ home.
Check-In 2: Identify Areas Where You’d Like to Splurge and Where You’re Happy to Save
Every project can be done in a budget way, a mid-range way, or a luxurious way. While you may know already that you want all budget or all luxury materials and features, you also might have a mid-range budget. If that’s the case, you don’t have to pick mid-range materials for everything, but can instead have a few small splurges and a few areas where you cut corners correspondingly. This is how you can get a luxury countertop installed while keeping the design very bare-bones in a new bedroom, or do exactly the opposite!
Check-In 3: Speak With a Contractor About What Is Possible In Your Budget
Once you’ve gotten clear on both what you’d like to accomplish and the priorities within that, you need another check, a gut check! Have a contractor work up an estimate for what you want done, including any optional items that you might want if they fit in the budget. Your contractor will also identify if, for instance, adding a bedroom will be very expensive in one part of the house but much more doable in another part of a home. Their insight can help you to decide whether your plan is actually within your budget, and can help you further refine your goals.
Check-In 4: Revise Plans and Decide What, If Anything, Needs to Wait
One of the key moments is when you finally commission a contractor to start the remodel, and at this point, the key question of, “can any of this wait?” needs to be asked. Especially if you’ve increased your budget to fit everything, take a long hard look at the projects on the table: can you do some things in a few years? Can you DIY any parts of the project in a way that you’ll be happy with the results? This question, even if you answer it with, “no I want it all!” is key to boosting your own confidence that your remodel will meet your expectations and give you all those home-remodel feelings you dreamed about!