Choosing the right contractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in a home improvement project. Even the most gung-ho DIY-er has to call in a home professional sometimes. Although some homeowners may be tempted to go with the cheapest option, choosing a bid shouldn’t just depend on price. Here are some tips to help you through the process:
Take your time and plan ahead
With any major room renovation or remodel, you will need take several months for planning. Go to home improvement showrooms and stores, talk to contractors, architects and others who have done these improvements. Go to new home communities and see what their high dollar designers have selected as colors and types of cabinets, flooring, or countertops and take lots of pictures of the designs you love. Check out home decor sites and magazines and take notes on anything you like. Ultimately, this will help you form a visual of your remodeled space. When you know exactly what you want, you will be able to have better discussions with contractors and get realistic bids.
Note: Any remodeling you do will always cost more than you anticipate. While this can be due to unexpected problems, cost overruns also commonly occur because the homeowner changes his or her mind. This is the most important reason why you want to take the time to determine as close as possible what you want before you move forward.
Making improvements doesn't guarantee improved home value
Another important issue to realize is that while making improvements to your property may increase the home value, it probably will not increase the value as much as you spend on the improvements. For example, if you spend $50,000 on a kitchen, your home may not sell for $50,000 more. Check the cost vs. value for your remodel project in your area. Also, don’t make improvements if you are selling the property, let the new owner do those. Make major home improvements only if they are for your personal enjoyment as the continuing long-term owner of the home.