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17 Home Remodel Tips for a Successful Renovation

17 Home Remodel Tips for a Successful Renovation

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a house a home, and that idea can change over time. Regardless of why you want to renovate your home, there’s no doubt that you want it to go smoothly and within budget. After all, no one wants their dream home renovation to turn into a nightmare. Let’s take a look at top home remodeling tips for a successful renovation and a truly showstopping result.

Remodeling tips made easy

1. Make a budget

Perhaps the most important of all remodeling tips is establishing a realistic budget based on your available funds for the renovation. Start by determining the scope of the project and creating a detailed list of all necessary expenses. Consider the cost of materials, labor, and any permits or fees. Allow for surprises and unexpected expenses, and track your spending throughout the project to ensure that the budget is followed.

2. Make the calendar work for you

Start by determining the date by which the project must be completed, and then break down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Estimate the time required for each task and create a timeline that accounts for all necessary steps. Consider factors that may impact your timeline, such as ordering materials, scheduling contractors, and weather delays. Revisit the timeline regularly to ensure that progress is on track; adjustments can be made if necessary.

3. You don’t have to go it alone

Friends who have undergone similar projects can provide valuable insight into their experiences and recommend contractors they trust. When seeking recommendations, it’s important to ask them specific questions about the quality of the work, how well the contractor communicated and handled roadblocks, and timelines and budgets.

4. Be realistic about your DIY ambitions

Some projects, such as painting or installing shelves, may be more manageable for a DIY approach, while others, such as electrical or plumbing work, may require professional expertise to tackle correctly. Consider the tools and materials needed for the project and determine whether you have access (and skills) to use them. Evaluate the potential risks and costs associated with the project, including the possibility of causing damage or injury.

5. Clean up before you make a mess

Start by removing all items from the areas that will be renovated and sort them into piles of items to keep, donate, or discard. This not only reduces clutter and makes the space easier to work in, but it also helps to streamline the packing process when it's time to move items back in.

6. Have a plan for the water

Before starting the project, determine whether any water lines will be impacted and for how long. It's also essential to ensure that any appliances or fixtures that require water, such as a refrigerator or toilet, are not used during the outage to avoid damage or clogging.

7. Kid-proof your reno zone

Block off the renovation area with physical barriers, such as gates or temporary walls, to discourage children from entering. Store all tools and materials correctly and out of reach of children. Be sure to regularly check for any potential hazards, such as loose nails or exposed wiring, and address them promptly.

8. Don’t skip the permits

Depending on the scope of the project, permits may be required for structural changes, electrical work, plumbing, or other aspects of the renovation. It's essential to check with the local building department or permit office to determine which permits are needed and to submit the necessary paperwork before getting started.

9. Book a contractor

Establish clear communication and expectations from the start, including timelines, budgets, and any specific details about the project. Ensure to get a written contract outlining all project details, including payment schedules and any warranties or guarantees. Stay in regular contact with the contractor throughout the project to address any issues.

Clever cost-cutting remodeling tips

1. Make recycling work for you

By repurposing materials from other construction sites or even salvaging items from your existing home, it's possible to reduce waste and save money on new materials. Reclaimed wood can be repurposed to create unique and eco-friendly flooring, while old windows can be repurposed as decorative accents or even turned into greenhouses.

2. One person’s trash is another’s treasure

Many charitable organizations accept donations of building materials, such as Habitat for Humanity's ReStore program. By donating leftover materials like flooring, cabinetry, or fixtures, you can help support a good cause and potentially receive a tax credit or deduction for your donation.

3. Demo on your own dime

Demolition can be a messy and time-consuming process, but by doing it yourself, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on labor costs. Before starting, it's crucial to have a plan in place and ensure that you have the necessary tools and safety equipment. Additionally, it's important to carefully evaluate the structural integrity of any walls or areas that you plan to remove to avoid causing damage to the home.

4. Don’t be afraid of leftovers

Contractors frequently have leftover materials from previous projects that they are willing to use on new jobs. Using these leftover materials can save money on the cost of new materials and labor. Plus, using leftover materials can give your home a unique look and add character to the space.

5. Why commission when you can consult?

Many architects offer consultation services that allow homeowners to get professional advice and guidance without committing to a full design commission. This can be a great way to get expert input on a project while also saving money on design fees. Consulting with an architect can help ensure that the renovation is structurally sound and meets all necessary building codes, which can help prevent costly mistakes down the road.

6. Save with sweat equity

By providing your own labor, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on the cost of hiring professionals. This can include tasks like painting, landscaping, and even some carpentry work. By doing some of the work yourself, you can potentially speed up the timeline of the project and reduce the overall time and cost.

7. Make pickiness pay off

Many contractors will charge a markup on the cost of materials, which can significantly increase the overall cost of the project. By purchasing and picking up the materials yourself, you can potentially save money on the markup and get a better deal on the materials. You can also ensure that you are getting the right materials for the project and avoid any miscommunications with the contractor.

8. Complete the upgrades that count at the closing table

Whether you have large ambitions or small, nobody wants to spend more than necessary on a home renovation, especially if you’re looking at selling. Updating the kitchen or adding a bathroom can significantly impact the property's resale value. If you plan to sell your home in the future, a remodel can give it a refreshed look and increase its appeal to potential buyers.

If you need guidance on how to spend your renovation money for the best return on your investment, it’s time to seek out professional guidance. Look no further than the expert team at Tamithy Howrigan Real Estate. You can trust this top-notch team of VT and St Albans real estate agents to help you achieve success in your home makeover endeavors, providing creative remodeling tips and more. Reach out today to get started.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Tamithy Howrigan Real Estate is a team of experienced, licensed real estate agents serving the Franklin, Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille Counties, VT metro area. With a proven track record of getting results quickly and a direct line of communication at all times.  
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