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What Should I Consider Before Starting a Home Remodeling Project?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many homeowners pursue home remodeling projects to address an immediate need or provide for the future of the house. Any home remodeling project, whether it be a simple fixture replacement or a major addition, will involve at least some pre-planning and financial investment on the part of the homeowner. No one wants to become involved in a 'money pit' situation- a series of events in which one home remodeling repair inevitably leads to a dozen unplanned repairs.

Before starting any home remodeling project, there are many important factors to consider. Here are some questions to ask yourself before hiring contractors or investing in building materials:

1. Do I need a building permit? Some home remodeling projects may involve structural changes or elaborate reworkings of current electrical and plumbing circuits. Before a homeowner can begin an addition, the city department which oversees private construction projects must issue a building permit. This permit insures that the home remodeling plans meet specific building codes and only qualified workers will handle the essential rewiring and refitting needs.

2. Am I capable of performing this home remodeling project myself? Even a simple replacement of bathroom or kitchen fixtures can involve some background knowledge of safety factors. Wallpapering and interior painting are other areas where beginners may find themselves over their heads. Before tackling any home remodeling project, it pays to watch videos or read books produced by professionals. A local building supply store may offer in-store demonstrations of basic remodeling techniques or provide technical support.

3. Will this home remodeling project address the actual problem? Repainting a room will not make it larger, for example. Some homeowners find themselves in a constant state of flux when it comes to home improvements. Instead of investing a substantial amount of time and effort in a large project which may solve the entire problem, they make a number of smaller improvements over time. This can prove to be even more expensive to repair later. Sometimes it's best to hold off on an home remodeling project until all of the work can be done at one time.

4. Can I find reliable and licensed contractors? If the home remodeling project calls for professional help, a good contractor can be a life saver. A bad contractor, on the other hand, can be a nightmare for nervous homeowners. If you know someone who has recently made home improvement similar to your own plans, ask for their contractor's name and contact information. Ask local building supply stores for referrals, since they deal with reputable local contractors on a daily basis. A good contractor is always in demand, so you may want to plan your home remodeling project around his or her schedule. Try not to allow impatience to be your guide when it comes to hiring contractors. There may be a very good reason why a certain unknown contractor is available right away.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to HomeQuestionsAnswered, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By comfyshoes — On May 10, 2011

@Cafe41-I think that it is hard finding the right contractor. I was thinking of remodeling my kitchen and was considering using the services of the home improvement store.

This way I know that my home kitchen remodeling project will get done in time. I do wonder if this will make the project more expensive, but I have to take my chances because I do not know of any home remodeling contractors in my area.

I also think that the finishes could also make the project more expensive so you have to look at what you have to have and what you can do without. For example, a lot of people save money on a kitchen remodel when they use their existing cabinets but just switch off the hardware.

This way the kitchen looks different for a fraction of the price. There are so many different materials for counter tops that you really have to look at a lot of model kitchens to see what you vision actually is.

By cafe41 — On May 09, 2011

@Sunny27- What I did when I wanted to do some remodeling to my condo is speak with the condo board and find out if there are any guidelines that I have to follow.

After I got a copy of the documents we were able to use a contractor that was already doing work for my husband’s company.

We then went shopping for the marble that we wanted and after taking the measurements of both bathrooms we were able to buy enough tiles for both bathrooms. We had to ask the contractors about the other home remodeling materials they needed and bought those as well.

We had a budget for the project which was close to the estimate that the contractor gave us. Luckily, the contractors were able to do everything in a week. They really did a fantastic job.

By Sunny27 — On Jul 10, 2010

Great article- I just wanted to add that in choosing a general contractor many services offer feedback information regarding various contractors in the area. Angie’s List offers feedback for all of its subscribers looking to hire a contractor.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to HomeQuestionsAnswered, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a...
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