Mickey Elias, owner of Elias Construction in Byron, Minn, is well-versed in the steps a homeowner needs to take in order to begin, and complete, a remodel. He gives every one of his clients a booklet titled “Guide to Remodeling” and has also given a seminar about what to know before you remodel. Here is a quick rundown of the essentials.
- First, decide whether or not you need a general contractor. Consider the amount of work to be done. Are you just upgrading your countertops and backsplash? Then you probably don’t need a contractor. If, however, you’re planning a full-scale remodel, Elias highly recommends having one unless you are well-versed in remodeling or have a lot of spare time on your hands.
- Next, come up with a vision for your space. If you’re finishing your basement, do you want a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace and wet bar or do you just want bedroom, bathroom and living room to add square footage to the home? What do you want your space to look like, design-wise? The internet is a great place to look for design inspiration.
- Now you need to determine a budget. “It helps to know the average cost of projects so you set a realistic budget,” says Elias. Remodeling Magazine publishes an annual remodeling cost chart. “Or just call local remodeling contractors and ask them,” he suggests. He is happy to share average costs for remodel projects in the area.
- Once your vision and budget is set, start looking for contractors. Elias suggests getting in touch with at least three high quality, licensed contractors, meeting with them and hearing their thoughts. Home shows, the Rochester Area Builder’s website, the Remodeler’s Tour and word of mouth are all places to look when searching for a contractor.
- After meeting with the contractors, choose the one you think ultimately works best for you and your project. Consider how thorough their bid was, if it was submitted in time, how easy they were to get a hold of. Meet up, go over the contract and go over any concerns.
- Let the work begin!
One thing to consider is make sure your contractor knows exactly what you want. For example, Elias says it is standard for his remodels that showerheads are place at 80 inches. If a client is shorter or taller and wants that height changed, it is important to let him know before installation begins. Being open with your contractor about what you want will ensure you get the remodel you desire.
Have you read part one, consider a remodel?