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How to Start the Remodel Process - Phase 1

Planning Phase:

When somebody is working on something as precious as your home, of course you’re going to want a professional for the job. However, not everyone knows what to look for or what questions to ask when finding a contractor. These days, there are too many DIYers that believe they can take whatever experience they have into the professional arena and be successful. Remodeling existing homes can be full of unforeseen problems that can derail even the best-laid plans if there isn’t experience to back them up. A licensed designer or contractor, however, can offer pathways to actual professionals that can handle the challenges of any renovation project.

A great place to start your home remodeling journey would be with a trusted and local interior designer. Someone with skill and experience in this field will undoubtedly have a showroom to display the products they have for sale, especially their cabinetry lines.

Since a contractor typically doesn’t offer design services, it’s important that they’re provided with accurate and complete designs. These will eventually become construction documents and should capture all the specifications needed to provide accurate construction costs. An inexperienced designer, however, may not include the important information needed for a contractor to understand the project when on paper.

Kitchen remodel plans

These plans are pretty to look at but the detail is lacking. If you paid for these and decided not to use this contractor you could not go to another contractor with these images. You would get billed again for plans that captured all the specifications of the remodel.

Kitchen remodel plans

These plans capture all the specifications needed to provide accurate construction costs. If you pay for plans for a remodel this is what you should expect to get. Make sure you know what you are paying for.

Since the designer maintains a role throughout the construction process, it’s important to them that the contractor is just as skilled so that they can achieve their vision to their standards. An inexperienced contractor, though, will most likely not have the good fortune of working directly with a good designer. A good designer will generally have referrals for contractors they’ve worked with in the past or those that offer speciality services. These referrals aren’t given out lightly, though, and are typically built off of good experiences from working on projects together.

Either way, no matter who you end up working with; never pay up front. That’s a sure way to risk a lot of money for a project that could either end up completely derailing or never getting finished. Chances are, if someone’s insisting that you pay up front, that’s a red flag.

Additionally, when searching for a designer or a contractor, it’s best to stray away from Facebook. Anyone can easily make an account there without much effort, so it can be hard to weed out the dedicated professionals from the multitudes you may end up finding. Building a website, on the other hand, is a much greater test of character, especially well-made ones that include examples of their work and testimonials from past clients. Another detail to look out for is if they include a business address. Having proof that they own a space not only ensures that you’re dealing with an actual person, but that they’re a committed business owner.

Finding a professional to work with is no easy task, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. By following these tips and properly vetting people before working with them, you’re much more likely to put your beloved project in the hands of those ready and willing to see it through!

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