Few homes meet the wants and needs of their homeowners — unless, of course, you had a hand in designing and building the place. But even then, tastes and styles change, and you may begin to tire of those cabinets, that tile, or even the whole layout of the space. It’s at that time when the idea of remodeling becomes more and more desirable.
If this sounds like you, understand that the first meeting with a contractor is an important phase in the remodeling process. It often sets the trajectory of the project, so it’s always best to come to that meeting prepared.
The following tips will ensure you make the most out of this (and every other) meeting with your contractor:
- Know your comps. Before ever contacting a contractor, determine what the market will bear in your immediate area. For example, is your home the nicest on the block, or is it a fixer-upper in a desirable neighborhood? Understanding your home value in comparison to those around you can keep you from over-improving the property.
- Determine your needs. Whether remodeling a kitchen or the entire home, it can be quite helpful for you and your contractor if you prepare a written wish list for the project. It’ll not only serve as the starting point for the plans and costs of the remodel but ensure you achieve your desired outcomes.
Start off by listing any minor or major problems you’re currently experiencing with the space — like outdated design or lack of storage — then get into all the design details. Be as specific as possible about what you hope to achieve with this renovation. You’re about to choose permanent updates to your home, so put your ideas down in writing.
- Get down to the whys. It isn’t always enough to share images of other spaces with your contractor to help inform the direction of the project. When collecting ideas for the space, you should also consider why you’re drawn to a particular image or style. Doing so will help your contractor identify the element to use in creating a unique design for the space.
- Prepare questions for the contractor. You’re about to sit down with a contractor for the first time. If you have questions, now’s the time to ask them. But don’t rely on your memory to recall each one of your concerns. As you did with your needs, take the time to write down questions prior to your meeting.
You may also want to take the opportunity to ask for suggestions from the contractor. For example, maybe you’re not sure if you’re best using the space. Good contractors will be able to tell you what sort of changes can be made to optimize a kitchen, bathroom, or any room in the house, really.
- Get ready to talk budget. When remodeling any space in your home, it’s often best to focus on your needs first — then the costs. But a contractor will inevitably want to know your budget for the project. Even if it’s just a range, give the person an idea so he or she can provide options that match your remodeling goals and any budgetary constraints.
After all, some of the elements you want in your new space may be more costly than you have anticipated. And with a vast knowledge of materials and a variety of connections with different vendors, your contractor can usually come up with a solution and be able to guide you in the right direction.
If you’d like more information on remodeling your home, or would like to schedule a time for us to come out to your home and discuss your ideas for a space, contact Fair & Square Remodeling today. We’re ready when you are!