How to remodel your home with confidence and peace of mind

When remodeling, confidence and peace of mind directly relates to your planning.  Here are ten steps to proper planning that will make your home remodel project move with ease, physically and mentally. 

1. Plan and draw your dream

sketchYou first want to put everything on paper that you can.  You may have your vision mapped out in your head perfectly.  However, this may not be practical or pose some unforeseen issues that need to be taken into consideration.  Architects can be expensive and conveying your vision verbally can be complicated and waste time and money for designs that don’t satisfy you. when you have had time to see it on paper and visualize it in reality.  This means creating a vision of your remodeling ideas and putting it on paper.  For those that are less inclined to draw it out, a simple design program can help you visualize your project.  If you are closing off a space think about traffic patters that you are creating.  On the same end a large addition could affect your curb appeal or bring unwelcome contrast to a smaller room.

2. Get ideas from other people

sharing-ideasNo matter how unique your ideas are, there is a strong chance it has been done before.  The benefit of this is that you can learn from the mistakes of others.  This can also give you inspiration and expand your design pallet to something that exceeds your original dream.  A number of websites have home improvement ideas, pictures, live chat rooms, message boards and reply forms that give you the ability to ask questions and get feedback.

3. Make a budget and stick to it

ScreenHunter_24 Sep. 24 10.20Making a budget is critical; dreaming up ideas to be crippled by the reality of your budget can be depressing.  Make your budget prior to any plans or serious brainstorming to avoid any letdowns.  Don’t overstretch yourself with finances; you want to have reserves for any unforeseen trouble.  Make sure to factor in possible rate increases if you’re using a credit card or home equity loan for your home improvement.  Lastly, you want to have some reserves or a cushion for unforeseen costs.

4. Plan for the future

FutureAllot of people sell themselves on home remodels under the pretense that it “pays for itself” when you sell the home.  Market conditions come and go as many of us have experienced over the past few years.  If you’re not immediately selling your home don’t bank on future market conditions to recoup your expenses.  An excessive remodel can price you outside of your neighborhood making it difficult to pull market comparables complicating financing for your prospective buyer.  Additionally, if your home is a historic home a remodel not done right can actually decrease the value.  Lastly, bear in mind your families future needs and how they might differ in the near future.  A growing family could render your upgrade impractical or your home too small, while a new job might force you to move simply due to distance.

5. Choose your team

If you don’t plan to complete the entire remodeling project by yourself, then you’ll need to hire help.  When searching for contractor you want to make sure they are qualified, licensed and properly insured.  Find out how long they have been in business and what their standing is with the better business Bureau and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).  You can also check on Yelp and Google them for additional customer feedback.  Contractors with many positive reviews and extensive credentials can make your project go with ease, while a less qualified (less expensive) contractor might not completing your job on time, to your standards and you could end up budget in the end.

6. Negotiate

images (1)Service industries like remodeling are competitive and you can take advantage of this.  Negotiate everything up front.  In addition to price, make sure everyone agrees to on the time frame the work will be completed, the penalty if overdue and the materials that will and will not be used.  A verbal agreement could end with an over budget project you can’t afford ending with a lien on your home or worse.  Despite the company’s reputation get everything in writing and make sure it is signed and notarized.

7. Get Permission

rights-11In the majority of communities, a legal permit is required before you make structural changes to your home.  To assure that the remodeling project meets local building codes and safety regulations you will need to get a building permit.  Historic districts may require additional guidelines regarding your area.  A general contractor should be aware of what permit is needed in your area, but smaller businesses might require you obtain your own permit.  Don’t forget to check with your HOA if you have one.  You can read your covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) or call your HOA office.

8. Plan For Problems

Crossing out problemsThis may be a harder one to swallow than others, but being prepared will give you piece of mind.  In addition, if something goes wrong you will be prepared to effectively manage the situation to produce a positive result.  A rule of thumb is the large the project the more potential problems.  There could be delays, miscommunication, equipment breakdowns, supply shortages even contractors or workers quit.  Make the rules of you home clear such as where to park, bathrooms to use, water to drink, trash, where to store their equipment.

9. Protect Your Valuables

valuablesEveryone is not a thief but that doesn’t mean that can’t knock over an expensive painting or a nice piece of china.  Remove everything that in direct traffic and make sure cover any flooring such as hard wood floors to prevent stains or scratches.  It would be wise to not leave valuables lying around such as your wallet, watch or ring.  If your going to be gone from the home make sure and secure valuables in a safe or remove from home.

10. Enjoy Yourself

images (3)If your kitchen or bathrooms are being remodeled plan your necessities and how you will live while this is being remodeled.  Plan some ways that you can enjoy yourself if things start to become stressful.  Stay at a friend’s house, go to the park catch some fresh air. You may also want to get a massage or rent a room at a nice hotel or even go on vacation.  Remember you earned it!profile-picture

An Outlet That Suits Your Needs

For years now, the standard (old-fashioned) outlet worked great, with the only changes being cosmetic. But now, in this tech-driven world we live in, your outlets need a complete redesign. Enter the Leviton T5630 outlet with one standard receptacle and two USB ports for phones and other electronic gear.

The outlet for today’s home


There is a smart chip inside the outlet that adjusts output to suit your device. Toss away those annoying wall adapters, or keep them in your travel bag. How many of these gadget-friendly outlets can we install for you? Call or click for an estimate.

Closet Remodeling Offers More Storage, Greater Efficiency

Adding drawers, shelves, rods and more to your closet can tranform your dishelved closet into an organized space.
Adding drawers, shelves, rods and more to your closet can transform your dishelved closet into an organized space.

In many Valley households, the approach of fall triggers a frenzy of action comparable to spring cleaning in other climates. When the mercury finally shows signs of backing off after another long, hot Arizona summer, Phoenix residents seem to be energized by the promise of cooler weather as much as Northerners are by the sight of melting snow. Deep cleaning, tackling home repairs and organizing storage spaces are all on the agenda. Summer things are put in storage, while fall wear and school clothes for the kids come out.

After much sorting, rearranging and repacking, many people come to the conclusion that their closets simply aren’t big enough to hold all that stuff. Often the real problem, however, is that most closets just were never built in a way that uses the space most efficiently. With the high cost of adding storage space to a house or renting an off-site storage unit, closet remodeling can be one of the easiest, cost-effective home improvement projects.

A skilled carpenter or cabinetmaker can assess your storage needs with you and install just the right combinations of added shelves, drawers, racks, rods and hooks to customize your cookie-cutter closets into ones that suit your life exactly. Another option to consider, as long as you’re having your closets rebuilt, is to have cedar closet linings installed in them. Cedar panels or planks give closets a wonderful, natural scent and are resistant to both mildew and insects such as moths and silverfish.

Remodeled closets have immediate benefits to the homeowner. Daily living is more efficient and less frustrating when you stop wasting valuable time hunting for buried items, re-ironing wrinkled clothes, etc. In addition, other areas of your home will be beautified as more of the unsightly clutter scattered about can now be stored out of sight in your revamped closet. Down the road, if you’re ever looking to sell your house, potential buyers will be impressed by the additional storage space your house offers over those with run-of-the-mill closets.

The Happy Handyman can work with you to remodel your closet into an orderly, organized storage space for your clothes, shoes and accessories. We install closet linings, too! Call us for a free quote at 888-922-9918 or 480-216-2750.