You’re just itching to start your home remodel. You can picture the results right now — a brand-new kitchen, made-over bathrooms and a basement that is actually a usable space instead of a dank storage room. Before you hire any contractors and set your remodel in motion, you should read these remodeling dos and don’ts.
Do: Build a Cushion
When you’re building your remodeling budget, don’t allocate all of the funds to projects that you know you’re going to go through with. You’ll want 10-20% of your funds to go completely unclaimed. This is your cushion. It should prevent you from going over budget because you underestimated project costs. It can also help you handle emergency repairs or replacements that you didn’t anticipate.
For instance, if your contractors find out that there is mold behind your walls, you’ll want to get it removed before they continue with their projects. With your 10-20% cushion, you can afford to pay for the mold removal services as soon as possible. Without that cushion, you may not have enough funds in your budget to cover that extra expense right away.
In that instance, you may want to borrow funds to manage the emergency. You could apply for a line of credit loan online, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Before you fill out a form, check out these dos and donts for applying for a line of credit. This information could come in handy.
Borrowing options like lines of credit should only be used for emergencies. Do not use them to pay for other parts of your home remodeling project.
Don’t: Do DIY For Most Projects
Don’t tackle any projects that are meant for professionals, even if you’re hoping that doing them on your own will save you money. The truth is, you will likely make a mistake, and then you’ll have to spend even more to hire a professional to rectify that mistake for you.
For instance, replacing the faucets in your sink may sound fine, but if you’ve never done this plumbing job before, you should leave it alone. One wrong plumbing mistake could lead you to install a leaky faucet at best and create a bathroom flood at worst. Just hire an experienced plumber to do the installation for you. They will do it right the first time around.
If you’re ever in a situation where you fail a DIY project and cause an emergency repair, you should use your home budget’s cushion to help you cover the repair costs. And if you don’t have enough left in your cushion, you may want to turn to other backup plans, like your emergency fund, your credit card or your personal line of credit for help. Ignoring an emergency repair is not an option.
Do: Protect Your Valuables
Remodeling is a messy process. You don’t want your furniture, your artwork and your other valuables to get ruined during that process. Before construction starts, you will want to pack as much as you can away. You will want to rent a temperature-controlled storage unit for the remodeling period. Doing this is better than putting your items in your attic or garage, where they could get damaged by moisture, temperature fluctuations and dust.
Don’t: Stay in the Construction Zone
When you’re in the middle of a massive home remodel, your living space won’t be very livable. You should find a temporary place to stay until most of the major remodeling projects are complete.
Why? It’s not exactly comfortable or safe to stay there. Home remodeling projects often create a lot of dust. Breathing in copious amounts of dust is not good for your health, especially when you already have respiratory issues. Dust caused by construction can also carry hazardous particles, like silica. In addition to dust, you might breathe in vapors of products containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like paints, stains, glues and sealants. VOC exposure is not good for your health.
Of course, you can try to minimize the harmful side effects of air pollutants by installing plastic barriers, closing off vents and running air purifiers. But your best bet for avoiding pollutants is to stay out of the construction zone. See whether you can stay with a relative or friend during the projects. If that’s not possible, arrange for an apartment rental, Airbnb or hotel stay to keep you and your family healthy and safe throughout the renovation.
Make your remodel so much smoother by following these dos and don’ts! You’ll be happy that you followed them when your house is officially done.