Make It Happen: A Practical Guide to Turning Your Remodeling Dream into Reality | Murray Lampert
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Make It Happen: A Practical Guide to Turning Your Remodeling Dream into Reality

Making the decision to remodel your home is a major step, but there are many other steps you have to take before your dream becomes a reality. Determining your goals is the first step, followed by setting a budget and choosing a contractor.

Determine Your Goals

First, simply ask yourself why you want to remodel your home. Do you think upgrades will make it sell better? Are you uncomfortable in your current kitchen or bedroom? Do you often wish that you had more space for entertaining? Determining your goals will help you define the scope of your remodel. Some homeowners have a single goal when it comes to remodeling their homes, but many don’t make the decision to remodel their home unless they have several goals in mind. You may also have different goals than your spouse, so talk to them about the remodeling process and make sure you have the same goals before the project begins.

Custom Cherry Wood Kitchen with Granite Counters

Having pictures of what you would like your room or rooms to look like at the end of the project is great because it ensures that you and the contractor you hire to complete the project have the same vision of the changes that will be made and what the completed project will look like.

Set a Budget

Your dream kitchen may have marble floors and granite countertops, but it won’t look the way you want it to look unless you have a large enough budget to accommodate the materials and labor that are required. Looking through design magazines is a great way to get ideas for remodeling, but if your budget doesn’t allow for super high-end materials, remember that there are many low-cost alternatives; some of them are even considered better. Visiting a home improvement store is a great way to get an idea of what the materials for your project will actually cost, but remember that labor is often the largest cost when it comes to a home remodeling project. Once you have created a budget for your project, add at least ten percent to the final number. Remodeling almost always costs more than you think it will, so padding your original budget will make the final cost of the project easier to handle.

Choose a Contractor

Talk to neighbors as well as local friends and family members about contractors they have hired to complete projects in their homes. They are likely to know someone or have good and bad stories about local contractors to help you choose wisely. Angie’s list and the Better Business Bureau’s website are also great resources. Don’t choose a contractor or construction alone.  Design, build and remodeling under one roof is becoming more popular because it is more efficient and economical.  A design – build – remodeling specialist can show you renderings up front, so you can better visualize the final product.  You will also have an accurate price.

Communicate Often

Always be as clear and honest as you can be with your contractor. Show pictures of what you do want as well as what you don’t want. Even if you feel that you’re being a little too thorough, don’t worry. You’re not bothering anybody. A project on which a client and contractor have the same vision of the final product is a successful project.   The best way to ensure a successful project is to have open, productive communication and collaboration.

When your remodeling dream is in the process of becoming a reality in your home, there are likely to be bumps in the road. Try to keep the final vision and the reasons that you are remodeling in your head at all times and don’t stress if things don’t go according to plan.

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About

Gregg Cantor, a third generation contractor and owner of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. Gregg's is experienced in all phases of construction and home remodeling including design development, project management, best building practices, code requirements, and contract law. He also writes articles for examiner.com and is co-host of The Home Pro Show Saturday's at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on A.M.600 KOGO San Diego. Follow Gregg's posts.


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