Remodeling is one of the most stressful undertakings that one can embark on. Nevertheless, millions of people want and need to improve their living conditions and often times selling their home and moving is just not time or cost effective. Remodeling IS the answer but how do you ensure that you don’t become a victim of a “remodeling nightmare”? You’ve heard it so many times from friends and relatives, “Expect a nightmare. It will cost twice as much and take three times as long.” News Flash: It doesn’t have to be that way!

After 35 years in the remodeling industry and after running two successful remodeling and home building companies, I’ve seen it all and I’ve been able to boil success down into Matt Plaskoff’s Six Secrets to Successful Remodeling.

Secret 1: Have a Plan!

You wouldn’t head off on a long expensive trip without a road map or plan of where you were going unless of course you were not concerned about the outcome and were excited about surprises along the way. Well, in remodeling, the only surprises are disastrous ones. Figure out what you want BEFORE you start and put it on paper with your Designer or Contractor. What is the layout? What are the exact products you want? What colors are you using? Answer and document all of these answers BEFORE a single hammer hits the wall.

Secret 2: Don’t Start Until You Have Everything You Need.

So your contractor demolishes the bathroom (the only one you have in the home by the way) and tells you that the tile you picked that he thought was going to come in today is delayed 6 weeks. Not a good scenario but, an all too often real one. Order the products, get them in, open the boxes and make certain they are the right color, not broken and fit together properly before you allow anyone to tear up your home.

Secret 3: Hire a Professional. All Companies Are NOT Created Equal.

A remodeling project is one of the largest investments you can make in your life and home. For example, a properly constructed bathroom remodel can return over 132% of the invested value. In contrast, a poorly constructed project can create damage that far exceeds the savings you thought you had enjoyed by hiring “the guy your friend used to paint his room.” Protect your assets and your personal belongings by hiring a licensed and insured contractor to build your project. Require a contract that lists EXACTLY what you are getting, a “guaranteed price” (a professional should be able to tell you exactly what it will cost) and a guaranteed time frame. Tell them to put their money where their mouth is and sign a penalty clause if they don’t finish on time. You’ll find out who the real professionals are.

Secret 4: Hire Experience.

Jacks of All Trades abound in the remodeling and construction industry. Everyone wants to be everything to all people. You wouldn’t hire a heart surgeon to do a nose job so why would you hire a kitchen specialist to remodel your bathroom. Hiring someone who specializes in your type of project increases the experience level which leads to a much higher quality project, a more efficient and timely project and a higher level of product and design knowledge. Don’t let your general practitioner perform a chin implant.

Secret 5: Let Your Contractor Buy The Materials.

I know. I know. You can save a few bucks if you buy that tub yourself and cram it into the trunk of your BMW. The problem is that most homeowners don’t know what to buy, what fits with what or how much to buy. Making a mistake in product procurement takes a great deal of responsibility out of the hands of the contractor not to mention the inevitable blame game that can ensue if something goes wrong. Do you really have time to go back and forth from the plumbing supply house to return the wrong thing and get the right one… five times!

Secret 6: Don’t Make Changes.

Changes are the single largest cause of remodeling nightmares. You’ve done everything right so far. You’ve followed the previous five secrets but you just can’t help yourself and you make changes during construction. Well… all bets are off. The schedule flies off track, your contractor can’t manage his or her time and new materials have to be bought. The key to not making changes is to LOVE your plan and be certain that your team knows exactly what you want. Yep. Back to secret #1: Have a Plan. But don’t just have one… LOVE IT! Don’t sign a contract until every product, color and layout is exactly what you want and then let the professionals go to work.

So, there you have it: Six Secrets to Successful Remodeling. I’m confident that if you follow these Six Secrets, you’ll increase your chances of remodeling success one hundred fold. If you have any other questions, I’m here to help. Simply click here or contact us at 1-800-ONEWEEK.