Sherry Tyra: Renovating or remodeling your home can be a big decision. Now whether it's a small renovation or a major overhaul there are some things you should do before you start.
First and foremost have a clear vision, it'll be much easier for your contractor or architect to bring your expectations to life, especially if you hire a draftsperson to put it on paper for you. It's best to renovate to solve problems in your home and enhance your living space.
When deciding what to renovate keep in mind renovating kitchens and beds, large master bedrooms, and walking clothes it's more desirable in the current housing market than in ground pools or game rooms.
Next, find a reputable contractor, research contractors online and through references. Be sure they have the necessary licenses and insurance. Ask for former client's references and if possible visit former job sites so you can see they work first hand.
Be sure to get some background on the crew as well, since they'll be in your house for several moths. Once you've chosen the contractor create a detailed contract together, outlining completion dates, the total cost of the project, the break down between labor and materials, and a payment schedule. Be clear from the beginning when setting expectations, if it's a large renovation you may want to have an attorney look over the contract for you.
By following these simple guidelines you'll not only protect yourself in your home but you'll insure that any work that you've done will be completed in a professional and timely manner.