People often come to us with a very serious but completely justified question that sounds something like this: “I have a home improvement project in mind but I am worried it will be too stressful! How do I make sure my project is as stress-free as possible?” Sound familiar? If those thoughts have crossed your mind, you are not alone. It is true that undertaking a home improvement project can be overwhelming; from fleshing out your idea to finding the right contractor and executing your vision, home improvement work is no walk in the park, but it does not have to be stress-inducing, either. In fact, we believe remodeling, upgrading, or adding to your home should be fun and exciting! However, it does need to be carefully managed. That is why we have put together this article with our top tips for stress-free home improvement projects, right through from conception to hiring a contractor and staying on schedule.
Write All Your Ideas Down on Paper
There is something about putting pen to paper to get the creative juices flowing. It might seem obvious, however, getting all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper will greatly help reduce any feelings of overwhelm when it comes to your project. The most important thing you need to be clear on is your scope of work. Your scope of work should detail everything that needs to be done, from start to finish. A detailed scope of work with all of your ideas and goals will also be helpful when it comes to obtaining quotes for the project because you will know it is a fair comparison if all the contractors you vet issue a quote based on the same criteria.
Find the Right Home Improvement Contractor for the Job
Of all the tips we could offer for a stress-free home improvement project, finding the right contractor for the job is perhaps the most important. It is often best to hire a contractor based on a referral from a friend or neighbor. However, if that is not an option, you can check out different contractors and their reviews on websites like Yelp!, Angie’s List, BBB, Houzz, Home Advisor, Porch and Facebook. Check out what past customers have to say, and use this to make a shortlist of quality contractors you should speak to. Remember that a reputable contractor will have all the necessary insurances and licenses – so be sure to check these as well.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
Before actually starting any work, it is wise to finalize your ideas and concepts rather than trying to do this as the project progresses. The whole home improvement process will be much more enjoyable if you have a plan in mind before you start making actual changes to your home. If you do not plan beforehand, you may find your options are restricted based on work that may have already taken place. However, it is also important to remember sometimes plans do change, so be open-minded and listen to the advice of your contractor.
Make Sure You are on the Same Page as Your Contractor
Once you have vetted your shortlist and found the perfect contractor, you need to ensure you are both on the same page about project deliverables and the ideal timeline. Creating a detailed schedule and project timeline together is important for your peace of mind and to limit any stress. With a detailed schedule, you can make sure you are organized with anything the contractor needs from you beforehand to ensure there are no delays during the project, and everything runs as smoothly and stress-free as possible.
Have a Back-Up Plan (Just in Case!)
No matter how much thought and planning went into your project, sometimes problems arise that you could not have possibly foreseen, and therefore, plans change. For this reason, it is wise to factor in a 10 percent contingency within your budget, just in case. Home improvement projects are rarely without their curve balls, but if you factor that into your budget (and mentally prepare) it will be much less stressful if an unforeseen issue does pop up. With a positive mindset and the right contractor, any mishaps can be dealt with swiftly and professionally, leaving you with the dream project you imagined from the start.