5 Tips to avoid getting burned on your next remodel

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1. Set a Budget

If you’re seriously considering remodeling your kitchen, it’s pretty clear you have some money to play around with – but how much? Are you designing the kitchen of your dreams or are you cutting down on unnecessary space? You’ll need to determine what your finances allow you to do before making the purchases.

It probably goes without saying, never spend more money than you can afford. While a kitchen redesign is a sound investment – think of how much time you’ll spend there, after all – it’s the type of thing that shouldn’t break the bank.

2. Know what you are looking for.

As the client, you are the one driving the process. Before speaking with contractors, spend time thinking about your goals for the project — what it might look like, the amenities you want, and so on. If you don’t know how to translate your goals into specific features or products, hire a design consultant or a design-build firm that can offer that service.

3. Find and investigate your contractors work history

Three bids is considered the minimum number, but a half dozen will give you a clearer picture of how these companies stack up against each other. Take time to see their work firsthand, and look for 3 things: some similarity to your project, quality materials and workmanship, and consistent client satisfaction. Also, pay attention to indicators that signal professionalism or a lack thereof. Are your phone calls returned in a timely manner? Are appointments and meeting times kept?

4. Don’t break the budget

Before you start consider the market and decide whether a low, medium or  high end kitchen remodel makes the most sense.  Cost can run anywhere from as low as $2,000 for a simple upgrade to $50,000 for a complete kitchen makeover.  If you know the neighborhood it can keep you from spending too much or worse not enough.

5. Consider hiring a Design-Build Company

Most of these companies provide both design and construction services. Some have staff architects.  Most design-build firms have their own carpentry crews, but schedule subcontractors for the plumbing and electrical work. A benefit of design-build firms is that they keep communication simple: From design through completion, you’re dealing with just one company and one team of individuals who are used to working together.

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