Take the time to chat with friends, family, and neighbors about the renovation work they have done, and the challenges they have faced during the process. Having a wealth of information from homeowners who have been in your shoes can be invaluable in the planning process, and this information may alter your end plan. Check out our 17 Smarter Renovation and Home Improvement Tips to get started.
Busting the budget is everyone's biggest fear when it comes to renovation. And with good reason. Even if you follow the essential advice we've been doling out for years—build in a 20 percent cushion to cover the nasty surprises, get contractor references and check them, banish the words "while you're at it" from your vocabulary—it's hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to, even if you want to pen a check for a million bucks.
If you jump into a remodeling project with an ambiguous contract or no contract at all, you may as well hire an attorney and set a court date right away. "The contract needs the right address, a start date, a completion date, and a detail of what is and is not going to be done," says Rosie Romero, founder of Legacy Custom Builders in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Really good advice. Let me add that there is much that can modernize and enhance the look & feel of a home without having to spend a lot of money on major remodeling or adding square footage. As you suggest, decluttering, cleaning, and enhancing curb appeal goes a long way. An impressive front door helps a lot. Then move to floors and paint, followed by kitchens and baths. New faucets, fixtures, and appliances can do wonders, too. Above all, homeowners must focus on cost-effective, high-value-added projects. Seek simplicity, comfort and value.

If you're doing your own project, slash your materials-delivery fees by picking up goods yourself. No pickup truck? For about $400, you can purchase a nearly new single-axle utility trailer online, which you can tow behind your SUV. Get one just big enough to carry 4-by-8 sheet goods flat. Use it for a half-dozen trips, and it's paid for itself. Find trailers for sale near you via eBay Motors, or try your local classifieds.
If your home has structural or mechanical problems, fix those first. Whether you plan to stick around for a few years, or whether you plan to sell, it is vital that you take care of these problems that can turn into safety issues. Unchecked, a leaky roof or an electrical issue can cause larger (and more expensive) problems down the road. Plus, if you try to sell, you will have a hard time. Tackle the essentials before you start on other home improvement projects.
Some people have a natural eye for design, but if you're more in the camp of those who can't do anything without consulting Pinterest board upon Pinterest board before making any major changes, we feel you. We'd love to have an interior designer on speed dial before deciding exactly where and how hang to hang that sweet new wall art we bought on a whim. But until we win the lottery, we'll have to settle for trusting our guts, and taking plenty of design tips where we can get them. We've compiled some secrets straight from the pros to help you with all your decorating needs.
The top renovation contractors in Dallas, TX will turn up ready and prepared to get to work. Home remodeling businesses in Dallas, Texas will concentrate on every type of project from little to large renovations. We understand that you want to ensure that your home is appealing and beneficial, and our Dallas contractors have numerous years of knowledge to make certain you get the results you shoot for, regardless of what your home`s original condition is.
Knocking down may not be as costly as rebuilding, but you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care. "If a homeowner wants to demo a deck, well, I am sure they can handle that," says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design, in Virginia. "But when it comes to interior spaces, I would dissuade them from doing it unless they have done it before." The reason: A reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load-bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing. (For tips on how to do demo right, see our October 2005 feature, "Before You Construct, You Have to Destruct.")

Take your bathroom remodeling to the next level! Customized bathrooms are a step beyond standard bathroom with the implementation of personalized cabinets, vanities, and facilities. While stock options are always available, many homeowners find that they need something just slightly bigger, smaller, wider, or in a different color. Some popular options include floating vanities and double-wide sinks. You can also invest in custom cabinets with your choice of wood, made in a specific style. Your opportunity to expand on your custom bathroom depends on your budget and style needs. Cabinets are very advantageous on the bathroom, sometimes even more so than in the kitchen. This is because storage space in the bathroom is always more necessary than homeowners think. Having wide cabinets and drawers with enough space to store linens, toiletries, and emergency supplies is a great way to make your custom bathroom both functional and beautiful. There are certain considerations needed for custom bathroom designs, however. For example, when choosing a type of wood for the cabinets, think about what kind of wood can stand up to moisture. Professionally-installed custom bathroom pieces are your best bet for guaranteeing that your cabinets will last for years.


If you have been in your home for a while, you might be thinking that perhaps it’s time to add a couple of upgrades. This might be especially true if you think you might like to sell in a couple of years (after the housing market has recovered a little bit). Or, perhaps you are planning on buying a fixer-upper for a great deal. No matter your reason for a remodel, you should realize that the chances of actually getting back what you paid, dollar for dollar, is slim. Therefore, it helps to remodel your home the smart way. Here are 5 tips that can help you maximize your return for your remodeling dollar:

If you know a renovation is on the horizon, it’s time to call in favors from those handy family and friends. Give them ample time to arrange their schedule to help and provide plenty of reminders as the project approaches. (An offer of free food also helps!) If hiring a contractor, make sure you allow enough lead time to snag your desired timeline, otherwise you could be stuck waiting on them. Consider a message center to keep everyone informed as they come and go to make life easier on everyone.

"A remodeling project is going to affect every room in the house," says A. J. Paron-Wildes, general manager of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. "The homeowners need to take down pictures, move vases, and pack away valuables before work begins." While you're at it, take steps to protect your immovable fixtures, including built-in cabinets and chandeliers. Have flooring covered with cardboard sheets if it needs to stay in good condition.
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