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.

However, you may choose to add a clause in your cost-plus remodeling contract that pays a bonus if the contractor completes the project early or under budget. This is more an incentive than a show of appreciation, and can be a percentage of estimated money saved or a flat fee, perhaps $500 to $1,000 for a major project like a large kitchen remodel.


As an award-winning firm, Joseph & Berry – Remodel Design Build is excited to bring you the latest interior design trends and home improvement tips. We, at Joseph & Berry, committed to making our clients’ dream into reality and help others to find the right remodeling process for them. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation meeting with our project developer, just click!
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.
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.
Even in a cosmetic remodel, there can be an opportunity to enhance the function or money-saving capability of your home. When ripping out an entire room, for instance, this may be the perfect time to add insulation to the walls, upgrade your electrical panel or add additional light or electrical fixtures. The key is to think ahead to how you will use the room, and take advantage of cosmetic updates to enhance the structure of your home.
Brian Peppel, a homeowner in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, attends one building-supply auction each month in nearby Lancaster County. His recent finds include two pallets of concrete block for $10 and a solid-wood prehung exterior door for $65. "Their inventory is everything under the sun, a lot of scratch-and-dent, misordered custom items, or new overstock supplies," reports Peppel. He once watched the auctioneer's gavel fall on a large, custom-made triangular window with an original retail value that he pegs at several thousand dollars. The winning bid? $1.
Try to use all the space of your bathroom as much as possible, if your bathroom is on the smaller side, then you have to unleash your creativity in order to design the space and make it look larger. Glass doors for tubs and showers are perfect if your purpose is to open up the room, and the pedestal sinks are ideal since they occupy lesser space when compared to cabinets.  All cabinets and tower cabinets above the toilets, as well as towel racks are perfect for those who need storage, but who don’t have much space to work with.
When it comes to things like flooring, ask your subcontractor if he has odds-and-ends stock left over from other jobs. While renovating a Civil War-era bed-and-breakfast in New Jersey some years back, contractor Bill Asdal needed wood flooring. He made a few phone calls and came up with hundreds of square feet of hardwood, in various lengths and widths, that otherwise would have gone into the trash on other job sites. Just by planing it to uniform thickness, then sanding and refinishing it, he saved his client almost $9,000 in materials costs.
If your home is lacking plumbing shut-off valves in the area you are working on, you may have to shut the water off at the main valve, leaving your home without access to running water. Plan ahead and place containers of water in the fridge for drinking, on the counter for cooking and have buckets of water available to flush the toilet. An easy way to do this is to fill the bathtub with water and place a bucket nearby to pour into the toilet bowl.

For the most part, if you plan to sell, you will get the most bang for your buck with small, low cost improvements to your home. Have the carpets shampooed, de-clutter and clean. Add fresh paint or wall paper. In fact, even if you don’t plan to sell, you might find that your home feels almost new if you just make some improvements to the overall cleanliness. The only exception to this low-cost remodeling rule is if you only have one bathroom. Your family will probably be more comfortable — and you’ll be more likely to sell — if you put in at least one more bathroom.

Many homeowners consider obtaining a building permit as an unnecessary headache which can slow down the renovation process, but permits are a necessary part of the process in most cases, which can come back to haunt you if not obtained in the first place. Building permits are necessary to ensure your house remodel meets structural and fire safety requirements and code inspectors in most jurisdictions can make you rip out non-conforming work if not up to snuff. This can create a very expensive headache when looking to sell your home down the road. It’s always advisable to think ahead and ensure the permit process is followed. Check out our DIY home improvement rules for more tips.

It really helped when you said that getting an efficient lighting design can help eliminate shadows on faces. That was a common problem we have in our bathroom before. It was too dark and my husband easily gets cuts when shaving. With this bathroom improvement project, I’d be sure to get help from a professional so we can remedy this lighting issue. Thanks for the very helpful tip!
But why scale back a project or forgo that Viking range? No, what you need to do is get your dream at a price you can afford. And not by cheaping out, either. With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners. On the following pages, we'll show you the ways, from the big (knock down the house and start over) to something as small as choosing a wall sconce over a recessed light. But another universal truth about renovations is that every little thing adds up. So save a little here, save a little there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. 
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