Starting or even considering a Alaska home remodeling project can be overwhelming for even the most diligent planner. These challenges only grow when this is the first time you have considered such an endeavor. No matter which room, how large or how in-depth, a home remodel (especially if you are living in the house) will involve many details and can quickly become daunting and unpleasant.
Below is a list of steps and tips you can use for planning your home remodel project. This list can also help you prioritize your project plan and work with your contractor here at Crighton & Cooper Construction in Anchorage, Alaska, to remain on schedule and on budget.
Alaska Home Remodeling Project Steps
1) Create a detailed home improvement project plan
The first and most logical step in a remodeling project is to develop a plan. Your plan should clearly state the goal for your renovation project and include any design inspiration you may have found. It should also include an outline of the work that needs to be completed. Other elements you may want to include in your project plan could also include:
- Blueprints or sketches of your finished project
- A list of needs and wants for your project
- Project steps divided into DIY and steps that will require a professional remodeling contractor like Crighton & Cooper Construction In Anchorage
At this point in the planning process, you will also need to investigate local zoning regulations and permitting requirements. Make sure your neighborhood is appropriately zoned for the anticipated size and structure of your remodel. Keep in mind that some renovations, such as garage conversions or second-floor additions, are not allowed everywhere. It is also essential to find out if you will need a permit from your local zoning department. You may want to start this process as early as 6 to 12 months before you’d like to begin your project. This ensures that you will have all the necessary permits in place before when your contractor and their team arrive to start your project.
2) Establish a project budget
After you’ve laid out your plans, the next step when planning a home renovation is to determine your budget and how you are going to finance your project. Your budget should include the costs for permits and building materials, labor costs, decorations, and an additional percentage for the inevitable cost overage associated with most projects.
While building your budget, you will need to decide how much you want to spend and finalize how you are going to handle financing. Set aside at least 10% of your budget for those unexpected costs. You cannot complete your budget until you request cost estimates from any professionals you plan to hire. You will also need to price out all the required materials for your renovation if your contractor is not going to do that. At Crighton & Cooper Construction, we are happy to provide cost estimates for your project, including material and labor. You should start this project at least three to six months before you wish to start your renovation. In reality, it is better to start this process as soon as possible as it will increase your chances of securing a professional Anchorage remodeling contractor to help with your project.
3) Select and finalize your contractors
Step 3 in your home renovation planning should be hiring your team. Do not choose your contractors based on cost estimates alone. When interviewing and selecting contractors, it is also essential to consider some or all of the following:
- Experience: Often, a contractor who’s been in the business for a long time is a safer bet than one who is brand new to the industry.
- Licensing: Make sure your contractor has gone through all of the steps required to obtain any required certifications or licenses specific to their line of work. Many states and municipalities require contractors to be licensed to work on projects, whether residential or commercial.
- Insurance: Your selected contractor should have adequate worker’s compensation and liability insurance for the type of work they perform. If your contractor is not adequately insured, any accidents, injuries, or damages that occur to your property could become your responsibility and your expense.
- References: Request and call references. This is an excellent way to make sure your contractor is equally as good on the job site as they appear on paper.
- Payment Schedule: A reputable contractor will not ask you to pay the full price upfront. Also, the Better Business Bureau advises you not to do this should it be requested. However, it is important to discuss payment terms before construction begins.
You should finalize your contractors, payment arrangements, and any other details associated with this step at least two to three months before your anticipated project start date.
4) Build a home renovation timeline
Once you have determined your budget and finalized the team for your remodeling plan, it is time to put together a timeline for your project. First, choose the desired start date or the desired completion date. Please discuss with your contractor which steps of the remodel need to be completed first, how long they will take, and which portions of the project can be completed concurrently. Additionally, you need to be sure your timeline includes time allotted to cleaning and preparing the project area, shipping and delivery of materials, and any holidays or time your contractors will not be able to be at your job site. Discuss your timeline with your contractors and confirm that the timeline is realistic and keeps you within your required budget. This process should also take place two to three months before your desired start date.
5) Prepare your Alaska home for renovation
Now that the planning process is nearing an end, it is time to prepare the space and make plans to avoid using the area of your house that is going to be under construction. Whether or not you should live in the home while your remodel is in progress, depends on the type of work being performed.
Renovating a master bedroom? Make alternate sleeping arrangements somewhere else in your home.
Planning to add a second story to your home? In this case, you may need to make alternative living arrangements until such time as the roof of your home has been returned to normal.
Discuss your renovation plans with your contractor and let them provide you advice as to the best course of action. Your professional contractor will help you determine whether you need to temporarily rearrange your living arrangements inside your home or completely exit your home.
6) Ask your contractor plenty of questions
When planning your renovation, don’t be afraid to ask your contractor questions at any time. Ask their professional opinion about your:
- Required materials
Use their expertise to validate your choices and avoid the potential for serious and costly mistakes.
7) Plan for problems
Even the most detailed home remodeling plan can have issues. Don’t let that surprise you or get you down. Be prepared for delays and problems by setting aside a portion of your budget for unforeseen costs and allotting a few extra days in the renovation timeline. This will prevent stress and overspending during the renovation and will also help you stick to your plan and budget in the end.
8) Plan ahead for waste removal
Don’t wait until your project has already started to think about how you are going to dispose of construction waste. Include the cost of this in your budget and make sure you discuss your plans with your contractor before your project begins. Decide who is responsible for finding a waste removal solution (you or your contractor) during the planning process.
Contact Crighton & Cooper Construction Today
If you are looking for a remodeling contractor for your Alaska home remodeling project, contact Crighton & Cooper Construction in Anchorage, Alaska. We would be happy to come to your job site, provide you with a free Anchorage remodeling consultation, and help you understand what will be required to complete your desired home remodeling project. Renovations can add beauty and value to your home, but they can also be challenging and expensive if they go wrong. Don’t let your project go awry. Contact the professionals at Crighton & Cooper Construction for your home renovation needs.