If you’re seeking to plan a remodel like a pro, we know the planning can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to make and details to keep track of.  Planning the updates, selecting the right contractor, and selecting the right products and materials. How do you know where to start?

For some guidance on how to get started read our tips below.

Create A Design Plan

The first step, our motto – “it all starts with a plan” is imperative here. First, you’ll want to determine what your goals are – is it to update the aesthetics? Improve functionality? Fix any plumbing or electrical problems? Increase the value of your home?

When creating your remodel plan be sure to think about your future needs, not just your current needs. You want your home to functionally expand and grow as your needs change.

-Draw a Floor Plan

Having an accurate floor plan is the most important step in beginning your design plan. If you aren’t sure how to create an “as-built” which is the footprint of your existing space or home, then consult a professional or check out our products here. You will also need to have the new floor plan ready to discuss with your contractor.

-Build your Scope of Work

After the floor plans are complete, you will work to build your scope of work. This is written from the perspective of the build process. Demo, framing, plumbing, electrical, flooring, cabinets, counters, etc. Having this written document adds clarity for you and the contractor and keeps details from being missed.

-Create your Design Palette

This is the step where you begin to save ideas from Pinterest, Houzz and other visual sites. You will begin to look at materials, build your mood board and create the beauty of the project. Because your new floor plan is already developed, this is the fun part and where you get to bring your personal touch in the beauty of the space.

Saving ideas on boards in Pinterest and creating a mood board with potential material choices, give you a solid vision to build on for your design aesthetics. Now you are ready to start honing in on the budget.

Create your Budget

Creating a realistic budget is key. If you have no idea what a potential renovation can cost, then work from your new floor plan and get with a contractor. He doesn’t need the design or material choices to give you a baseline bid. He can bid the project with average material choices. We highly recommend this step, because it keeps you in sync with your budget when designing, rather than designing first and realizing you went over budget.

Finalize your Selections

The next step of your plan is to assess your priorities. You may have grand ideas of what you want your space to look like, but now you can adjust to what you can realistically afford. It is best to start at the foundational elements like flooring. Functionally all of your designs will be built off of the flooring.  Remember, you can always tackle your remodel in stages if you can’t afford to update everything at once, but creating a cohesive plan in the beginning sets you up for success.

You should also think about longevity, don’t just think about quick fixes. It is a good time to assess any older electrical or plumbing systems.  Any home over 15 years should be considered for functional updates. Prioritize always adding value and longevity to your remodel.

Building a strong remodel design plan is imperative. Creating both value and functional designs will serve you for the long term.

Prepare for your Contractor

You are going to need several documents to provide your contractor prior to getting a final accurate quote. Floor plans, both existing and new, design details with elevations, 3Ds and detailed notes. Your budget spreadsheet with all selections and details outlined, and your design mood board that shows the overall intent. This way you leave no questions unanswered and your contractor can be very clear as well.

Don’t Forget to Consult the Experts

Think about any changes and updates that you’re making, that may need a consult with the experts on the extent of the structural changes and associated costs. This is a good step for you to manage and not rely on the contractor, as it will help with your understanding of all that entails.

Once you have all your costs outlined, set aside 10-20% for contingencies. This may sound like a lot, but once you start opening up the walls and removing floors, you don’t know what issues may lie beneath.

If you run into an unforeseen problem, you’ll then be glad you set aside the money to deal with it.  For more on remodel budget planning read our post.

Professionals You Should Consider Hiring

A general contractor – They organize and supervise every aspect of the construction project. This includes getting permits and hiring subcontractors like plumbers or electricians if needed. They understand required local codes and guidelines for a solid construction project.

An architect or structural engineer – If you’re making structural changes, an architect or engineer will help you devise a plan to meet your needs and local building codes and provide stamped construction drawings to obtain permits.

An interior designer – will help you come up with a plan and provide remodeling construction drawings along with design drawings and 3Ds. They oversee the entirety of the project, including liaising with contractors and subcontractors. They’ll help you select all the finishes to make your home look stunning and cohesive.

When in doubt it’s always best to go with a professional who will help you avoid costly mistakes and save you time and money in the long run. 

For selecting professional help, ask friends and family for recommendations, do your research to ensure you’re hiring experienced and licensed professionals. Get more than one estimate to make sure you’re hiring the right fit for you.

Plan For Set Backs

No matter how organized you are or how experienced your team is, there is always the possibility for unforeseen issues to arise. 

Planning for contingencies in your budget helps, but also plan for this in your expected timeline. More often than not the project will take longer than you initially estimate.

Also, prepare yourself emotionally – don’t get upset when issues come up, just focus on the resolution and moving forward. If you started with a solid plan in the beginning, it will help avoid many of the issues that people run into because they didn’t plan properly.

It’s good to have a backup plan in case things don’t go according to your initial plan. A good designer will be keeping this in mind, and be able to regroup quickly to avoid costly delays.

For a more comprehensive guide that includes planning, design resources and information about material selection purchase our remodel guide here.

Also, check out the National Association of Remodeling Industry  and NKBA for additional helpful advice.

If you decide you’d like a professional designer to take the stress off your shoulders, schedule a consult with us.