Is a remodeling project at the top of your list of priorities right now? Ready to spruce up your out-of-date kitchen? Want to create a more open living space? Perhaps you just want to modernize your home but aren’t sure where to start.
Remodeling presents a daunting proposition. But if you have a clear idea of what you want, where everything is going to fit in, and how much it is all going to cost, it doesn’t have to be. This 5-step guideline can help ease your remodeling anxieties.
Before we get started, check out this Expert Tip from Evernote Expert, Frank Buck!
“Start with a notebook. After all, back in the pencil & paper world, you would have started by
grabbing a three-ring binder or at least a file folder and labeling it “Kitchen Renovation.” When you snapped the Polaroid photo of the cute dining room, you would tape it to a piece of paper and put it in the notebook. (If you’re wondering what a “Polaroid photo” is, ask someone with gray hair.)
In Evernote, create a notebook and label it “Kitchen Renovation.” Create a note and hit the little camera icon. Now, take that photo. Instead of it winding up with everything else in the camera roll, it’s inside the note saved inside the Kitchen Renovation notebook.”
Tip #1: Plan your project
Imagine assembling a car without instructions or knowledge of automotive mechanics. It would be nearly impossible. The same goes for remodeling your home. Having a solid plan for your project is going to be the single most important part of your remodeling success.
A beautiful result requires a well-thought-out plan, so make sure to start with the end in mind. Before you begin, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to achieve by doing this project?
- How much of the house needs to be remodeled to get there? Will it entail knocking out walls or fences? Or will it be mostly cosmetic?
- What needs to move around in the house… furniture, etc.?
- What’s the ideal time of year to take on the project?
There are, of course, other considerations, but starting with these initial questions will help get your remodeling project off on a solid foundation.
Tip #2: Design your budget
Sticking to a budget is always a challenge. Creating a budget for a large project you’ve never done before is an even bigger challenge. When it comes to home remodeling costs, building a viable budget requires a comprehensive plan and tons of research.
As well as being able to clearly communicate with contractors, suppliers, and tradesmen, you must be able to accurately price each part of your project upfront. This gives you the peace of mind that you won’t be spending more than you can afford once construction has started.
Determine a number and stick with it. Granite countertops are appealing, but are they in your budget? Think about how much you can spend on the project and add some cushion to accommodate any surprises.
Power tip: Evernote’s Budget Template is ideal for planning your renovation project and staying on top of the overall cost of supplies and labor. The “notes” section in the row for each expense allows you to keep track of expenses and materials. There’s also a section for your notes at the top of the worksheet that you can use to jot down insights and tweak your remodeling plans as needed.
Tip #3: Construct your timeline
An organized timeline will help streamline your remodeling process from start to finish. Here’s a example of what your timeline might look like:
- Plan your design, build a budget, and consult with contractors
- Demolish sections for remodeling
- Install electrical systems and plumbing
- Build frames, add drywall and paint
- Install cabinets and fixtures
- Install doors and windows
- Remove debris and clean
- Install flooring (carpet, hardwood, etc.)
- Add trim and remaining touches
Power tip: Tasks in Evernote can help you scope out your entire project, capturing the different steps and allowing you to set due dates, flags, and reminders. Get an overview of everything on your remodeling plate, or focus on the information you need to tackle the task at hand. Start each day confident that you have a clear plan of action, and that nothing important will get lost in the… ahem, rubble.
Tip #4: Build your team
Depending on the scope of your project, you may want to bring in a specialized contractor. Between roofing, flooring, siding, and other remodeling services, different contractors are going to have different processes, so you’ll need to find the one that supports your vision.
Residential specialists will have access to permits and licenses for your specific need and are insured in case anything goes wrong. Hiring specialized contractors will make your remodeling process smoother and yield the end result you are looking for. When deciding on a contractor, be sure to check their credentials, references, and reviews to ensure quality workmanship.
Tip #5: Nail down your details
A rock-solid contract and a detailed discussion, communicating all expectations between you and your contractor is key to a successful remodeling outcome.
You need to agree on a timeline with estimated completion dates, room for making adjustments, and instructions for how payments will be processed. Lien waivers are going to be very important in your contract. In some U.S. states, contractors can file liens for work that has been paid for, so be certain to communicate how each section of work will be waived to avoid complications and excessive charges. It is also smart to consider incorporating safeguards into your contract to rescind the agreement if it doesn’t align with your desired goal.
Get your contractor to sign a contract after you have agreed on the expected work. Signatures legally bind both parties to the agreement, but some states require contractor numbers and addresses for both parties. Consider the laws and regulations within your state and develop a contract that protects you and your property from any potential legal issues in the future.
Power tip: Manage all your remodeling tasks right from Home and stay on top of your priorities. Home is your Evernote HQ, serving up the information you need when you need it so you can prioritize and focus on what’s important.
Ready to get started?
Remodeling your home is one of the most exciting, yet intimidating, undertakings you can ever tackle. It’s a challenge to plan an entire renovation project—and that’s before you even get to breaking down the walls!
But remodeling your home doesn’t have to be stressful. By implementing a solid plan and carefully considering exactly what you want from the process, you can organize and manage every step, making the execution of your home remodeling seamless.
A little help from Evernote can get you there.