The Economy and Your Remodeling Project
February 4, 2021 Steven Murphy
Here are a few things you can do to get ready for the day you feel comfortable about spending the money.
First, collect magazine photos and other information about the items you like, and put them into a folder. This can be fun, and you will probably get several good ideas.
Second, make a wish list of all the items you want and prioritize the list. This might include appliances, plumbing fixtures and faucets, cabinetry, or room colors. Prioritizing allows you to choose which items can be postponed until you feel you can purchase them without straining your finances.
Next, project a start date, and/or a finish date. These aren’t carved in stone, but you should have goals to shoot for.
Caution: don’t shoot for a holiday (like Thanksgiving) that is too close. This will put you under a lot of pressure and could force you into bad decisions. If you believe the project can be done in 2 months, give yourself 10 weeks. Things always come up that you didnt expect.
In the event that your remodeling project will require an architect or designer to make drawings, you can have the drawings done once you have your wish list finalized and prioritized. This will cost some money, but only a small percentage of the overall job.
And it could take a few months, so it’s a delay you won’t have once you get excited about going forward. Don’t concern yourself with permits yet – they expire (usually after one year), and you may not proceed before the expiration date. The future is getting harder and harder to predict.
Determine your budget. If you intended to finance the project, now is the time to talk to your lender. Make sure you know how much money you have to spend. With finished drawings in hand, get prices from at least 3 contractors.
Then adapt the scope of your project to fit your finances. This is why the wish list needed to be prioritized. Postpone the items which were not high on the list, if you have to.
Once you have decided how you want to make the job fit the financing, discuss this (in detail) with your chosen contractor. Get a revised price from him – understand that these prices are only good for a limited time (usually 90 days). Once you’re fairly certain that you will proceed within 3 months, have the contractor go for the building permit (if applicable).
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