Successful Remodeling: Ten Tips for Keeping Your Sanity


Article by: Dan Fritschen

ORGANIZE! To make the job easier and ensure your percentage of good ideas is as high as possible, you need a strategy to organize your information. , Portable Single Room Air Conditioner Models Offer Versatility Use a three-ring binder or expandable file folder. You must keep copies of all contracts, change , How to Select an Installer for Your Solar Panels orders, invoices, receipts, and permits. These will be invaluable if you have disputes with your contractors , Deck Building Ledger - The Secrets to Successful Deck Construction and when tax time comes around. Other sections to consider are ideas from magazines, quotes, contractor , Feng Shui and Wind Chimes contact info, and so forth.

You can purchase an organizer at

Don't be afraid to play designer. , The Benefits of Painted Wall Murals Many "amateur" home , Try using bathroom mirrors in your bathroom to reflect objects of interest designers come up with great ideas, and since you are living in your home , Outdoor Trash Cans and Ash Bins day after day, you can have better ideas than the "pros." So get out a pencil, make 100 copies of your current floor , Make Your House A Home plan, and sketch out all the alternatives. It doesn't matter how great or bad they are, experiment with alternatives. At this point it's free, so enjoy!

But don't get too wild and crazy. You are almost always better to stick with a traditional size and shape in a home, , The Air Mattress of the Future is Here! both for resale value and cost for your remodel. Having a kitchen , The Air Mattress of the Future is Here! on the second floor , The Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for a Mattress may strike you as a clever and unique solution, but if it means moving the gas, , Choosing and Installing a Replacement Above Ground Pool Liner electrical wiring, and plumbing , Family Health - Investing In An Ionic Air Purifier up to the second floor, , Fiberglass Shingles this change , How to Select an Installer for Your Solar Panels will add significantly to the project costs. And don't install bright orange tile , Furnace Buying Tips on all the floors: If you have to move unexpectedly, most prospective buyers will deduct the cost to replace it from their offer.

Figure out what you can do yourself. , Feng Shui and Wind Chimes Have contractors , How To Enjoy Outdoor Beauty When You Choose A Teak Porch Swing For Your Home itemize their quotes to determine which phases of your project you might be able to do yourself , Doing Engraved Plaques Right and which ones you want to hire someone to do. Tasks you might consider doing include project management, demolition, rough electrical wiring, installation of cabinets, fixtures, and appliances, and finish work. Tasks you should probably leave to the pros include foundation work, framing, installing sheetrock and breaker boxes, and connecting your home , Remove Carpet Stains - The How To to the electrical service.

Consider "practice" remodeling. If you aren't quite ready to commit to doing part of the work yourself, , Gas Stoves - Pros and Cons get some hands-on experience. Find a small project around the house , Rawhide Lamp Shades for Rustic Lighting - How to Measure and Choose the Right Size Lampshade and tackle it yourself, , Appliance Parts such as putting a floor , The Benefits of Aluminum Flagpoles in the attic or building , Portable Single Room Air Conditioner Models Offer Versatility shelving in the garage. , Doing Engraved Plaques Right Or offer to help out a neighbor or volunteer for a Habitat , Sparkling, Clean Lighting Will Add The Perfect Touch To Your Home for Humanity project. These experiences will give you a firsthand look at the work. Alternately, you might take an education course at Home , Why is a Mattress so important? Depot, Lowe's, or another building , Make Your House A Home material store.

Tips for finding a contractor:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Ask other people who have done work for you in the past such as your plumber or gardener.
  • Search your local , Why is a Mattress so important? and free newspapers for contractors' ads.
  • Try online , Discount Home Appliances referral services such as the one offered at
  • Ask at lumberyards and hardware , Appliance Parts stores, especially lumberyards that cater to contractors. , Laminate Flooring Is Built For The Twenty First Century

  • Always make sure your contractor , The Garage Door As Your Houseís Fashion Accessory is fully licensed , How to Select an Installer for Your Solar Panels with state and local , Feng Shui and Wind Chimes governments. Make sure the license is valid and up to date"‚ÄĚdo not rely on the contractor's word. You should contact your state, county, and city governments for information , Discount Home Appliances on the contractor's license. The website lists licensing requirements for all fifty states. Also make sure the contractor , The Benefits Of A Hepa Air Filter is fully insured and carries worker's compensation, liability, and property , Home Audio Furniture for Beginners damage insurance.

    Follow this contract check list: Every contract should include:

    Contractor information , Sparkling, Clean Lighting Will Add The Perfect Touch To Your Home including name, address, telephone numbers, license number.

    A list of what the contractor , Remove Carpet Stains - The How To will and will not do"‚ÄĚfor example, the tasks you have chosen to do, such as painting , Power Tools for Women or demolition.

    All materials, sizes, colors, , Laminate Flooring Is Built For The Twenty First Century specifications.

    A dated copy of all drawings and diagrams. If changes , My Dishwasher is Not Starting - What Can It Be? need to be made during the project, they should be made to these documents and initialed and dated by both you and the contractor. , The Benefits Of A Hepa Air Filter

    Start and finish dates.

    The times work will start and finish and the days of the week that workers will be at your home. , Chairs: Gotta Have Them

    How change , How to Select an Installer for Your Solar Panels orders will be handled.

    A warranty for one year.

    A binding arbitration clause.

    A statement of how the contract can be canceled.

    A statement that the contractor , Try using bathroom mirrors in your bathroom to reflect objects of interest will provide affidavits of final release, final payment, or final lien waivers from all subcontractors and suppliers.

    Use the Remodel-or-Move Calculator to estimate your costs. Available at, this calculator will give you an estimate by including information , Furnace Buying Tips about the rooms , Environment-Friendly Home Improvement Flooring Products Gain Mass Appeal that will be remodeled, the level of finish that you want, how you will manage the project, and where your home , Try using bathroom mirrors in your bathroom to reflect objects of interest is located. Because it is fully automated, it allows you to try a number of different combinations of materials and room , Rawhide Lamp Shades for Rustic Lighting - How to Measure and Choose the Right Size Lampshade changes quickly, and it's free.
    Dan Fritschen is the creator of, a homeowner support organization that helps homeowners become better informed so that they can make the right decision on whether to remodel or move. He is also the author of the book Remodel or Move? Making the Right Decision, available from ABCD Publishing, LLC. He can be reached at

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