Four things to keep in mind before you take the plunge
A recent Sonrise Construction kitchen remodel
Courtesy Sonrise Construction
It’s official. You are ready to pull the plug on your yellow linoleum kitchen. You aren’t alone. According to a recent survey by LightStream, the lending division of SunTrust Banks Inc., 59 percent of homeowners are planning to spend money on home improvement projects in 2017. But before you head for the sink with a sledgehammer, follow these steps to make remodeling as painless as possible.
Spend some time on websites like houzz.com and pinterest.com to collect inspirational images for your project. Keep in mind the style of the rest of your home. Unless you plan on renovating every square inch, your current renovation should be able to blend with the rest of the house. Narrow down the photos until you know exactly what you want.
2. Know your budget.
Mike Fournier, owner of Sonrise Construction, cautions his customers against too much HGTV. “These shows are very misleading,” Fournier says, “because people donate their labor or products to get on the show.” So a TV remodel with a $10,000 price tag likely has hidden costs that tally a lot more. Visit homeadvisor.com for realistic, fair and local cost predictions.
3. Seek professional help.
Jeffrey Smith, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, has some cautionary words for the DIYers among us. “(Homeowners) can put a facelift on their home by painting or adding some trim, but if they want to open up a wall or move the kitchen sink, they need to hire a general contractor.”
When considering a contractor’s résumé, homeowners should look for several specifics. Do they have previous experience in the Tulsa area? Can they provide references from former clients? Do they have general liability and worker’s comp insurance? Smith warns against contractors who look for more than a 10 percent down payment or want to work without a signed contract. He recommends contacting the HBA for access to its remodeling directory.
4. Start making decisions.
The single best way to slow down your remodel is to change your mind after the process is underway. So be decisive. However, you’re the one who lived through yellow linoleum, so you deserve nothing less than perfection.