Remodeling is exciting, but it can also be stressful. After all, it’s an opportunity to radically change a space for the better. But, at the same time, there’s also the risk that something will go wrong, or that your planned features won’t work out the way you expected.
If you’re getting ready to remodel your Blairsville, Young Harris, or Hiawassee Georgia home, it helps to know what to expect and what process to use to minimize mistakes and make sure you’re ready to get started.
In this article, we'll cover the remodeling process, how to find a quality North Georgia contractor, and how to minimize the risk of problems or budget overtures along the way.
The Best Remodeling Process, Step-by-Step
A lot of people, especially people with some DIY experience and skill, think that remodeling is going to be a lot simpler than it is. That’s part of why Union county Georgia contractors and contractors across the country see so many bad or partially completed remodels that need fixing. You don’t want your home remodel to be the one that ran into problems and now need more help.
Like any construction project, winging it isn’t a good way to go. Instead, you want to have a plan for your remodel, and a clear idea of how the project is going to come together.
Here’s the time-tested process we recommend for anyone about to start a remodel in North Georgia:
There are a lot of benefits to following this process, not least the confidence that comes with having a solid plan. Here are some of the other benefits you can expect:
Now that you know what to do, here's how you can get your Blairsville remodeling project going.
First, Design Your Remodeling Project
Having a plan in place is crucial if you want to have a successful remodel. Plans help guide creative decisions, inform contractors about the goals for the space, and can also help you identify what supplies you’ll need to finish the job.
It’s also important to keep location in mind. If you’re working on a home remodel in Blairsville, Young Harris, or Hiawassee, it’s a good idea to check local contractor prices and the cost of materials. Construction materials costs vary widely from place to place, to the price here in North Georgia might be different than the same materials in a different part of the state.
That’s important for a few reasons. For one thing, having a plan makes it easier to make a realistic budget, and reduces the risk of going over budget.
A good plan also anticipates potential problems and minimizes surprises along the way.
The plan can also help you determine if your budget is feasible for the kind of remodel you’re planning.
There are two kinds of planning that you need to do here. The first is the plan you make before hiring a contractor. This plan doesn’t have to be as professional as the finished product, but it should give any contractors you work with an idea of the space, your goals for the project, and how much work it will take to finish the job.
The next plan you need comes from your contractor. Any Blairsville remodeling contractor should offer high-quality design renderings that will give you a better idea of the finished remodel. These renderings can also help you nail down your budget and choose between different design features and appliances.
A good render won't just show the remodel but also show it as it will appear in your home.
Next, Build a Budget
You might have an idea about the total budget you have available for a project, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here. That’s your price range, but your remodel budget should be a lot more detailed than that and based on actual materials and labor costs for Union and Towns counties.
Remember that roughly 5% of your total budget for a remodeling project should be set aside for emergencies and accidents. This money can be for things like a sink breaking during installation and needing to be replaced, or something as simple as some of the lumber arriving split or warped and needing replacement.
Your budget should influence the final remodeling plan as well. You might realize that to stay within your budget you need to shift the scope of your remodel or make tough decisions on things like finishes or appliances.
Your budget should include money set aside for:
In general, a detailed budget is incredibly important and the more detail the better. That said, you can also go to your contractor with a more general budget and ask them to itemize expenses. Some contractors will be more detailed than others, but this is still a good way to get a sense of what everything costs and whether your budget is reasonable.
Then, Choose a Local Georgia Contractor
Choosing the right contractor for your remodel is key to getting a good finish.
Here are some of the key things you should look for in a good contractor in North Georgia:
Fully Licensed Operation
In Blairsville, Young Harris, and Hiawassee there are many “guy in a truck” contractors that are not licensed. These are usually novices who can lead you into trouble. A professional contractor licensed to operate in your area should be willing to present proof of license if asked, and will ensure your renovation investments are not in vain.
They Are Insured
Professional contractors carry general liability and workers compensation insurance that will cover the cost if something goes wrong and your home is damaged or a worker is injured on your property. Having these insurance coverages will help ensure that you’re protected even if something unexpected does happen.
These days a contractor lacking an online presence is a good indicator they are not operating as a professional business. A professional website with informative blog content and a solid Google business listing are core indicators you are dealing with a professional outfit.
Good Reviews From Previous Clients
Reviews are the lifeblood of contractors and other independent professionals, and your contractor should have plenty of them. In particular, look for clients saying they’d work with the same contractor again for future jobs, or that they’ve hired the same person for more than one job.
Your Contractor Can Provide Designs
Some contractors work without a professional design and start building from your sketches or general ideas instead of creating a design of their own, but that isn’t ideal. That poor practice is how projects end up with flaws, run out of money, or both. Just remember, design time is not just about the finishes, it drives the total cost of your project so you know exactly what will be spent.
You want to work with a contractor that can provide detailed designs, and that is willing to create more than one design if you want comparisons, or if there is a particularly detailed portion of the remodel that needs its own.
They Have The Specializations You Need
Different remodels have different requirements. Contractors can specialize in specific kinds of remodels, some specialize in kitchens or bathrooms, adding patios, or installing offices and libraries. If possible try to find a contractor that has experience or skilled with similar projects to yours.
Handyman, Subcontractor, or Builder Contractor
Depending on your project, you might need to hire a specific type of contractor. Small fixes and task oriented jobs are usually better suited for a handyman that generalizes in maintenance type work, like changing a door knob or fixing a hole in a wall.
Bigger specific jobs like wallpaper, tile, carpentry, drywall, painting, etc. you will want to find and hire subcontractors that specialize in those trades.
A more complex project that needs changes to walls and roof structure and that will require help from multiple subcontractors is best handled by a professional builder contractor.
Finally, Execute Your Plan
The last step is actually completing the remodel, starting with ordering in supplies and completing any demolition required before the remodel can begin. From there, your contractors will start building the framework, and then work from the inside out to the finished remodel.
It’s normal for there to be a few small hiccups or changes to your plan during execution. But, assuming you did enough planning before getting started, these should be small and inconsequential.
Key Remodeling Tips
allHere are some tips to help your remodel be a success:
Choose a Theme that Matches Your Home
If you have a modern home, you should probably choose a modern-style remodel. If you're into the cottage core aesthetic and have a rustic home, stick to that theme. Mixing styles does not look good and actually lowers your home’s value.
Or, if you’re changing themes and style, make it consistent across the rest of your home.
Vet Contractors and Recommendations Ahead of Time
Don’t take your contractor’s word for their credentials. Use the tips above and do your research and make sure the facts line up. Ideally, look for contractors that have worked in your town, or at least nearby in North Georgia. You don’t want to be a contractor’s first job in a new area unless you’re very sure of their services.
Do Your Own Demolition
Instead of paying your contractor to do all of the demolition, offer to do some of your own. As long as you know what to avoid injury and damage, this can be a great way to save time and money and get your remodel going faster.
If your remodel means that you can’t live in your home, make sure you know where you and your family will stay in the meantime. If certain areas will be out of reach, or the electricity or water needs to be turned off for a time, make sure you have a plan for how to deal with those inconveniences.
Use the Skills You Have
If you’re a skilled painter, know how to install light fixtures, or do your plumbing, talk to your contractor about using those skills. It'll save you some money and will give you a bigger sense of accomplishment over your remodel.
Stellar Remodeling Ideas You’ll Love
Looking for inspiration, here are some ideas:
Natural Light Remodels
Adding new windows, larger windows, or skylights can bring in a lot more natural light. Consider knocking down interior walls and opening up the space to take advantage of the new illumination.
New Kitchens and Bathrooms Add Value
Modern appliances, more spacious arrangements, and improving the features of your kitchen and bathrooms can add a lot of value to your home while also making it more comfortable, especially if your existing appliances are 10 years old or older.
New faucets, sinks, and showers are particularly valuable changes.
There is nothing more enjoyable here in the Georgia mountains than spending time with friends and family on a nice quality deck. The right deck, properly built, is a safe and practical way to expand your home's usefulness and living spaces. Outdoor living is all the rage here in Union and Towns counties Georgia.
Porches and Patios
Adding or enclosing porches and patios to your home adds value, and can also increase the appeal of the property if you ever decide to sell. Plus, these additions and improvements are practical and can make living in your home that much more enjoyable.
Time To Add A Hot Tub?
Hot tubs also known as SPAs are popular additions here in the Georgia mountains and can be a great way to stay relaxed, add some value to your outdoor spaces, and increase your home’s functional appeal all at the same time – especially if you have a large deck.
Remodeling can be complicated, but being careful, trusting in the process, and following these steps will make it easier and help ensure better outcomes. Remember to keep in mind what you want, and only move forward with your remodel when you’re confident you have a workable plan.
Your planning time and effort will be rewarded when the project goes smoothly and your remodel comes to life exactly as you imagined it would. Need help with a remodeling project in Georgia's towns or union counties? Visit our Remodeling page for more information.
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