covered front porch in mickleton nj

Planning a Home Remodel to Perfection in 5 Steps

Whether you’re looking to revamp a single room or rehaul your entire house, planning a home remodel can be an intimidating prospect — especially if you’re new to the process. Not only are remodeling projects a commitment financially, but they can also potentially affect occupants mentally and emotionally as normal routines are disrupted. Once work has begun, it’s extremely difficult to reverse course, so it’s imperative that you:

  1. Have a clear concept of wants vs needs (within the range of possibility)
  2. Can locate the financial and human resources to execute your vision
  3. Are able to make the appropriate adjustments to day-to-day life while work is being completed.  

In other words, it pays to be prepared. Find out how to plan your next home remodel to perfection by following the steps below. 

1. Establish a vision

In an ideal universe, what would you want from the space you’re thinking about remodeling? Which of those things are luxuries, and which are necessities? Would your home’s current layout and footprint be able to physically and/or legally accommodate these changes? Sketch things out. Make a wish list and prioritize it. If you or someone you live with is handy, ask if there’s any part of it that you’d be willing or comfortable to do yourself. The clearer and more realistic your preliminary vision, the better it will be when it comes to choosing and communicating with future contractors. 

2. Set a budget

It is a good idea to review valid resources such as ‘Cost Vs Value’ to gain better insights as to what projects costs both regionally and nationally.  A tremendous labor shortage in all aspects of the trades has led to greater costs along with increases in all building materials that we don’t see ending anytime soon.  Be realistic with your remodeling contractor as it will help them better determine the scope of work you are considering and the level of finishes that may best suit your needs and your budget.  A reputable firm will make every effort to spell out the details in a well-formed contract and supporting collateral, but there are occasions when unforeseen issues arise so it is best to have a contingency fund.

3. Hire contractors

Once you have a grasp of what things cost and what you can comfortably afford, you’re ready to choose a home remodeling contractor for your job — but more importantly, the right home remodeling contractor for your job. In case you missed our previous blog post, here is a recap of the main things to consider:

  1. Do they have the capabilities? (manpower, equipment, experience)
  2. Are they reputable?
  3. Are you located within their service area? 
  4. Are they properly licensed, certified, and insured?

If you’ve done your research and like the answers to the above questions, then it’s time to hammer out a contract on the project scope and timeline. 

4. Solidify a timeline

Project timelines can be a sensitive subject — on the one hand, there is your desire to have the work done quickly; on the other, there is the contractor’s obligation to do the work correctly (and well). While none of us want to overstay our welcome, we definitely do not want to take shortcuts and potentially botch the jobs we were hired for.

At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we find the best way of managing this tension is through communication. It seems so simple, but it makes such a tremendous difference. It’s up to both sides to establish realistic expectations that account for:

  • The size and scope of the project
  • Availability of labor and materials
  • Our workload and schedule
  • Major events in your life and your schedule
  • The time of year
  • Special considerations relating to household members, neighbors, zoning laws and clearances, etc.

We take great care to be upfront and transparent with our customers about project progress and outlook, and will never take on a job that we’re not mutually ready for. 

5. Reorganize accordingly

Congratulations! A project timeline is settled and the work has a firm scope and start date. Now that you know what’s coming and when, your household can mentally and physically prepare for what’s ahead.

If you’re planning for a home remodel that involves a part of the house that is seldom used (finishing a basement) — or doesn’t exist yet (an addition, deck, or patio enclosure) — you may be able to carry on life mostly as normal. 

If you’re planning a home remodel that majorly affects the functionality and operation of your household, such as the kitchen, you’ll have to contemplate whether you’re okay with running a makeshift galley in another room, eating a lot of takeout, or borrowing a gracious friend or family member’s. And obviously, if the only bathroom in the house is being remodeled, you may want to investigate an alternative living arrangement temporarily. 

In either case, you’ll want to reorganize things (at least 1-2 weeks in advance) so that you and your contractor can comfortably coexist for the length of the project, ensuring everyone and everything comes out of the experience happy and intact. 

Remodeling consultations with Ayars

Ayars is proud that we’re so consistently in South Jersey’s plans for home remodeling projects and is planning on a busy 2022. As you consider the long-term vision for your home, we hope you’ll continue to consider us in the years to come. 

modern open concept kitchen mickleton nj reverse view

Updating a House: Determining Whether Your Remodel Is a Want or a Need

Whether it’s early on or decades into homeownership, many of us will think about updating a house at some point or another. There are those of us, too, that get so accustomed to our surroundings that we begin to ignore or neglect a dire need for change. But is now a good time to remodel your home, should you wait, or should you start over entirely?

Your best approach, of course, will depend on how much of your house needs updating, how significant you want those updates to be, and whether your budget can accommodate them. 

Why would you want to remodel vs. buying a new home?

Remodeling a home you already own can present several advantages over buying a new home

  1. Your neighbors and your neighborhood have a direct impact on your quality of life — if you enjoy where you’re at currently, there’s no guarantee you would have the same luck following a move.
  2. If you have a family, uprooting can be very disruptive, especially to younger children. 
  3. Selling your home — and consequently finding a new one — can be a time-consuming and expensive process when factoring in real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and the fact you may need to make fixes or upgrades to your home anyway in order to sell.
  4. Familiarity — over time, we become well acquainted with our home’s admirable qualities and its shortcomings. Therefore, when you plan a remodel, you’ll have a much better idea of how to play up the good and minimize the bad.

When to remodel: minor issues vs. major issues

So how do you know when to remodel your home? In a perfect world, the answer would be “whenever you feel like it” — but money and the pull of career and family and life can drastically sway timetables and priorities. Depending on the season and the remodeling job you have in mind, it is very possible that your preferred home remodeling contractor may not be available. For this reason, it may be wise to save interior home remodeling projects for the winter when there is less demand. 

Less dire reasons for remodeling would include aesthetic or cosmetic updates — and to that end, some of these are easy enough to make yourself (painting, swapping out switch covers, door knobs, and/or light fixtures). More dire reasons for remodeling relate to how your home is functioning — does it seem too small or too big? Are your cohabitants bumping into one another in the kitchen or fighting over the bathroom? Perhaps the areas for work and play are not well distinguished or separated.

Other reasons you might have for remodeling, such as a leaking roof or rotting floors, would be better classified as home repairs. Obviously, these items should be addressed before planning more topical updates.

hall bathroom in mickleton nj

When would I be better off buying a new home?

When updating your house starts to look like transforming it into something unrecognizable, or something it can never be, then you might be better off buying a new home. For example, if you have only a tiny piece of property to work with, you’re never going to be able to create that outdoor living space or build that home addition you’ve been dreaming of. If you really want an open concept and your existing structure can’t support that, then perhaps you’re best served to look elsewhere. And of course, if that existing structure has suffered major damages due to wind, fire, or water, remodeling may no longer even be an option. 

Complete home improvements with Ayars

Your home may have more to offer than you think. If you don’t know that yet, then perhaps after a consultation with Ayars Complete Home Improvements you will. Over the course of 50 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners throughout South Jersey on projects great and small. It’s not that we’re mind readers, it’s just that we’ve spent a lot of time listening to what’s on your mind.
And remember, if you have any further questions or concerns, we are only a quick phone call or message away.