Pros to Know
Architect: Assesses and plans any structural changes to your home. This is the first call to make for a major remodel that affects your home's footprint, room-to-room flow, or mechanicals.
Builder: Usually contracts and supervises the new-construction portion of the project. Many builders are also remodelers. Verify certifications, recent projects, and references to determine whether the candidate fits your project.
CBD/CKD/CKBD: Abbreviations for certified bath designer, certified kitchen designer, and certified kitchen and bath designer. If your project is focused on either (or both) of these rooms, contact this specialist -- who works with construction pros -- early to assist in the planning and selection stages.
Contractor: Head honcho of the remodel (managing construction professional). In charge of the whole project, a general contractor is your main contact. Others (sometimes called subcontractors) perform specific duties, such as plumbing or roofing.
Designer-Builder: Combines architectural planning, engineering, and construction. This hybrid designer and contractor oversees projects from start to finish, which can be efficient. Ask for a clear explanation of expertise.
Interior Designer: Works with the construction team to select materials and finishes. Not just for curtains and couches, an interior designer can select materials such as flooring and millwork to reflect the style of your home and ensure a harmonious, practical space.
Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer: Expert in all things plants, materials, and landscape design. If your project includes outdoor spaces, this pro can highlight your home's architecture and integrate natural elements and lighting to up the wow factor and add curb appeal.
Remodeler: Expert in improving, adding to, or renovating homes (sometimes specialized, so be sure to ask). Depending on the scope of the project, a qualified remodeler might be the only contact you need. Ask about remodeling certifications.
Renovation Consultant: Remodeling coordinator (like a wedding coordinator). These fairly new and scarce resources are liaisons who assess your remodeling project, make recommendations, and connect you with the right pros for your job.
Suppliers: Construction-material reps. Home stores, lumberyards, and building-product dealers can offer useful insights, detailed specs, and application tips. The best part? Their assistance is usually free.
Home Remodeling Tips
- Be goal-oriented: Define the remodeling objectives, and tackle only what directly relates to your project.
- Predict the future: Anticipate future needs (empty nest, benefits to potential buyers) to make the project worth the investment.
- Spend smart: Know the value of your home and the homes around you. Pricing your house out of the neighborhood can be trouble when you want to sell.
- Set the bottom line: How much will you spend? Monitor finances so you're not sacrificing to stay on budget at the project's end.
- Get inspired: The fun part! Pore over magazines, visit home shows, and browse stores for ideas.
- Chart your course: Get organized with a project file containing sketches, clips, swatches, samples, and product literature.
- Talk it out: Ask friends for referrals and product recommendations. Tap into the resources at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry website at nari.org.
- Read carefully: When reviewing bids, read the fine print. If there are license, permit, or municipal requirements, find out now! Know costs associated with changes, materials, deadlines, and other contract requirements.
- Know your role: You don't have to supervise, but be involved and accessible.
- Enjoy the spoils: After the inconveniences and when the dust settles, remember that you turned an idea into a life-enhancing reality.
More for You
Learn everything you need to know about a bathroom remodel. Our free Ultimate Bathroom Planning Guide will walk you through the process from start to finish.
Explore how different remodeling projects increase your home's value.
Get tips and advice on remodeling and room makeovers in our free Home Improvement newsletter.
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