Thinking about renovating your home? Working with a remodeling contractor, such as First Finishers, LLC, is an ideal way to breathe new life into your home, make it reflect your personal sense of aesthetics, and better fit your lifestyle.

However, many homeowners are unaware of just what it means to go through a renovation. Is it as simple as hiring a general contractor, explaining your vision, and then waiting for the work to be done? Actually, there is a bit more to it. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect when it comes to renovating a home using a professional contractor.

Do “Remodeling” and “Renovating” Mean the Same Thing?

Some of the confusion surrounding the topic comes from the use of different terms. For instance, do remodeling and renovating mean the same thing? In some cases, they can be used interchangeably, but that is not always the case. As an example, construction with renovation often means repairing or restoring damage to a structure.

Remodeling just means to change the structure or form. Renovation might be used to describe the process of bringing an outdated home up to code, while remodeling could be changing an already modern home to better suit the tastes of the current owner.

Why Work with a Remodeling Contractor?

If you’re handy with a saw and a hammer, you might be tempted to do some of the renovation or remodeling work yourself. That’s understandable, but ideally, you’ll work with a trained professional from the beginning. Sure, you probably have the ability to hang drywall or install a new kitchen countertop, but a general contractor can get the work done faster, with fewer missteps, and tie it in with other elements to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

What to Expect During a Renovation/Remodel

Not sure what to expect during your renovation process? Actually, no two remodels are identical. A lot will vary depending on the age of the home, the extent of the remodel or renovation, your goals, and other factors. With that being said, there are a few things that are common to all remodeling processes.

Know Your Goals: First, make sure that you know what you want to accomplish, whether that’s a remodeled kitchen that offers better usability, an upgraded bathroom, or a completely refreshed home. Speak with your contractor about your goals and discuss how you will reach them, including:

  • Material choices, such as new counters, cabinets, fixtures, flooring, etc.
  • Finish choices (matte or gloss, etc.)
  • Paint colors
  • Appliances such as a stove, refrigerator, oven, etc. if applicable

By discussing your goals and preferences with your contractor, you can lay the foundation for a successful remodel and avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings.

Know Your Budget: Make sure that you know your budget going into the remodel. Before starting the project, the remodeling contractor should provide you with an estimate on the price as well as the timeline for completion.

Make certain that you’ve budgeted more than the total cost of the estimate. It’s rare for a job to cost less than a contractor estimates, but it’s not uncommon to see cost overruns, particularly if changes need to be made in the middle of the project, or if you change your mind about what you want in the process.

Deal with Permitting: Depending on the situation, where you live, and the remodeling contractor that you choose, permits will play a role in your remodel/renovation. Discuss this with your contractor along with your budget. Will you be responsible for obtaining permits, or will the contractor be doing that? Is the cost of the permits factored into the estimate they provided? What permits are actually necessary and how much do they cost? These are all factors that you’ll need to consider.

Plan for Noise and Dust: Even the most basic remodel project will cause some disruption to your life in the form of noise and dust. Before anything new can be built, the old must be torn down. The more extensive your project, the greater the mess and the more noise will be created. You’ll need to factor this into your plans – will knocking out that bathroom wall make it difficult for your toddler to get his naptime in? Will sawing and drilling make it difficult to work from your home office? Understand that noise and dust are all part of the process and find ways to work around them.

Plan for Downtime: There will be periods during your remodel project where areas of your home are not usable. This may not be a big inconvenience if you’re just renovating a second bathroom. However, it could cause serious issues if you’re having your kitchen completely remodeled from the ground up, or you’re going through another extensive renovation process.

The more in-depth the project, the more impact it will have on your family’s schedule. Plan for times when you won’t be able to use parts of your home and have workarounds ready. For instance, if your kitchen will be out of commission for a week, plan to have dinner out all week. The better you can plan around these periods, the less impact they will have on you and your family.

Plan to Inspect: Even the most trustworthy remodeling contractor should be inspected from time to time. Plan to inspect work done regularly, but avoid doing so during the workday. Interrupted work time is just time added to the end of the remodel. Discuss any concerns or questions with the contractor as soon as possible, either immediately after the inspection or the next day. Follow up on anything that you asked to be addressed, as well.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, working with a remodeling contractor to ensure your Olympia area home fits your family and lifestyle is an excellent idea. Knowing what to expect going into the process is important, though. Having an idea of what a renovation of your house actually means will help you plan for things you might not have anticipated otherwise and ensure a successful conclusion to the project.