The problem: your home is dated, dysfunctional, or doesn’t meet the needs of your lifestyle. The solution: remodel it for improved aesthetic and functionality. Sounds easy enough, right? The key is choosing the best option for getting it done. The way that you approach your home remodel can either make or break the success of the project, so it’s worth it to sit down and consider each of the options before moving forward.
What, then, are the best approaches? There are many, but here are some of the most common ways to get your home project completed:
1. Do It Yourself. This is certainly the cheapest option, as you won’t have to pay a professional to manage the project or complete the work for you. Cutting others out of the labor portion means all you have to pay for is the materials, which can save you a ton! This might be a realistic option to consider if you’re tackling a smaller project. Unfortunately, there aren’t many homeowners that have the skills required to complete an extensive remodel. It’s important to recognize when a project may be too complex for you to attempt on your own and call a professional to help!
2. Act as Your Own General Contractor. What many homeowners don’t realize when they pay someone to manage their remodel is the amount of time involved. Selecting, ordering, and receiving products and materials, scheduling the various stages of the project, managing subcontractors and tradespeople, and writing checks are only a few of the things they are responsible. Acting as your own General Contractor means that all of these responsibilities would fall on you. For some people, that might be a piece of cake, but for others, this time of full-project management is a lot to handle, especially if they already have a day job and a family to look after. You should also be aware that hiring friends to assist you with your project might not be the best choice! Home remodeling projects can quickly become stressful and can easily strain personal relationships. So, if you’re considering acting as your own General Contractor for your remodel because you’ve got some buddies that work in various trades, you might want to think long and hard about your relationships prior to moving forward!
Choosing to manage the remodel yourself also means you will be responsible for creating and executing a functional design. This may require the assistance of an independent designer if you get stumped. Having the designs drawn by a professional will be a helpful tool in communicating your project to your subcontractors, and also in applying for any necessary builder permit from the city.
3. Hire a General Contractor. If the thought of managing the entire project on your own is intimidating, hiring a General Contractor is another option. This is typically a one-man-show or a small company that specializes in the construction portion of the remodel. Being more labor-focused, they likely will not provide you with design assistance or material selections, so that is something you’ll need to take care of on your own. You’ll also need to be sure to do your homework before hiring a General Contractor; unfortunately, there are many not-so-honest guys out there that will tell you exactly what you want to hear, only to get your down payment check and then disappear with your money. Make sure they have a good reputation, do good work, and have been in business for several years. As tempting as it is to choose the cheapest guy that can get the work done soonest, take your time in interviewing and researching before you hire.
4. Hire an independent Architect or Designer. An independent design professional is a great option to pair with one of the previous options. They can assist with the overall plan for the remodeled space and provide a more organized, expedited process. This can be a big benefit to you if you are having trouble deciding on your design selections or sticking to your budget.
5. Work with a Design/ Build firm. We are partial to this option, but hiring a design-build firm is a great choice if you’re truly looking for a one-stop-shop to get your remodel completed. Most design-build firms will provide you with comprehensive drawings and renderings of your project, along with a quote to complete the construction as the contractor. In most cases, they will provide full project management from start to finish, taking care of everything from obtaining city permits to ordering your materials and completing installation. Although each company is different in the services they offer, our approach as a design-build firm is to take complete ownership of what we do. We handle drawings, renderings, city permits, design selections, ordering, receiving, project management, scheduling, construction, inspections, and warranty items. This means that you can rest easy knowing your home – your largest investment – is in good hands.
Regardless of which option you go with, be sure you have a clear understanding of what is to be done and what each individual’s role is in the process, including your own! Your personal knowledge and skills, budget, and desired timeframe should help you determine which path will best meet your needs.
If you have questions about the design-build process or would like to set up a consultation, contact us today! Our team would be happy to help!
The Medford Team