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It all begins with a dream. Cathedral ceilings! Skylights! Room-sized closets! But, the dream may turn into a nightmare, unless you plan ahead. Before you remodel, follow these steps to get your home improvement project on the right start. Even before you consult a design team, you can begin by outlining your ideas and imagining your remodeled home or condo. If you are adding or expanding a room, think about how the space will be used and how the changes will affect traffic patterns. Also consider how new improvements will affect the overall context of your home.
A simple home design software program can help you visualize larger projects. One of the best ways to get inspiration and to avoid pitfalls is to follow the experiences of other homeowners. A number of Web sites offer online chronicles of home improvement projects, along with reply forms, message boards, and chat rooms that let you ask questions and get feedback. Although you may dream of having a spacious new addition, the project may not make sense if you plan to sell your house in a few years. A luxury bathroom can price your house beyond the values in your neighborhood. Moreover, your own family's needs may be very different in a few years. Will the plans you draw today fit your future?
Even the best-laid budgets can go bust. Chances are, your Home Improvement project will cost more than you expect. Before you set your heart on high-end ceramic tile or natural stone, find out how much you have to spend and make sure you have a cushion against cost overruns. Unless you plan to take on the entire remodeling project by yourself, you'll need to hire helpers. Naturally, you'll want to make sure that the folks who work for you are qualified, licensed, and properly insured. That's where Total Home can help. Make sure you feel comfortable with the experience and ability of your design/construction team.
Whether you plan a simple carpentry job or a major project requiring the services of an architect and a general contractor, misunderstandings can lead to disaster. Do not begin remodeling without a written contract. Make sure everyone agrees on the work that will be completed and how long it will take. Also be clear on the types of materials that will -- and will not -- be used. In most parts of the world, a legal permit is required before you make structural changes to your home. The building permit assures that the remodeling project meets local building codes and safety regulations.