Project management basics

3_31Kitchens and bathrooms are often the most used rooms in your home and as such can begin to show their age fairly quickly. Fortunately, a remodeling project can provide the opportunity to give these spaces a cosmetic makeover. You can even upgrade to the latest features that may make the rooms more enjoyable and efficient to use. There are always new products being offered by manufacturers and upgrading may even increase the value of the home.

However, while the abundance of available options for the rooms can be exciting for a homeowner, they can also allow a remodeling project to get off-track quickly. It’s very easy for a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project to exceed budget and schedule unless a little self-discipline is imposed. Try these tips for keeping your kitchen and bathroom remodeling costs under control:

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Tip 1: Have a Plan

Flying by the seat of your pants works for some endeavors. But not usually for effectively managing kitchen and bathroom remodeling costs. Meeting with a professional kitchen and bathroom designer who can draw up a remodeling plan helps to make efficient use of the space in the room, often allows you to make choices that may lower remodeling costs, and most importantly – ensures that important items or features aren’t overlooked. A drawing also helps contractors provide accurate estimates for the costs involved with your project and allows you to get required permits.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Tip 2: Hire an Experienced Contractor You Can Work With

Good communication is a key ingredient to keeping kitchen and bathroom remodeling costs under control. Depending on the scope of your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, a contractor may be working on your kitchen or bathroom for several weeks before the project is complete. While you may have to check their references to verify that they have the experience to tackle your remodeling job, you can often tell a lot about their personality during the initial meeting. The contractor may never be your best friend, but your remodeling project should be much more enjoyable for everyone involved if a good relationship can be maintained during the course of the job.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Tip 3: Create a Reasonable Budget

Don’t feel embarrassed that you have to be concerned about your kitchen or bathroom remodeling costs. Few homeowners have the resources to simply tell a contractor that costs are not an issue. Create a budget that you can easily afford. Stretching yourself to the limit can be stressful and there’s a pretty good chance that there may be some unexpected costs during the course of your remodeling project. And consider putting off some upgrades until a later date to reduce remodeling costs. New kitchen appliances can be added later and even floor coverings can usually be done after the majority of the kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is complete.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Tip 4: Resist the Urge to Make Changes

Be aware of the possible consequences that making changes to your project can have on your kitchen or bathroom remodeling costs. The reality is that remodeling costs can get out of control by making changes. Resist the urge to make any changes once construction has begun on your project. Making changes can delay the schedule, may cause the contractor to shift workers to another home, and almost always increase remodeling costs. Many kitchen and bathroom materials require lead times when ordered so they’re on the job site when needed. And if you change a kitchen cabinet selection, countertop material, or soaking tub brand, weeks could be added to your completion date. When a contractor moves their workers to another site until the new materials arrive, it can sometimes take awhile before they are able to return.

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Tip 5: Let the Workers Do their Jobs

It’s only natural to want to see the progress being made on your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project – after all, it’s your house. However, from a cost management perspective, it’s often better to wait until after working hours to take a stroll through the area under construction. Many of the workers are there to do a specific task and will have no idea about the plan for the overall project. While being friendly is fine, asking questions can slow down their progress and may even lead to confusion and a work stoppage. It’s usually best to hold your questions for the general contractor or jobsite superintendent who is responsible for supervising your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. The exception is if you see something being done incorrectly or differently than you had anticipated. When that happens, stopping the worker will often be much appreciated.

Just like almost any other job, planning, hiring the right people, and keeping costs in-line are usually the keys to keeping your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project running smoothly.

And be sure to read our helpful article regarding kitchen remodeling costs and their return on investment if you are considering a remodeling project for your home.

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