Home Remodeling Made Easier with Simple Tips

home remodeling

Without the right planning, a promising home remodeling project could turn into a logistical and emotional nightmare. However, if you get things right, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, comfortable, and efficient home to enjoy forever.

From your budget to material choices, there’s a lot to think about. We’ve broken down some of the most important aspects of home remodeling so that you know where to focus.

Remodeling doesn’t have to be overly complicated. There are ways to make the process simpler and with minimal stress. Learn some tips that will make your project more manageable with better results.

Remember the Bigger Picture When Planning Improvements

It’s easy to focus on the big improvements when planning whole home remodeling. The aesthetic and the feature improvements come to mind first. You could get excited about your new living spaces and forget some of the critical yet hidden aspects of home improvement.

Efficiency is one thing that many homeowners fail to calculate. Failing to improve the efficiency of your home could limit the value you get from a major project.

  • Fill your walls in every room if you want lower heating and cooling costs in the future. Insulation doesn’t last forever. If your home was built more than 20 years ago, you’ll need to have insulation inspected to see if it needs to be replaced. The right insulation will make your home more energy efficient and can even address noise problems.

  • Replacing older windows can also increase energy efficiency while keeping your home quieter. Low-e glass is specially designed to filter sunlight and its heat-producing radiation. It also keeps heating and cooling energy inside.

  • Small cracks and gaps around windows and exterior surfaces could be causing energy leakage. If you are investing in whole home remodeling, have your contractor inspect the interior and exterior of your home for damage that could be repaired or filled.

Addressing efficiency during home remodeling will give you the most comfortable home, and you’ll make better use of your budget without having to come back and perform improvements later.

Plan Your Home Remodeling Right Down to the Finest Detail

The more you plan, the smoother your Des Moines home remodeling project will be. Some homeowners plan at a high level and then let contractors fill in the details. This can result in a situation where you aren’t completely on-board with the decisions that are made. Eventually, this could lead to change orders while the project is underway, which is a sure way to blow your budget and increase turnaround time.

Work with a contractor that can provide 3D modeling of all your planned improvements. At HomeWorx Iowa we work closely with our customers using CAD software so that they can visualize how their homes will look. It results in better decision making without surprises once work is underway. Talk to us today if you want to learn how our planning and consultation process results in better homes.

The areas of planning where you should place extra attention include:

  • Material selection and alternatives for items that aren’t available from a supplier.
  • Colors and textures. Make sure you have seen samples for materials and fixtures before you settle on a decision.
  • The floor plan of remodeled areas. If you are removing walls, changing room layouts, or adding to your home, make sure you’ve seen a detailed floorplan so that you know exactly what you’re in for.
  • Storage for personal items. Many homeowners underestimate just how disruptive a remodeling project can be. Make sure that valuables are stored in a designated area. You may also need to cover or move furniture and electronics that could be exposed to dust.

You may also want to explore alternative accommodation options for the duration of remodeling. This can make the process less stressful because disruption to your daily routine will be minimized. Some homeowners even coordinate home remodeling projects with vacations and business trips.

Talk to Friends and Family

If you have never remodeled or renovated, you could be in for a shock. The best contractors work to minimize disruption and inconvenience. However, the reality is that whole home remodeling is a massive undertaking, and you will be surprised at how quickly you can feel like you’ve lost control of your private space.

Talk to friends, family, and colleagues who have performed major renovations or remodeling. They can give you insights surrounding the process while also sharing their own coping strategies.

Remodeling fever is a term given to the temporary loss of control and anxiety that can come from having contractors and other professionals in your personal space. It happens to even the calmest homeowners and the only way around it is to plan and understand that it will pass upon completion of the project.

The quality of your Des Moines contractor can limit the impact of remodeling fever, so it’s important to work with the best.

Keep Track of Your Budget and Prepare for Cost Overruns

If you plan well, your allocated budget should cover the entire project… right?

Not exactly.

One of the hardest things to understand on your first complete home remodeling project is that your budget can and likely will go beyond your initial estimate. Professionals recommend that you budget 20% above the contract price for unexpected work and overruns.

There are countless variables that can increase the cost of remodeling.

  • Material prices can change mid-project.
  • Labor fees could increase.
  • Your contractor may discover problems that need to be repaired before remodeling starts. Some problems can’t be found until demolition begins.

A payment schedule will be developed before work begins. Larger projects use milestones to track progress and keep the budget in line with estimates. Make sure that you follow every milestone and keep an eye on costs. There will be fewer surprises when you are actively involved.

Experienced Des Moines contractors can limit budget bloat, which is another reason why you should only work with a reputable local home improvement company.

Get a Detailed Contract

You wouldn’t take out a loan without reading the terms. You wouldn’t accept an employment offer without reading the agreement in full. In home remodeling and renovation, you should never give the green light for work without signing a detailed contract.

If you go into your project with an ambiguous contract you are only setting yourself up for a high amount of risk. If the contract isn’t detailed, the project manager could go ahead with work that is completely out of line with your original vision.

You might think this is an obvious suggestion, but there are countless homeowners who end up in disputes and even litigation because they failed to get a detailed home remodeling contract.

The contract protects you and the home improvement company. If a contractor is willing to go ahead with only a basic agreement, then that should be an instant red flag.

Set Some Basic Rules to Keep Everybody Happy

You don’t want to be inconvenienced beyond reason during your whole home remodel. Likewise, contractors and their teams don’t want to cause contention and issues that could compromise the working relationship.

You need to set ground rules to follow so that everybody is on the same page. You also need processes in place so that potential problems are communicated before they snowball. Some important things to consider include:

  • Where will contractors park, and what are acceptable working hours?
  • Which areas of the house are ok for access, including bathrooms?
  • How will a contractor communicate setbacks or anything that could increase the budget or project completion time?
  • What happens if materials or hardware are unavailable? In most cases you should expect to sign off on any alternative choices. If you are confident in your contractor, you can have them make the call, but this will need to be stated in your agreement to avoid disputes later.
  • Where will materials and tools be stored?
  • Where will construction waste be stored, and how often will it be removed during the project?
  • What specific steps will contractors take to protect areas of your home that aren’t being remodeled. A dust mitigation plan is essential.
  • Who is the point of contact when issues arise?

Make a Home That You Will Love to Live In

Most importantly, plan a home that will bring convenience, comfort, and enjoyment. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trends and make hasty decisions regarding home improvement. The latest fad wasn’t designed for you and your unique needs. Keep your improvements personal and you’ll get better overall value, especially if you plan to live in your home right through to retirement.

HomeWorx Iowa makes renovation and home remodeling simple because we understand how important the planning process is. We will work with you to create designs that are functional and beautiful. We provide detailed drawings and 3D models so that you know exactly what you will get at the end of the project. Every one of our projects is professionally managed and we operate on a culture of ownership and transparency.

Our mission is to make the process stress free, while building homes that matter.

You don’t need to be a home improvement expert to get amazing results. Talk to us today for a free consultation, and we’ll take your concept and create a proposal to bring it to life.

Keeping Costs Reasonable When Planning Whole Home Remodeling

Home Remodeling

Outside of labor and contractor fees, material choices will have the biggest impact on your home remodeling budget. Adding value and new beauty to your home doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. Making the right material choices could reduce upfront costs, or, in some cases keep maintenance costs low over the lifetime of your home.

Learn more about cost saving materials and plan your project with HomeWorx.

Low Cost Alternatives That Could Reduce Your Home Remodeling Bill

One of the most effective ways to reduce costs is to look for alternative materials. You can get a premium aesthetic and long-term durability, even with some of the more affordable materials on the market.

Here are some examples that can be used for home remodeling and renovation in Des Moines.

  • Prefabricated Panels and Concrete Sheets: If you are making additions to your home, consider working with prefabricated panels and concrete sheets. These are factory made and ready to be incorporated into your home with minimal labor costs. Talk to your contractor about the suitability of prefabricated structural materials. Depending on the size of the addition, this could work out to be the cheaper option.

  • Stone Cladding Veneer: Homes made with stone masonry give an appearance of quality and prestige. Unfortunately, traditional masonry can be prohibitively expensive if you need to perform remodeling on a strict budget. Instead, you could choose stone cladding, a type of veneer that is lighter and less expensive than a solid stone exterior. With stone cladding you’ll enjoy lower labor costs, faster installation time, and extensive customization options designed to simulate traditional masonry.

  • Laminated Flooring: Laminated wood flooring is an obvious choice if you want the look and feel of hardwood, without the cost. Invest a little more for luxury laminate planks and you could even refinish the floor at least once over its lifetime.

  • Vinyl Flooring: Even luxury vinyl planks are more affordable than timber, and they’re relatively easy to install, which will keep labor costs to a minimum. You can use vinyl throughout the home in living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. As a home remodeling material, vinyl is a great choice because it resists scratching, staining, and is impervious to moisture.

  • Quartz or Laminate Countertops: Quartz countertops can give you the look of high-end stone and marble for a lower cost. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, consider laminated counters.

  • Vinyl Doors: You can save money on your interior doors by choosing vinyl. This material can simulate the look of wood while providing excellent insulative properties. Best of all, vinyl is affordable and will last for decades.

Choosing Premium Materials to Reduce Maintenance Costs

You can also consider some durable premium materials to provide a better return on your investment. These won’t reduce your remodeling spend, but they will result in lower ongoing maintenance and replacement costs.

  • Choose high quality hardware for kitchens and bathrooms. Stainless steel, brass, and gold-plated hardware could provide decades of usage without wear.

  • In your bathroom, work with glass and tile as much as possible. Tile materials are relatively low in cost, and they could last the lifetime of your home. You could keep the same tiles and clean or replace grout as necessary. For shower and bath enclosures, frameless tempered glass could last a lifetime with maybe one or two hardware refreshes.

  • Choose low maintenance materials if your home remodeling will extend to the exterior. Stone cladding can be pressure washed to keep your home looking great. Vinyl siding is a low-cost option that will last more than 35 years when properly cared for, and color is injected into the material at the factory, so it’s unlikely to fade or stain.

Choose a Contractor That Works to Contain Costs

Even choosing the wrong contractor could have an impact on your final remodeling bill. If a contractor is inexperienced or inefficient, you could pay more for planning and labor on the project. If they don’t have strong industry contacts, then they won’t have access to wholesale pricing on standard materials.

The best contractors use CAD software to design your home improvements and present them to you before a final decision is made. This can help to prevent setbacks and cost overruns. With advanced 3D modeling, you will know exactly what the finished work will look like, and you’ll be less likely to request change orders once work is already underway.

Always choose a reputable home remodeling contractor in Des Moines if you want to keep costs reasonable and within an agreed budget.

A More Meaningful Home with the Help of HomeWorx

At HomeWorx Iowa, we don’t claim to be the cheapest contractors in Des Moines. However, we do make a commitment to provide the most budget-friendly options based on your needs. We don’t cut corners where it could detriment the quality of workmanship or longevity of your investment.

Ultimately, we’ll ensure that you make the best investment for your budget, with long-term added value and functionality. We can provide a professional design service, 3D modeling, general contracting, and project management for whole home remodeling.

You deserve quality. Whether you choose lower cost alternative materials, or premium options, we’ll make your dream home a reality.

Talk to us today to for a no obligation consultation.

Handyman vs. Contractor – Who Should You Call?

Handyman

If you’re planning any kind of home renovation or maintenance, you’ll need to decide whether you call a local handyman or book a specialist renovation contractor.

Both professionals provide essential services, but they cover different jobs around the home. Booking a contractor for smaller jobs would result in cost overruns that aren’t necessary. Calling a Des Moines handyman for large scale renovation wouldn’t be ideal.

Learn the difference between the two and find out who to call for some popular projects around the home.

The Difference Between a Des Moines Contractor and Handyman

This often gets confusing for homeowners, because both handyman services and general contractors often cover the same areas of work.

It can be a struggle to find the right company to call, but there’s actually a simple way to look at it.

  • Most handyman services offer general improvements and fixes around the home. They work on small projects like repairs and maintenance. While you could remodel with a handyman, they would generally only take on small scale jobs that could be completed by a single person.

  • Des Moines contractor services work on large scale projects where specialist machinery and tools would be required. They also handle projects where licensing is required (such as complete rewiring or plumbing installations). If the project will take more than a couple of days or if it requires the work of more than one professional, a contractor would be the best fit.

Think in terms of scope. Small scope fixes and improvements suit a handyman. Anything larger should be referred to a contractor.

Take a look at some examples and you’ll know when to call the right professional for any work around your home.

Call a Des Moines Handyman for These Home Improvements

  • Interior or Exterior Painting – A great paint job can increase the beauty of your home. Whether you need painting performed inside or outside, a handyman should be your first choice. There is an exception if you want to paint your whole home inside or out, which would be better suited to a general contractor

  • Furniture Assembly – If you have just moved into a new home and need to construct furniture and other smaller items around the home, a handyman will be able to complete the work. They have the experience and skills to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

  • Sheetrock Repair and Installation – Sheetrock (drywall, plasterboard etc.) is featured in virtually every modern American home. It’s a cost-effective building material that allows for beautifully smooth walls that will last for many years. If you need to install sheetrock or repair damage in a single room, a handyman will be the best person for the job.

  • Installing Light Fixtures – You don’t have to go with big home renovation projects to get impressive results. If you want to quickly transform the look and feel of a room, consider replacing the light fixtures. A handyman can complete this work in a limited amount of time.

  • Minor Carpentry – If you want to install shelves in your home, repair kitchen or bathroom cabinets, turn a closet into an organized storage space, or even turn a room into a walk-in closet, a handyman will be able to complete the work in most cases.

  • Plumbing Fitting and Minor Repairs – You don’t need to call a general contractor to install a bathroom vanity, repair a leaking faucet, or install a toilet. A handyman can take care of all these tasks relatively quickly and easily.

  • Security Installation – Is it time to upgrade your home security? It has become more affordable to get advanced security around your home. You can install camera systems and sensors that are connected to the internet, allowing you to check your home and receive alerts if suspicious activity is detected. Installing a system can be difficult and time consuming. A handyman could help to mount and connect all your equipment safely.

  • Minor Electrical Work – Short of rewiring your entire home, a handyman service is ideal for minor electrical work. Repairing or installing outlets and switches can be performed by a local handyman.

Call a Contractor for Your Larger Projects

Going back to the concept of scope, it’s easy to see the projects where a general contractor would be a better choice than a Des Moines handyman.

Examples include:

  • Complete flooring replacement and refinishing.
  • Whole home painting (interior and exterior).
  • Complete kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling.
  • Major home additions and finishing projects.
  • Siding or roofing replacement.
  • Deck building or extension.
  • Changes that go beyond cosmetic, e.g. removing a wall or installing interior paneling.
  • Large scale tiling projects.

Anything that would take more than a few days and that would require several talented professionals is best managed by a general contractor in Des Moines.

Talk to HomeWorx for both Handyman and General Contractor Services

If you’re still unsure about some of the projects you have in mind, HomeWorx Iowa can help. We offer home improvement services for any job, big or small. We can provide a local Des Moines handyman service for minor fixes and improvements. Or, you can take advantage of our complete design and general contracting service for whole home renovation and remodeling.

Being able to take care of everything under one company will streamline your next project. If you’re ready to make your home the best it has ever been, talk to the team at HomeWorx today.