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.

DIY vs Contractor Work for Key Home Renovation Projects


Whether you’re considering minor or even some of the more major home renovation projects, DIY is probably something that has crossed your mind. Doing it yourself can work out in many scenarios, saving you money and allowing you to develop key skills in home improvement and maintenance.

Of course, DIY isn’t the right fit for every project. A job that seems simple might soon turn into a minor disaster, requiring remedial work that ends up costing you more.

Before you dive headfirst into a DIY home renovation, make sure you learn about some common home improvement projects and when you should call in a professional contractor or handyman.

Cabinet Replacement for Minor Kitchen Remodeling

Worn out cabinets are one of the first signs that you need kitchen remodeling in Des Moines. Cabinets are immediately noticeable when you walk into your kitchen, and if yours don’t look their best anymore, you’ll lose the pride you once had for your home’s most important feature.

DIY cabinet refacing has become more common in recent years, due to the availability of direct replacement kits intended for homeowners. While this might seem like the perfect DIY project, there are some things to consider.

  • Cabinet refacing isn’t considered a full replacement. Most kits come with only a veneer surface and stain.

  • Refacing usually requires the application of a polyurethane finish to protect against damage. It can be difficult to get an even coating when using aerosol products.

  • Most kits don’t come with replacement hinges or drawer runners, so they’re not fully suited to cabinets that are sagging or ready to fall.

  • The quality of DIY kits can range from sub-par to high-end. If you’re inexperienced, it will be hard to tell exactly what your cabinets will look like upon completion.

Taking all of this into account, it’s hard to recommend DIY refacing and refinishing. Kitchen remodeling is one of the most valuable home improvement projects you can perform. Get it right, and you’ll add lasting value. In most cases you will regain the majority of your investment at resale.

Refacing cabinets can take two complete days without setbacks, so you’ll need to consider whether you even have the time. There’s also the risk of misapplying a veneer and damaging your cabinets beyond repair.

Professional kitchen remodeling and renovation comes with a cost, but considering the advantages in fit and finish, it’s a cost that ultimately works out better throughout the lifetime of your home.

Siding Repairs or Complete Replacement

A minor siding repair or partial replacement could seem like a realistic DIY home renovation project, but there are hidden factors that home improvement shows and magazines won’t tell you. Before you go out and buy materials and tools, consider the setbacks and risks that you could face.

  • Some siding replacement jobs can be dangerous. You could be working on a ladder while trying to balance heavy materials and dangerous tools. There’s also a risk of mold or insect exposure, depending on the condition of your home. Professional home remodeling contractors have extensive experience and training to deal with the risks.

  • A contractor will significantly cut down the time it takes to replace siding. If you follow a simple DIY guide, you run the risk of getting stuck when something doesn’t go exactly according to instruction. If you remove your siding and can’t replace it right away, your home will be exposed to the elements, with the risk of structural damage becoming very real.

  • Siding materials are readily available at major home improvement and hardware stores. However, you’ll pay retail markup on everything from nails to the siding itself. Des Moines contractors have access to wholesalers, so you could spend less on materials by choosing a professional installation.

  • Even if you end up replacing siding on your own, will you have complete confidence in the finished work? Professionals know how to ensure that your home is weatherproof, and they can identify any underlying problems that need to be addressed during replacement.

It’s possible that you could replace a small section of siding when following a detailed tutorial, but this is a job with many variables. A tutorial won’t prepare you for every scenario, which is why it always makes more sense to choose professional home renovation contractors in Des Moines.

Kitchen Backsplash Upgrade

Here’s a very popular kitchen improvement, and one where we feel that a DIY job is feasible for the average homeowner.

A tiled backsplash is simple to install and can be completed in a single day. You will have to go slowly and with extreme care to achieve a uniform fit and finish. If you take your time, the result could be very similar to a professional installation.

The only risk here is that if you don’t mount and seal your tiles correctly, water entry could damage the interior wall and cause mold or other structural problems in the future.

If you’re confident and have done some DIY tiling before, then this is a project that you could complete within a single day or weekend. If you don’t have the time or aren’t quite sure that your skills are up to par, a Des Moines handyman could install a kitchen backsplash with minimal labor and material costs.

Tile Replacement for Minor Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom remodeling is another area that is often touted as being ideal for DIY. Just like a kitchen backsplash, laying down bathroom tiles is feasible for many homeowners. However, the same challenges exist.

Special care is required to avoid damaging the subfloor. You need to be confident in your grouting and sealing skills to ensure the floor is completely shielded from water entry. Any small mistake or imperfection could end up costing you thousands in repair bills down the line.

If you don’t have experience in DIY flooring, then the bathroom isn’t a place to hone your craft. The risk of getting it wrong is high, and damage caused by water entry could be significant by the time it is discovered.

Minor bathroom remodeling with a professional contractor is relatively affordable, and it could add to the market value of your home. Work with the right remodeling team and you could enjoy a beautiful bathroom for years to come, with no major maintenance needed between now and your next refresh.

Booking Handyman and General Contractor Services in Des Moines

At the end of the day, choosing whether to go ahead with DIY or a contractor service is about more than just the skills you possess. Time is a major factor. You may also need to buy or hire tools, even for minor home renovation projects. All of this can add up, making a handyman callout or full contractor service much more attractive.

If you need home improvements but aren’t inclined to go the route of DIY, HomeWorx Iowa can help. We offer competitive rates on home renovation and remodeling projects, and you’ll have confidence knowing the work will be completed safely and to the highest possible standards.

DIY isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. Talk to HomeWorx for better renovations, no matter what project you have in mind.

Turn Maintenance into a Home Renovation

home renovation

If your home looks run down, or if fixtures and features are starting to fall apart, home maintenance will quickly become a priority. Maintenance can bring functionality and order back to your home, making it feel more comfortable and relaxing.

Maintenance can sometimes feel like just another expense to add to the list, but it’s actually an opportunity. Rather than just patch the pieces of your home that are falling apart, you could go all in with some much-needed renovations that will make your home look and feel better than ever before.

There’s are countless ways that you can perform home renovation, even if you’re on a strict budget. Best of all, a whole home renovation could increase the resale value of your home. Even if you aren’t planning on selling, high quality renovations will keep the marketable value of your home high, which will be helpful if your situation changes.

We recently offered suggestions for renovations that would improve any room. In this feature, we’ll explore situations where unexpected maintenance could inspire your next home renovation.

Do You Need Kitchen Remodeling?

You may have considered kitchen remodeling or renovation in the past. Many homeowners go through stages where the home stops feeling comfortable. You should have pride in your home, and the kitchen is always one of the most important focal points.

Regardless of how your kitchen looks, if it’s simply not functional, you won’t get any joy out of it. When considering how much time you spend in your kitchen every day, it only makes sense that this should be one of the first areas you consider for maintenance or renovation.

You’ll know when you want to remodel your kitchen, but how can you identify when you actually need a makeover? The following tips will give you answers.

If your cabinets are falling apart, your maintenance schedule is well overdue. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that you can do for damaged or deteriorated cabinets in terms of general maintenance. You could tighten hinges and possibly replace them, but this is only going to solve the problem in the short term. If your cabinets are in bad enough shape that they’re literally hanging on by a thread, then you will either need to have them refaced or completely replaced.

Leaks are another sure sign that it’s time for maintenance. Leaking faucets or pipes are more than just an annoyance. They can damage your cabinets and counters, causing staining, rot, or even toxic mold. Over time, even minor leaks will contribute to your utility bill.

Minor leaks could be fixed with some maintenance like tightening pipes and fittings or replacing damaged components. However, if the leak has been active for long enough, then there will probably already be damage caused to your cabinets and floor. At this point you’ll have to make a decision. You could perform the necessary maintenance (or call a Des Moines handyman to help) and deal with any of the damage that has been caused. Or, you could push ahead with a complete renovation or kitchen remodeling project.

Consider the benefits you will get from improving your kitchen rather than just maintaining it:

  • You could add storage that you are currently lacking.
  • Appliance upgrades could be made with new plumbing lines in place.
  • Cabinets could be replaced or refaced, giving your kitchen an entirely new aesthetic.
  • With kitchen remodeling you could change the layout of your kitchen, making your home feel more modern and functional.
  • New materials will be easier to clean, so you’ll spend less time wiping down and scrubbing surfaces.
  • During a kitchen remodeling or renovation project, the contractors can replace elements of your kitchen that are close to failing. Essentially, you’ll have a brand-new space that won’t need any major maintenance for years to come.

Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you repair or renovate. While a renovation or remodel will cost more, the value and practicality returned will be worth it in every case.

Is Your Bathroom in Need of an Upgrade?

The bathroom is another area of your home where deterioration can become a major problem.

Water and moisture from humidity can cause corrosion on metals, damage to paint, and bloating or warping on cabinets and vanities. Plumbing can start to deteriorate over time, causing leaks or drainage problems. If your bathroom is tiled, the grout can start to break down, and any water that makes it through could damage the subfloor underneath.

Your bathroom is also a place where mold and mildew can grow. This can cause health problems and damage to walls, floors, and ceilings.

Take a look at your bathroom today. Are there signs of obvious damage? Cracks in tiles, broken pipes, loose fixtures, stained hardware… all these problems can suggest that you need maintenance. But, just like in the kitchen, maintenance is only going to address individual problems. It won’t make your bathroom beautiful again.

If you want your bathroom to feel like the room of solitude and relaxation that it should, you will need to plan a renovation or whole bathroom remodel.

You’ll enjoy significant benefits when you turn a maintenance emergency into an opportunity for a renovation:

  • You could finally install some of those comfort features that your bathroom has been lacking. Automatic ventilation and underfloor heating are two great examples.
  • You could modernize the look and feel of your bathroom, creating a comfortable space that feels like a luxury resort in your own home.
  • Choosing to renovate or remodel could allow you to invest in better materials that will last longer. This will reduce future maintenance needs and ensure that you get a great return on your investment.
  • Like the kitchen, a beautiful and clean bathroom can add value to your home.

Again, the decision here is entirely up to you. Maintenance will prevent further damage and keep your bathroom functional. Is that all that you want from your home? Beauty and comfort are also important. Bathroom remodeling and renovation will provide more benefits while also taking care of your maintenance issues.

Other Areas of Maintenance Better Addressed with Home Renovation

We’ve covered two of the most important rooms in your home. Of course, you will know that maintenance emergencies can occur in any room.

Take a look at this list of common home maintenance problems and see how you could turn them into renovation projects that improve your living spaces.

Frayed or Lifting Carpet

This is a frequent problem in older homes, and it can make any bedroom or living space feel run down. Unsightly lifting carpets and frayed edges can be fixed by flooring professionals, but your carpet will never look or feel brand new again.

Instead of carpet repairs, you could consider a home renovation with new flooring. You could even choose from more durable materials like engineered hardwood planks, vinyl planks, or ceramic tile. They require less care than carpet and will look better for longer.

Failing Lighting Fixtures

The lighting in your home sets the mood. Older lighting fixtures can make a home feel terribly dated, and they’re also prone to failure.

When a few fixtures start failing, you can bet that more will soon follow. Rather than delay the inevitable with repairs, you can install new lighting on a relatively small budget, modernizing and beautifying your home in the process.

Drywall Damage

Drywall can become scratched and dented over time. Spot repairs are possible, even for heavy damage and holes. However, your walls will never look like new again. Slight mismatching of paint will be obvious to you. Don’t just stop at repairs. You could take damage and turn it into an opportunity to refinish your walls and paint them in a new color that gives your home a fresh aesthetic.

Worn Baseboards and Ceiling Molding

Baseboard and molding repairs are inexpensive, and a Des Moines handyman could perform the work in less than a day. Slight movement in your home throughout the seasons will eventually loosen molding and baseboards as the wood expands and contracts.

Why not forego maintenance and instead perform some light home renovation with upgrades? Ceiling molding is available in a virtually limitless range of styles. Choosing ornate ceiling molding could turn an ordinary room into a space of refined beauty.

Water Damage in Your Basement

Any form of moisture damage in your basement needs to be addressed immediately. This is one of the most important home maintenance tasks, because moisture can lead to structural deterioration, which will eventually compromise your entire home.

Rather than just repair the damage and address the point of water entry, you could plan a complete basement finishing project. This would be a significant investment, but it would provide a high return with increased home value and more usable space. If your family is growing and your needs are changing, basement finishing could be the perfect solution to your space limitations.

Water Damage in Your Attic

Any water damage in your attic could also become a reason to plan a finishing project. Roofing repairs will take priority to prevent further damage. As a precaution, you should have your roof inspected and maintained at least every three years, or every five years if you have a tiled roof.

If you do plan to go ahead with finishing after the maintenance is performed, you will have complete freedom to be creative with the space. Attics are ideal for reading nooks, kid’s playrooms, creative studios, media rooms, and even home offices. What you do with the space is entirely up to you. You could increase the square footage of your home to raise its value. At the very least, an attic finishing project will make your home more attractive to buyers, so you could recoup some of your investment when you sell.

Attic finishing could also increase the energy efficiency of your home thanks to the additional insulation, flooring, and drywall that will go in during the project.

Damaged Window Frames

Cracked window caulking and soft wood could indicate rot in your window frames. Your first option would be to book frame replacement, but you could take it a step further with a home renovation project that will provide long term value.

In addition to repairing or replacing the framework, you could have new low-e glass windows installed. This investment would increase the energy efficiency of your home to decrease long-term costs.

Energy efficient glass reflects heat back to its source. In the summer, you’ll keep cool air inside and reduce the effects of sunlight and outdoor ambient temperatures. In the winter, heat will be contained within your home. Low-e glass reduces thermal loss, which will limit your HVAC costs. Energy savings over the lifetime of your home could offset the investment made in new windows.

Taking the Next Step with Des Moines Contractors

It can sometimes feel uncomfortable to make the leap from maintenance and repairs to complete home renovation projects. But when you think about the long-term benefits, you’ll find that there’s value to be gained from turning a maintenance emergency into an opportunity for home improvement.

Whether you want to plan a large project or some minor renovations, HomeWorx Iowa is here to help. We offer everything from Des Moines handyman services, right up to whole home renovation and remodeling. We will work with you to assess your needs and make recommendations based on your budget and expected outcome. We can even 3D model your major changes, giving you the opportunity to assess designs in the most accurate way possible.

Our talented designers and contractors can turn even the most run down spaces into rooms that you can be proud of.

Contact us today to get advice, explore your options, and discuss any project that you have in mind.