Planning a Home Improvement Project

What is your ultimate goal? What is your budget? What is your timeline?

Before you select any contractor for a project, such as the myriad professionals from, you need to determine exactly who you need. Contractors are like other professionals, they specialize in certain areas. Some are experts at outdoor projects, other indoor projects, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Some do it all, with specialty departments.

It’s important to know what your ultimate goal is; just a simple “redo” of something you have now, or a full remodel? By doing research first – creating your “dream” result – you may be surprised at what you can accomplish on a given budget. As an example, in a kitchen, if you are thinking about repairing or replacing just a few items, what savings are available for a more extensive remodel? The costs and requirements of doing some basic work may make it affordable to do more extensive work for a small amount more, with a much greater result. It’s always best to dream big, and then scale your project to fit your budget as you refine your thoughts. You never know how one piece is tied to another, making savings possible.

Understanding timelines is important. Home improvement projects often require things you may not have considered, such as city or county permits, safety and quality inspections, and the availability of materials.

What may appear to be a project of a day or so more realistically may take more time because of coordination necessary between government agencies, materials suppliers, and labor for specialty work.

A successful project is one which is planned along a timeline, allowing for time consuming parts of the project and the arrival of materials. Once everything is in place, it is important to have the time to do things right the first time, without undue pressure to finish in a hurry because of outside influences.

Planning a home improvement project before a big event, such as a wedding or anniversary, needs to include planning for the entire project to be completed well before the arrival of guests. Home improvement projects are permanent improvements, and you want them to be done well, and to your satisfaction. This includes time at the end for any tweaking which may be necessary for last minute inspirations.

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