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Planning Your Remodeling Project: Three Steps To Keep Little Things From Becoming Big Difficulties

by Luke Lawson

Remodeling your home can be a long, expensive process, but getting to live in a beautiful and safe home makes it worth it. However, no remodeling job can be successful without careful preparation beforehand. If you're hoping to significantly change your home in the near future, taking these preliminary steps can help keep you from facing serious challenges later on.

Find Out About Permits

Most of the time if you're doing a big remodeling project, you should let the contractor handle getting the permit before you get started. Contractors have more expertise when it comes to the permit system, so they're less likely to make any mistakes that might cause legal problems down the line. Moreover, the requester of the permit is the one responsible for the quality of the work, so having a skilled contractor handle it means you can count on good work from them.

If your project is small or you're doing it all yourself, however, you'll have to get your own permit. This can be tricky, since laws in every city are different about which projects needs permission, and which ones don't. The best way to find out is just to ask: go online and find out the contact information for your city's building department, then email, call, or drop by in person to pose your questions before you fill out an application.

Keep in mind, the other half of getting a permit is actually obeying the building codes in your area. For small remodeling jobs, this isn't really a concern, but bigger jobs will be inspected after completion to ensure they are safe. If your work fails the inspection, you could have to spend time and money bringing it up to standard. The best way to avoid this is to use good materials, pace yourself, and look up the city code whenever you're in doubt.

Plan To Fail ...A Little

Mistakes are bound to happen, that's just a fact of life. Whether you work with a professional contractor or you do the job yourself, unless it's a tiny afternoon project there will probably be some slip-ups that impede progress a little bit.

If you don't want these small mistakes or miscalculations to throw a wrench in the works, it's a good idea to plan on them happening. Don't start working until you have a bit more money than you'll need, which will help absorb the cost of replacement materials, new tools, and extra days of work. Likewise, plan your project to take a few days longer than you expect it will, in order to keep from running into problems when it isn't finished and your time is up.

There Will Be Mess

Like mistakes, mess is an inevitable part of any construction work. Tools, paint, new materials, and waste can pile up each day of a project, and it's up to you how that issue gets resolved. Make sure your contractors know where to place the dumpster or truck they'll be using to take waste away, and see that it actually does get emptied when it fills up. Talk to your contractors if the mess bothers you and set up a process for dealing with it before you have to come home or go into parts of your home that are being worked on.

If you're handling the trash yourself and your project will likely create a significant amount of waste, you'll need to rent a dumpster. If you're inexperienced with remodeling, make sure to rent one larger than you think you'll need so you'll be prepared for the expected.

You also have to face that personal belongings you leave in affected rooms may be damaged during the remodeling process. Secure drop cloths over everything you want to protect, and move any small items into other parts of the home. Take a photo of all valuable items in the rooms to be remodeled and keep a record of their price, just in case anything happens and you need to bill the contractor.

Without careful planning, project that should be small and simple can result in frustration and potential legal trouble. Make sure you lay a strong foundation for your project so you can keep surprised from knocking you flat. When it comes to any sort of construction, a little preparation goes a long way. Then, click here for more information.