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5 Stages of Remodeling

Whether it's a full home addition or remodeling a room in your home, there are five distinct stages you can expect to go through: planning, budgeting, demolition, construction and cleanup. If you stay involved with each stage, particularly when it comes to selecting building products, you can ensure your project stays on track and on budget. This is the perfect time to think green by using eco-friendly building materials and energy efficient appliances, windows and lighting.

This approximately 492 square foot remodel adds a new master suite to a three bedroom ranch home by placing it in a rear-facing reverse gable wing. The new master bath and hall bath replaces the small rear bedroom.

Stage 1: Planning

You want to stay extremely organized when you begin a remodeling project or home addition. You'll first need to decide on the size and style of your project and then start a list of all your "must have" features and products. Sticking to your product list is very important when it comes to staying on budget and on schedule. Even a minor change like deciding on different faucets can cause delays if the product needs to be ordered or doesn't fit properly with the sink you have selected.

Stage 2: Budgeting

Make sure that you get a couple of written estimates from licensed contractors, architects and designers. Resist the temptation of going with one referral, but certainly ask friends and family who have had similar remodels or additions what they paid and who did the work. Unless you have the cash set aside, you'll be looking for financing from a home equity loan or refinancing your existing home. Depending on the equity in your current home and interest rates, doing a refinance might be a smarter option. Be sure that your project increases the value of your home by more than its cost.

Stage 3: Demolition

Removing such elements as walls and wiring, carpet and flooring can be tough and dirty work, but if you're willing to do it yourself you will save a lot of money. These savings can go back into the project for amenities you weren't sure you could afford. No matter who does the demolition, be sure to prepare your home for this disruption by removing breakables from your wall and protecting your furniture and floors. It may be the shortest stage of remodeling, but it can create havoc for you and your home if you aren't well prepared.

Stage 4: Construction

If your project is a large one, like a kitchen remodel or new addition, you might want to consider temporarily moving out of your home. If being without electricity, heat or water for a few days is too disruptive to your lifestyle, look into staying with family or friends or at a hotel that offers special extended-stay rates.

Stage 5: Cleanup

Just like demolition, this is a labor-intensive job, but it will certainly offset your costs if you do some of the work. Just think once all the dust and debris is removed you can begin to decorate and enjoy your newly remodeled home.

Design Tip
When it comes to product selection, it makes economical sense to choose energy-efficient and eco-friendly products. You will find that many products like appliances, windows, HVAC, front entry and garage doors offer tax rebates, as well as yearly savings on your utility bills. With the push to building green homes, companies are offering a wide range of high-quality and beautiful products that are more affordable than you think. Look at the efficiency ratings of all your appliances and lighting fixtures and sustainable content of your building products.