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Tips for successful home remodeling

Article & Podcast Courtesy of RenovationResults.com

August 18, 2010 | 12:07 PM
If you are a homeowner, you know that with every season comes that time that certain areas around your home need a little facelift or repair.

As a professional builder and renovation specialist, we are contacted every day to help people to develop a plan to remodel, update or renovate their property and offer some simple guidelines to insure a successful remodeling project. Here are a few to you might find helpful:

A good place to start is to develop a list of needs and wants for the areas you plan on remodeling.

Everybody has a wish list of what they would like to improve or replace and it is important to make a list of the "must do's" and the "I'd sure like to do's". It is important to take care of those critical repairs or replacements that can be costly if not repaired. In any case, if you make your list first, you are able to figure costs and then schedule out how the work can be paid for and scheduled so you have a dependable timeline for your needs.

Having a budget beforehand will help you in your decision making process. As an example, as you shop for flooring you might find that your first choice is too pricey, but in doing some homework, can find an alternate product that you are pleased with and that allows you to stay within your budget.

Next step: Find a professional remodeler or contractor to do your job.

It's important that you find a dependable and trustworthy contractor or remodeling expert to handle your renovation. Asking friends and neighbors is a good way to start, but don't stop there. Contact professional organizations, check backgrounds and ask for references. Interview your contractors with a standard list of questions that include continuing education, certification on certain aspects of remodeling, etc.

When hiring a contractor you might want to include questions that address the following:

Have the contractor explain in detail about their insurance coverage.

Check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to see if there are any negative issues posted

Google their company and check to see if there are any negative postings on blogs or social media sites.

Inquire about what types of warranties they offer on their work

Ask how they secure the necessary work permits and who pays for them.

Find out about how they typically handle project changes and costs after their agreement is signed.

Ask to see their contract in advance and be sure to get your agreement in WRITING!

One of the biggest complaints in remodeling deals with unclear time lines and deliverables. Remodeling or building additions can be delayed due to issues like weather, inspections, backordering of materials and other matters that affect the completion timeline. Be sure to discuss the details so you are clear as well as the payouts with waivers for sub contractors. Be clear about your communications with your contractor and always get it in writing.

Remodeling can offer you some tax credits for your improvements.

If you are replacing certain energy efficient systems, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit. The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act provides tax incentives for individuals to invest in energy-efficient products. The law increases the credit to 30% of the cost of all qualifying improvements and raises the maximum credit limit to $1,500 for improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010. This credit applies to improvements such as adding insulation, energy efficient exterior windows and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems. If you are going to improve your property, check for federal energy efficiency tax credits that can help you reduce home energy bills and costs. For more information about tax credits visit: http://www.irs.gov*

Remodeling can improve the value of your property and make living there more comfortable enjoyable and economical, but if you make the right choices! For more tips on renovation, visit: www.RenovationResults.com or call Frank Guido Construction 262-767-1942

(*This information is for informational purposes only. Check with your attorney, tax preparer for more details)

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