A Practical Guide to Home Exterior Remodeling: Top 4 Things to Consider
Exterior remodeling projects usually require a great amount of preparation if you want them to go over smoothly, especially if you haven’t dealt with many of them before or if this is your first one.
Remodeling the exterior of your home does not only involve deciding which project you want and what you want it to look like. While appearances, style, and your personal preferences do matter a lot, there are many other aspects that should be resolved prior to those.
The key to any successful remodeling project is planning. But where should you start? What should you do first and what last? How do you decide on the right contractor and how do you set your budget?
These are all legitimate questions that are usually on the minds of all homeowners who have decided to tackle an exterior home remodeling project. We have your answers, so take a look at this practical guide that we’ve prepared for you.
1. Have a Clear Vision
When you’re setting on to remodel your home, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with that remodel. Whether or not you already have a specific project in mind, you should think about what your goal is and set your priorities.
There is an array of reasons why you can decide to have an exterior home remodel. That reason can be appearances, for example. Your home’s exterior may be dated, old, not very appealing, you may have been planning one since you moved into the house, but simply didn’t get around to it. In this case, you can take on a window and door replacement, new trim, gutters, shutters, new siding, etc.
Another reason may be the need for more space. Your family may be bigger now than it was when you first moved in and you might need an additional room or simply more outdoor space for relaxing. In this case, you may be considering a home extension in the form of an extra room or adding a porch, decking, etc.
You may also need some exterior maintenance and repair or you may want to increase your home’s resale value. Creating a more attractive and appealing exterior, refreshing and updating it can significantly increase your curb appeal and with it, the value of your home.
These are only some of the reasons that can entice you to consider a home remodel, but the bottom line is that you need to know exactly what you need and want and talk to your contractor about the realization of your plan.
Once you’ve determined this, it will be much easier to get on with the planning process, as changing your mind or adding additional things to do when the project is already underway can prove to be difficult, as well as affect your budget and timeline.
2. Set Your Priorities
Two of the most common beginners’ mistakes that can shatter your dreams are not being realistic in your expectations and not setting a realistic budget for your project. Apart from shattering your dreams, they can also lead to potential disasters when it comes to the end results and the contracts you sign.
Setting your priorities and creating a detailed plan, on the other hand, will not only help you finish the project successfully, but it will also help you greatly in setting a realistic budget, which we will tackle in the next section.
When it comes to the list of your priorities, you can group them in three categories: the must-have things, the things you would like, and your dream items.
The must-have aspects will basically be the core of your exterior remodel, the basis of your remodel and things that give sense to the project. This would be, for example, a new coat of paint or window and door replacement.
The things you would like are those that you can live without, but that you want to add if the budget allows for them in the end. For example, if you’re replacing your roof, you might want to replace your gutters while you’re at it. Once you’ve set the budget and calculated all the cost, you will see if that is an option or not.
In the end, there are your dream items. They usually include some finishing touches, some more expensive items, something that will add character and style, such as window header accents, stone veneer accents, screening, etc. If you have a very clearly outlined and restricted budget, sometimes these things simply don’t fit into it. But if you realize in the end that there is some extra money, why not include them.
3. Set a Realistic Budget
When it comes to setting your budget, you should do it with the previously-outlined list of priorities on your mind. You have to be very realistic and very detailed in your planning.
You need to plan for contingencies and unexpected expenses. That is why it is important to stick to the priorities, because if you stray from them, you may end up not having enough money for something more important that has come up during the project.
Some of the most important things to calculate into your budget include the materials, labor fees, the designs, utility expenses, demolition and waste removal, rentals and specialty tools, permits and licenses, consultant fees, and don’t forget to include unexpected events in this list.
This last category is very important because many homeowners don’t think about it and don’t calculate it into their budgets. But they almost always happen. There are very few remodeling projects that don’t because you never know what you are going to find beneath the surface.
There may be some water damage on your window sills, there may be rotting on them or under the shingles once you’ve torn them off. There is a number of potential issues that can come up, which is why experts recommend setting aside a contingency of around 10 to 15% of your budget.
The best way to set a budget is to break down all the costs in detail and write them down line by line.
4. Choose a Good Remodeling Contractor
Choosing the perfect exterior remodeling contractor is not an easy process and you should also dedicate some time to this aspect as well. You can look for several local contractors and then compare their qualities.
Some of the things that you should direct your attention to is enough to experience in the business, a lot of good references, both online and word-of-mouth referrals, they should be properly licensed and state-certified, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them for proof of their licensing.
Other than that, you should compare their prices, but it is not always recommended to go with the cheapest option. They may have low-quality materials or will do a poor job. In this case, it is true when they say that you get what you pay for. Contractors, in the end, also have to make a profit and cover their overheads and at very low prices they can’t really provide you with high-quality.
Apart from that, make sure their work and products are covered with warranties and that they provide you with a contract that will outline all the work they will do and the costs that it entails.
For high-quality exterior remodeling services or for any question that you may have on this subject, don’t hesitate to contact your best exterior remodeling contractors at Chando Construction.