5 Tips to Simplify a Room Remodel

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It’s like an analogies test: Nightmare is to dream as remodeling is to the finished room. The process of re-doing any part of your house can be overwhelming. There’s the mess, the expense, the mess, the inconvenience, the mess, the time suck, the mess, the hazards, and the mess. You want the job done, but you’d like to avoid as much of that list as possible (especially the mess).

Turn that wish into a resolution. With a little planning, you can streamline any room remodel, whether it’s a do-it-yourself attempt or a professional job. Use the following tips as guidelines during your next renovation, and it’s guaranteed to go more smoothly.

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5 Tips to Simplify a Room Remodel

1.) Less Is More … Unless It’s Not

Take a look around the room you want to remodel. No, really, take a good look. What do you want to change? Before you automatically say, “Everything,” pause. Is there anything that doesn’t need to ripped out or replaced? The fewer tasks you have to do during remodeling, the easier it will be.

Maybe your kitchen cabinets would be fine if they were simply repainted. Perhaps the living room’s baseboard only needs sanding and staining. Is the carpet really worn … or is it just dirty? You may have to start from scratch, but don’t automatically begin with that assumption.

2.) Make Your Decisions and (Kinda) Stick to Them

Plan your remodel. Plan some more. Read your plans and edit them. Show them around, get feedback, and revise. Get the picture? The more exacting your designs are, the easier and faster the job will be. You won’t have to keep starting and stopping to make decisions, purchase supplies, or—heaven forbid—make a course correction because you have a better idea.

Even with meticulous preparation you might still have a brainstorm and realize you can’t live without that idea. You could run into an unanticipated problem. The object is to minimize alternations to the original plan. Not only will each one slow you down, it will cost extra.

3.) Budget … and Then Some

As you’re making your plan, keep your budget in mind. There’s no sense in wasting time on modifications that are beyond your means. This lets you remain on track during the actual work. If you don’t keep in mind how much you have to spend, chances are good you’ll go over budget once the project is underway. Then what happens? Delays, delays.

Again, a caveat: Even well-laid plans can’t anticipate every contingency. Don’t put all your available money into your budget. Keep a little aside in case you run into an unpleasant surprise. Then you can take care of the problem immediately and (more or less) stick to your schedule.

4.) One for All and All in One

Unless you need customized items (and do you really need them?), try to purchase your materials from only one or two stores. Running around to get flooring here, paint there, and lights at this shop eats up a tremendous amount of time. You’re making an investment, so don’t cheat yourself and settle for less. However, consolidate purchases whenever you can.

If you have your heart set on something specific, such as a special cabinet fixture or a high-end appliance, go with it. Big box stores might not have the sizes or styles you need. They carry basics that appeal to the general public. If you’ve got nonstandard tastes or requirements, it’s fine to look elsewhere. But the more steps you cut out, the more you’ll—all together now—streamline.

5.) Know Thyself—Don’t Fool Thyself

Planning on doing the remodeling work yourself? That’s great.To get the job done efficiently and properly, you need to be honest with yourself. Are you up to the task? Part of your answer depends on the requisite skills. On-the-job learning often takes more time and money. Speaking of time, do you have enough time to undertake the remodel? If you’re close to being overextended now, this project could drag on and on, which isn’t exactly the definition of “streamline.”

Calling in professionals to handle the remodel might be a more practical approach. They’ll have both the knowledge and expertise to pull off the gig. Do you need a permit? What safety precautions are necessary? Do your plans miss any essential steps? There’s a limit to what you can reasonably expect to accomplish using YouTube videos and do-it-yourself websites. Perhaps a compromise is in order. Go as far as your competencies take you,and then hire an expert.

There you have it: your quick guide to a streamlined remodel. Begin with a realistic outlook, add some forethought,and get help when necessary. You’ll be investing significant time and money, and these ideas will help you save both, ensuring you won’t be too exhausted, frustrated, or broke to enjoy your new room.

What’s your favorite room remodel tip?

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