So, you’ve made the big decision — you’re going to strike while the market is on the upswing and hire a professional remodeler. Whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom or additional bedroom, you’ll need lots of information and support. Where do you start?
First, the Internet is full of resources. Ideas abound from professionals and homeowners, and you’ll find the good, the bad and the ugly. Stick to positive sites like Houzz.com, where you can see photos of great ideas in all budget ranges, research builders and suppliers and keep your own electronic idea book. Angie’s List can help you research the right general contractor and subcontractors in your area. This resource comes strictly from referrals of local people who have used the services. There’s no better feeling of confidence than a sound referral from a satisfied customer.
The dramatic photography and practical stories of the monthly print magazines like Chesapeake Home, Better Homes and Gardens, and Southern Living at Home still provide great ideas and resources. If you’re more “hands on,” browsing through stacks of homes magazines may be your best resource. You can tear out pictures and make a scrap book of ideas to share with your builder. If you must go electronic, these magazines have websites, also. The websites of popular remodeling shows like This Old House and HGTV are great for ideas and reliable advice. Use your friends and neighbors who have remodeled as fonts of endless information. They probably already did all the research, so chatting them up can yield many valuable nuggets. Visit your local flooring, appliance or paint store. Ask questions of the managers or designers – these people are great resources when it comes to the reputation of builders and tradespeople in the community, and you should expect that they’ll tell you so. Attend any seminars in the area regarding remodeling. You’ll find these at your local library, by visiting companies and by word-of-mouth.
Your best resource is your builder. He should know industry and local trends, where to get the best product and the best price, and many other things about your market.