Renovation do’s and don’ts

Men laying new hardwood flooring

From choosing a designer and selecting a style to establishing and sticking to a budget, the remodeling process can be daunting to any homeowner. The following are tips from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) to help simplify the process:

DO look closely at the space. The first step is to determine the main purpose of your remodel. Are you looking to add extra space, make changes for health reasons or just upgrade and improve your living space? Decide what you want to change most and what you can keep or update later.

DON’T neglect to double check. Make sure to visit a showroom to see the products and materials you are considering in person to determine the quality of what you’re buying before you buy it. Photos are not as reliable as they may seem.

DO set a budget. Determine how much you want to invest, including the total amount you are willing to spend and how much you can or are willing to borrow. Establishing your priorities early will help you decide where to spend the money and will limit overspending.

DON’T skip the quote. A designer and/or contractor should always visit your home before providing you with a quote for the design and installation. Make sure the quote is thorough to avoid overspending down the road and any misunderstandings.

DO choose a professional. Many professional remodeling organizations, such as the NKBA and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry can offer assistance with finding a qualified contractor.

DO think of resale value. Consider the short- and long-term implications of your renovation decisions. Sometimes being too unique leads to regret down the road—you want to make sure you can recoup your investment!

Compiled from information provided by the National Kitchen & Bath Association,

proper planning

When you start planning your remodel, look through magazines, collect swatches and samples, visit design centers and manufacturer/supplier showrooms and build an idea file. Don’t think only of what you can afford—you are simply building a source of reference for the look and feel of your style.
—National Kitchen & Bath Association,

creativity counts

There are often multiple solutions to accomplish a design objective, some more expensive than others. Think creatively and discuss various options with your contractor.
—National Association of the Remodeling Industry,

compare choices

The No. 1 way to decrease the cost of your remodeling project is product choices. Look around to determine whether you can achieve a similar look with a less expensive product. Compare products and their prices carefully before you make final decisions; however, make final decisions based on value and quality, not just price.
—National Association of the Remodeling Industry,

remodel return

According to the experts at NAHB Remodelers (, the best return on investment doesn’t always mean spending big. Ways to add value for the least cost include replacing siding, adding a small bathroom or expanding your home to the outdoors by adding a deck, patio or porch.


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