home equity

6 tips for the best home remodeling project

Hiring a home remodeling team
Hiring a home remodeling team | DreamPictures/Getty Images

Hiring a home remodeling team

For the DIY crowd, nothing beats completing a home renovation on time, within budget and without forking over 20 to 35 percent for a general contractor.

"If you have the time and ability and are willing to invest in the learning, there's no question you can do it," says Tom Kelly, president of Neil Kelly Remodeling in Portland, Oregon. "But that's three big ifs."

The chief risk for newbies flying solo is, without previous project experience to draw upon, the results may be underwhelming, if not an outright mess. A solid design/build team can take the worry out of remodeling by:

  • Translating your vision into a workable, affordable design plan.
  • Working up a realistic budget, including 5 to 20 percent extra for the unexpected.
  • Obtaining the required building permits and inspections.
  • Sourcing and ordering project materials and cataloging product warranties.
  • Scheduling the work crews.
  • Problem solving and project adjustments.

 Kelly says there are far better, less risky ways to DIY than working as your own contractor.

"Doing the demolition at the beginning or the painting at the end by yourself can save some significant money," he says.

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