Remodeling your home is one of the most dramatic and effective ways to change the look of your house. In fact, short of moving into a different home altogether, it’s the most drastic change your living spaces can undergo. Millions of people choose to remodel their homes every year, and while most of those projects produce fantastic results, others end in a virtual nightmare of extravagant expenses and unfulfilled expectations. How can you make sure that your home remodeling project is everything you want it to be without draining your savings account in the process? Whether you’re redoing the whole house or just a few rooms, check out these tips to make sure your home remodeling journey goes smoothly and stays within your budget:

1. Begin by setting a budget. Be very clear about how much money you’re willing – and, more importantly, able – to spend on remodeling your home. Your budget may be $10,000 or $100,000, but either way it’s important to know your limits and stick to them. If you only have a vague idea of how much you’d like to spend, you’re sure to lose track along the way and end up spiraling out of control.
2. Choose the right remodeling contractor. There are so many different home remodeling contractors out there that it can be difficult to narrow down the field, and even harder to tell the crooks from the competent professionals. A good place to start when you’re looking for a great home remodeling contractor is by asking friends and family members for references. Do you know someone who has recently had his or her home remodeled? Were they pleased with the results? If so, get that name! You’ll also want to ask if your contractor is licensed, how many years of experience he or she has had in the industry, and whether they can provide additional references, if necessary. Above all, trust your gut; if you don’t like one contractor, that’s not the contractor for you.
3. Don’t take the first estimate at face value. Home remodeling estimates can deviate wildly from the final price tag, so don’t just take that initial quote at face value. Instead, ask questions of your contractor. Does their home remodeling estimate allow enough time for the project to be completed? Do they have an accurate idea of the type and quality of materials you want to use? Ask for an itemized list of precisely what is included in that number. Of course, home remodeling estimates are just that – estimates – so you can’t expect them to be set in stone. Still, if your contractor is more than a few thousand dollars off and you haven’t been requesting tons of additional services, you may have been conned.

Successfully remodeling your home is one of the greatest feelings in the world. You have basically revitalized the place in which your family lives and your children will grow up; you have taken the building you know best in the world – your home – and made it new and exciting. But a poorly done home remodeling project could haunt you for years, costing you both time and money. Follow these tips and your wallet and bank account will thank you.

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