Orlando is a beautiful place to live, work and play. But if your central Florida home needs a little or even a lot of TLC, remodeling might be a better option than buying and moving. Taking on a home remodel, no matter how small the project can be a stressful job–even if you hire a contractor.
Now that it’s time to redo your kitchen, update your bathroom, makeover one or more bedrooms, renovate the family or living room, there’s a lot of planning and work to be done. Whether you’ll do the work yourself or hire a local Orlando contractor for your remodeling project, there are certain things you should know.
Because your home is in the Orlando area, heat and humidity ought to be the first thing on your mind. A remodel is the perfect time to take on those energy wasting windows, doors and floors, according to Natural Home and Garden. Begin thinking about being energy efficient, being green, and being smart about your decision making. In other words, put the horse before the cart and don’t let your heart dictate what your brain should choose.
10 Things to Know before Tackling an Orlando Home Remodel
Start with a realistic budget. Think about stretching your dollars rather than digging deeper into a savings account, home equity, 401(k) or pension plan. Put away the plastic, because it will set you up for spending far more than necessary and overrun your budget.
A budget will be one of the most difficult aspects of a remodel because it will be challenging in estimating materials, time and labor. Hiring a contractor will take care of this and can actually be a money saving move using their experience and knowledge.
But a budget is only a beginning point. Thinking into the future will be imperative into staying with that budget, getting what you want and completing the project on-time.
- Speak with an expert. Even if it’s a DIY remodeling job, you can save a lot of greenbacks, time and energy by consulting someone that’s knowledgeable. This way you can learn about new building regulations, environmental concerns and the like before it’s too late.
- Conserve energy. As stated, a remodel is an opportune time to start reducing energy costs. Energy efficient materials for windows, doors, floors, ceilings, plumbing, electricity and HVAC can be installed during remodeling.
- Take advantage of the sunshine. In Orlando, there’s certainly no shortage of sunlight. Think about installing solar panels for your pool pump or a solar powered water heater.
- Reduce water consumption. You might not be able to dig a well for your Orlando home, but you can install water efficient shower heads and low-flush toilets.
- Repurpose old materials. Many homeowners are surprised by how much of original fixtures can be reused. Renovation is a great time to repurpose old materials for new uses. It cuts down cost while adding a bit of charm.
- Reconfigure for maximized space. Don’t just replace cabinets and countertops or pluck out a vanity and replace it, think about how to remake the space to be more spacious. Rearranging one or two things can significantly increase usability and better traffic flow.
- Don’t cause yourself to incur future costs. Carpet might be your preference, but tile and hardwood will last much, much longer. Additionally, you might save now on cheap countertops, but upgrading to a more durable material will not only add beauty but longevity.
- Know your legal limits. Before you start demolition, be sure to check with the local government for Orlando building codes. Fines for unauthorized work can be stiff, cut into your budget and/or put the brakes on the entire project.
- Get more than one opinion. If you’re hiring a contractor, it’s imperative to speak with more than just one company. Contractors’ quotes, scope of work and labor costs will differ. Be in the know.
- Be flexible. Energy efficient items might cost more than other materials, but think about the return on investment. Spend a little more now, save a lot more in the future.
Quick Reference To-Do List
Before settling on a contractor for your remodeling project, here’s some tips for finding a reliable, experienced contractor here in Orlando:
- Hire only licensed contractors
- Verify all insurance coverages
- Check with at least three references
- Do not sign anything until you absolutely understand the terms and conditions
- Don’t pay ahead; work should be completed prior to payments
- Don’t pay in cash, use a check, money order or certified check
- Keep work areas zoned-off for safety purposes–especially for families with children and pets
- Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you are considering buying or selling a home in Orlando, contact us for the latest market information. We’ll also provide you with the right advice about the local real estate market so you make the best decisions.