Top 10 Tips for Planning a Remodel

Top 10 Tips for Planning a Remodel from NARI

In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the top tips for planning a remodel project.

“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” states Jay Cipriani of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they can protect themselves.” For almost 40 years, the Cipriani team of award-winning professionals has been helping homeowners build dream additions, kitchens and bathrooms. Follow these top 10 tips for planning a remodel to ensure a successful project from start to finish.

What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

  1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.
  2. Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.
  3. Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.
  4. Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.
  5. Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.
  6. Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.
  7. Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.
  8. Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.
  9. Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.
  10. Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.

As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.

For more information on preparing for a remodel on your home, contact Cipriani Remodeling Solutions company website or call 856.853.8398.

This article was written  by NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the medium for business development, a platform for advocacy and the principal source for industry intelligence. NARI connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has a positive remodeling experience. NARI is a nationwide network of nearly 6,000 member companies and their employees. Consumers may wish to search www.NARI.org to find a qualified NARI professional or call NARI National at (847) 298-9200.

Get Things Looking Up in Your Kitchen

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Space saving skylights free-up kitchen wall space for more cabinets and shelves while admitting abundant daylight and natural ventilation. Energy Star-qualified VELUX no leak solar powered fresh air skylights and blinds are operated by touchpad programmable remote control and close automatically in case of rain. The skylights, blinds, and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Details at www.whyskylights.com.

When you’re planning a full kitchen renovation, or even just a few choice upgrades, counter tops, cabinets, appliances and flooring command your attention. But do you ever look up? Unless a lightbulb burns out or you want to replace a light fixture, you probably don’t think much about the ceiling in your kitchen or other rooms.

Yet with all the cooking and living that goes on in the kitchen, a whole lot of unpleasantness can gather in the top half of the room, including heat and moisture, cooking odors and grease. All that can make the ceiling dingy, darken the room and turn the air in your kitchen stale and unpleasant. As you’re refurbishing your kitchen, here are some ways – simple to lofty – to improve the ceiling and brighten the whole room:

The simple stuff

Just as painting walls is the easiest, most cost-effective way to create a new look in a room, painting the kitchen ceiling can have a huge impact on how the room feels and functions. For example, if your kitchen is short on windows and often feels dark, painting the ceiling a high gloss white can help brighten it by reflecting light back down into the room. You can also add faux tin ceiling tiles to reflect light and to create a vintage look.

Stuck with light-colored flooring, countertops and cabinets that make the room look washed out? Adding a subtle hue to the ceiling can help bring color to the room without the aggressiveness of a heavy wall color. Even if your kitchen has no design issues you need to resolve from the top down, repainting the ceiling can impart a fresh, bright look.

Perhaps new light fixtures aren’t in your budget or you really like the ones you have. In either event, replacing incandescent or flourescent light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs can soften harsh overhead lighting and use less electricity at the same time.

Practical luxury

Kitchens cry out for light but with wall space often largely devoted to cabinets, it can be a challenge to get enough natural light into the room through windows alone. Adding a skylight is a cost-effective way to compensate for a lack of windows and to bring balanced natural light and fresh air into a kitchen.

Skylights can help vent cooking odors and moisture from the kitchen if you choose Energy Star-qualified solar-powered fresh-air skylights, like those from Velux America. A programmable touch pad remote control operates the skylights as well as accessories like blinds. Solar powered blinds, which improve the overall energy efficiency of the skylights even more, are available in colors and patterns and allow you to make a design statement while giving you full control of the light that enters the space.

In addition to kitchens, bedrooms and baths are the most popular rooms for skylights since you get the same natural light and passive ventilations benefits while maintaining privacy.

And no-leak solar powered skylights, which close automatically in case of rain, as well as solar powered blinds, can be upgrades that partially pay for themselves since both can qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit, as do the installation costs. Visit www.whyskylights.com to learn more.

Lofty aspirations

Adding a ceiling medallion is a simple yet high-impact way to change the look of your kitchen ceiling. You can either position it around an existing light fixture or place it above a kitchen island. Installing a medallion is well within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers and you can accomplish the project in less than a day.

Wood accents, such as paneling, crown molding or a wooden frame add luxury and depth to kitchen ceilings. These are complex installations that may require you to hire a professional but they can pay off big to create your dream kitchen.

Investing some money, thought and effort into upgrading your ceilings can help give the rooms a new look and feel while providing benefits that are both beautiful and practical.

Featured Image- Space saving skylights free-up kitchen wall space for more cabinest and shelfs while admitting abundant daylight and providing natural ventilation. Energy Star-qualified VELUX no leak solar powered fresh air skylights and blinds are operated by touchpad programmable remote control and close automatically in case of rain. The skylights, blinds, and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Details at www.whyskylights.com.

To learn about how to get things looking up in your  kitchen, visit Cipriani Remodeling Solutions to schedule your FREE in home consultation.

Find Additional Space and Let it Sparkle

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions is hosting another fabulous Spring Design Clinic. The clinic is called Find additional Space and Let it Sparkle. This clinic will focus on additions to existing homes.  This clinic will be held at the showroom located at 665 N. Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096. The clinic is FREE and will take place, Thursday, May 7th, 2015 from 6:30-8pm and does require advance registration. Seating is limited and refreshments will be served. We will have a special guest from Lamp and Shade Works of Sewell, NJ.

For this clinic there will be the added bonus of photo submissions for your project. You may submit 4 photos of your room by May 5th at 5pm to have Cindy give some design tips for your project. To have your existing photos reviewed at the clinic, submit one photo of each full wall within the space. Photos must be submitted by 5pm 5-5-2015. Photos must be in jpeg format of at least 300 dpi. You can upload your images below. Cindy, the presenting designer, will answer a specific design related question about your space and offer a design solution and/or tip at the clinic. Limited availability. Submissions considered in the order they are received.May 2015 Clinic Additions DRAFT

 

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The clinic will feature award winning remodeling designer Cindy Cipriani.  Cindy has won countless awards and has been featured in publications and was recently seen on the Dr. Oz show. You can read more about Cindy here.