CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Whether it's a total remodel or a simple task, we all want to feel good about our home improvement projects.
Measure twice, cut once. We all know that proper planning helps projects go smoothly, but the bigger the project, the more there is to plan.
When it comes to home improvement projects, Angie Hicks of Angie's List has some advice on planning for success.
“First things first, before you reach out to your home improvement pro, on your next project, make sure you have details laid out of what’s important to you,” Hicks said.
Having pictures or examples can make that first conversation much more effective, Hicks said. Although you don’t need to have everything planned out at this point, it’s important to set clear expectations early on, she continued.
"Think about how you want the space to feel when it's finished. Start by collecting photos of finished projects that you really like and have the right type of feel so whether you're searching the internet, flipping through magazines, collecting a series of photos can really give a contractor a feel for what you're looking for," Hicks said.
Don’t just plan for the finished product. To help the construction phase go smoothly, plan for what will happen in the meantime, as the project is being worked on.Consider the impact your project will have on your home and your family before you begin.
Will it impact electrical or plumbing?
Also, will you be able to use your kitchen or bathroom?
Make sure you have a backup plan for how you’re going to live day-to-day life, set up your budget and evaluate comparable homes around you, Hicks said.
Going too expensive might mean that your home could sit on the market or that you can't recoup your expenses.
Even if you aren't planning to sell soon, it's worth thinking about the ROI.
Then, it’s time to find the right professional for the job. “Reputation matters. Be sure that you check out the pro you’re going to hire,” Hicks said. “Read reviews, check their insurance, their licensure, make sure they’re bonded.And also, make sure that you’re interacting with them face-to-face, so you know how you’re going to work together during the project,”
If in-person meetings don’t feel right to you right now, try using video chat instead. The important thing is that you can make a connection, Hicks assured.
"Don't forget the human element, especially if it's a larger project, you might be working with this contractor and their team for several weeks. You want to make sure that you have good communication and a solid plan for how your projects going to go, from start to finish," Hicks said.