5 Things To Do Before Getting Remodeling Estimates

As you grow in your home you may find your personal taste changing or you may need more room to accommodate a growing family. For those who are not looking to move, a home renovation is the solution you’re looking for.

A renovation will allow you to change your home to be exactly what you want it to be while the updates will also help add to the value of your home. It is important to take the time to plan your renovation with multiple remodeling estimates to guarantee a high-quality outcome. 

There are many things to consider before you can start the renovation process. Everything from what you can afford to do, how long it will take, and who will do the work. Though many like to do the work themselves, hiring a contractor is the best bet with large-scale projects.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are planning a remodel in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties.


GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened remodel contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

There are a few steps in the process of getting remodeling estimates and hiring a contractor. You’ll have to look at your finances and your renovation plans while also conducting a lot of research and interviews to get the right fit for your job. By taking the time to do these things you can help ensure a smooth and high-quality home renovation.

1. Get Your Finances in Order Prior to Remodeling Estimates

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The first step in remodeling your home is to look at your finances to see what projects are able to be completed. The biggest determining factor in any home project will be what you can afford to do.

Without proper funds, you won’t get far and the last thing you want is to be living with an unfinished construction zone in the middle of your house. It’s important to know how much money you have at your disposal. Knowing how much money is available for you to use will dictate the size and scope of your project and how long it will take to complete.  

There are several options for paying for a renovation. Of course, you can save up and pay out of your own pocket for your renovation. This can be challenging as renovations can get expensive quickly.

One of the best options to get the funds you need is to utilize a home equity line of credit. A HELOC loan will allow you to borrow money as needed while making small payments, and the interest is even tax deductible when the funds are used for home improvements.

This will make it easier for you to get the desired final product without having to compromise on the quality of the work being done.

2. Prepare Your Home for the Project

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A home renovation is a huge undertaking and one you want to be thorough on. Let’s say you’re planning a kitchen remodel, consider using a checklist of everything you plan on doing during the renovation to keep track of your progress. Things like the planned layout of the completed room, any appliances and lighting you may need in the space, and any more minor details like the paints you plan on using.

Having a list of all your renovation materials helps in many ways. It can help homeowners organize their thoughts in a single place so nothing gets forgotten. It will also help when coming up with a budget to know exactly what you need and how much it will cost, and will also help you be more well-informed while collecting remodeling estimates. 

You should also take the time to make an inventory of your belongings to make sure you don’t lose anything in the process of clearing out the space you plan on renovating.

One more thing you can do is to install a lockbox near your door to keep a key to your house in. With contractors coming and going at all hours of the day, it is important they can access your home. By keeping a lockbox for the key to go in, you can ensure that the key is safe and your workers can gain access to your home without you needing to be there.

3. Do Your Research on Potential Contractors Before Getting Remodeling Estimates

When you start looking for remodeling estimates, it’s essential to cast a wide net and look at as many options as you can. The more options you give yourself, the more informed you will be when it’s time to make a decision.

By finding multiple contractors you’ll be able to compare not only the price they charge but also the quality of their work and the reviews that others have had for them after working with them. Finding the right contractor is the most important part of your renovation process since they’ll be the person you’re working with to make your vision a reality. 

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There are several things to keep in mind when looking for the best choice to work with. Some contractors are specialists who will excel at one particular form of work, while others will be more general workers who are jack-of-all-trades types.

It is also very important to do a background check on any of the contractors you may be working with to ensure you’re working with people you can trust to get the job done and respect your home. By finding multiple contractors you could even use the different contractor’s prices to help negotiate a lower price for yourself with the one you prefer.

4. Keep Records of the Work

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Projects like renovations will take a lot of time and will affect the value of your home. You’ll want to keep track of these improvements in your home. Take some time to prepare a record you can keep of the interactions you’ll have with your hired workers while getting remodeling estimates and working throughout your project.

You should keep a written record of all interactions relating to the project to ensure a paper trail of any unexpected delays or price increases. This will also be a good way to keep track of the improvements so that if you ever decide to sell your home, you can provide all the details of the renovations.

You should also keep track of how the worker conducts themselves while working, that way you can give an honest review of the business after the work has been completed.

5. Prepare Questions to Ask Your Contractor

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Once you feel confident in the pool of potential candidates to be your contractor, it is time to start collecting information from them directly. This is when you’ll get the estimated cost of your home renovation, but there are also other things you should know before you agree to hire someone to work in your home for an extended period of time.

Use this interview-like process to learn more about how they run their business with questions like these:

  1. What will you estimate the cost of the project to be?
  2. How long do you think this project will take?
  3. What will you do to make sure this project stays on schedule?
  4. What time will work start and finish each day?
  5. Do you have a schedule for payments?
  6. What is your availability for me to reach out and how long would it take for me to get an answer from you?
  7. What safety measures do you take to keep the work site safe while the project is ongoing?

Take note of the answers they give and compare them to the other contractors you reach out to. After considering what they say, it is time to get your remodeling estimates, select the contractor that works best for you and start the renovation process.

By taking the necessary steps to prepare for your upcoming remodeling estimates, you can ensure as smooth and painless a process as possible. When done correctly you will end up with an updated space in your home that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.

Related: 30 Things to Discuss With a Contractor Before Starting a Remodel

At GreatBuildz, it’s our mission to connect homeowners like you with vetted contractors in the Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and San Diego areas. We know it can be hard to know where to start and who to trust, which is why we’re dedicated to helping you find the best dependable, pre-screened contractors.


Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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