Whether you’ve just bought a fixer-upper or are finally getting started with the home makeover you’ve been planning for years, a full home remodel is an exciting – and complex – project. In order to successfully execute the remodel of your dreams at a budget you can afford, planning is absolutely essential. To help you stay on track and keep the process as smooth as possible, we’ve put together a free home remodeling checklist for you to use, as well as some helpful tips for planning and organizing.
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.
How do I start planning a home remodel?
Before you begin a home remodel, there are several important steps you should take to ensure sufficient preparation.
The first step is one of the most enjoyable: figure out the objectives of your remodel. This is where you get to be creative and dream big, imagining and visualizing your ideal result. Browse inspiration online and in person to hone in on your style, finding themes and elements that you like.
Don’t forget to think about why you want to remodel. Is it a matter of necessary repairs? Are you making updates for the sake of safety and utility? Or beauty and convenience? You’ll also need to consider scope. Are you rebuilding your entire house from scratch? Or only remodeling a room or two?
As part of this step, make a preliminary list of all of the changes you want to make, ideally in order from highest to lowest priority.
Next, you’ll need to set your budget. It’s important to know the limit of how much you’re willing and able to spend. Don’t forget to add an additional 10 – 25% for unforeseen costs or changes to your plans.
Setting a deadline
Now you’ll have to set a deadline for your remodel. This is important to have when meeting with contractors, as you want to hire somebody who can fit your schedule. Even if you’re not in a rush, setting a deadline will help set a good working pace and ensure everything runs smoothly. If there are many different moving pieces to your remodel – which there often are – it’s likely you’ll have different deadlines for different tasks.
With your budget and deadline in hand, it’s time to find the contractors who will help execute your vision. It’s best to meet with multiple contractors to collect more than one bid for your project. This will allow you to choose the home renovation contractor who can best meet your needs.
When you meet with contractors, expect them to ask a lot of questions and take photos. The more information you can give them, the more accurate their estimate will be. To make sure that each bid you get is based on the same data, we recommend showing our Home Remodeling Checklist to each one.
Once you’ve got all of your estimates to choose from, it’s just a matter of hiring the home remodel contractor of your choice and getting to business, going through each section of the home remodeling checklist step by step.
Breaking down the home remodeling checklist
To help you stay organized and streamline the home remodeling process, we’ve put together this home remodeling checklist with every step you’ll need to take for a full renovation. Note that not all of these sections and steps are going to be relevant to everybody, so feel free to adjust the home remodeling checklist template as necessary.
The home remodeling checklist is broken down into the following sections.
The first step of any major remodel will be to break down and haul away any structures you want to get rid of. If you need to make any changes to your utility lines, you’ll also want to do it at this stage.
Next, it’s time to rebuild the structure of your new home, including the foundation, framing, and walls.
Now it’s on to putting in your major plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems including your water heater, electrical circuits, lights, and AC unit.
With all of the basic structures and systems in place, you can get to replacing or repairing your roof, painting your home’s exterior, and adding trim or siding.
Now you’re ready to work on the inside, putting in insulation, drywall, moulding, and flooring. This step also includes painting the interior and putting in any built-in structures like cabinets, fireplaces, and stair banisters.
On to the kitchen. This step requires installing hardware, appliances, lighting, counters, cabinets, and more.
Related: Kitchen Remodel Cost & Tips
Remodeling the bathrooms will require putting in your tile, toilet, sink, shower, hardware, and vanity.
Related: Bathroom Remodeling Costs & Tips
Doors and windows
This important step includes installing all exterior and interior doors and windows, as well as fixtures like skylights.
After executing any repairs that need to be done to the garage, you’ll need to install the doors and flooring and paint the walls.
Site and miscellaneous
Fixtures and finishes
Last but not least, it’s time to add all the final touches like smoke detectors, doorknobs, and more. Note that this step is often not included in your contractors’ bids.
Home remodel costs and timing
The exact cost and timing of a home remodel will vary greatly depending on the changes you’re making, the size of your home, the number of rooms, your location, your budget, and more. That’s why it’s important to take all of the following estimates with a grain of salt and rely on bids from contractors for more accurate information relevant to your particular needs.
In the Los Angeles area, you can expect a whole-home remodel to cost you approximately $100-300 per square foot. For a 2,500-square-foot house, this comes out to $250,000 to $750,000. If you’re only planning to remodel your kitchen, you can expect to pay about $40,000 – $75,000 or $15,000 – $35,000 for a bathroom. To get a more accurate estimate, check out our bathroom remodeling cost calculator.
When it comes to timeline, you can expect a full home remodel to take between six months to a year. This breaks down more or less as follows:
- 1 to 3 months for architectural design
- 2 – 3 weeks for bidding
- 1 month for approvals and permits
- 3 to 9 months for construction
Remodeling a bathroom will usually take 2 to 3 weeks, while a typical kitchen remodel typically takes 8 to 12 weeks.
Finding an affordable, reliable home renovation contractor
One of the most important steps in the home remodeling process is choosing the right contractor. After all, you are trusting this person with something precious and invaluable: your home. So how can you find a home contractor who you can trust at a reasonable price?
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.