The whine of power saws on that new addition or remodeling project can signal the exciting sound of your dreams taking shape or they can conjure visions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fear is understandable. These major construction projects can be scary and expensive. But doing homework on the front end can help you develop a firm budget, a clear vision and a more fruitful relationship with your contractors. It might also lessen the fear factor. Start with the biggest, broadest questions – What do you hope to accomplish with the project and how much do you have to spend? Then your contractors
can help you work your way to the smaller questions about specific materials, etc. That kind of strategic planning should bring clarity to the project, which could be the most valuable asset you bring to the table.
Size and Complexity of the Addition or Remodel
Some cost factors here are obvious, such as the size of a porch or extra room. But the nature of each project carries levels of complexity that might not be immediately apparent. Early on, you’ll want to get a handle on how many general contractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters or decorators you’ll need to complete the project. You’ll also want to consider the cost of permits and inspections. Then, budget at least some extra cushion for the unexpected. An example: Perhaps you have an older home, and when your contractors tear up your carpet, they discover structural problems with the flooring or maybe the plumbers find old pipes that need to be replaced. Hope for the best, but plan for at least a bit of the worst.