10 Best Home Renovations to Squeeze in Before Winter
Create a “wow!”-worthy home before snuggle-weather hits.
Have a clear vision…
And if you don’t, no worries. “My job is to help a homeowner with their vision,” says Trace Brash, a contractor in Portland, Oregon. “Sometimes, people think ‘I just want new tile, new countertops,’ that kind of thing, but your contractor should help you envision ways to open up the space in a different way, or look at your space in a way you wouldn’t have thought about.” For design inspiration, check out free room design templates at various websites such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and CliqueStudios.
Communicate your budget
This may sound like a given, but not necessarily, says Brash. “It’s common for people not to want to tell their contractor what their budget is because they’re afraid their contractor will push it right up to the limit of their budget or even go over, which makes it hard for us to do our job,” he says. “You need to trust your contractor and tell them upfront what your expectations are budget-wise so you can know if they’re realistic. A good contractor will include an allowance number in their bid, which is a pool of money for those items that haven’t yet been decided upon—fixtures, wall hangings, medicine cabinet, and the like—so there are no surprises down the road.” Find out the 11 secret contractors wish all first-time homebuyers knew.
Ask for updates
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With many home renovation projects, there are a lot of moving parts. Ensure that nothing falls by the wayside by keeping tabs on the progress, which is especially important during the fall months, to ensure it’s completed by winter. So don’t be shy, and ask for weekly or even daily reports, suggests Brash. “You want your contractor to be as transparent and communicative to the point of ‘alright alright, shut up already,’” he laughs. “I have project managers who send out regular emails saying ‘here’s what happened today, and here are the expectations for tomorrow, and what subcontractors will be there and when,’ so we’re all on the same page with the timeline.” Next, read on for the 50 must-do things to get your home ready for colder weather.