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Simon says:

 

In my last column I went into detail on how to do a quick remodel that would give you a very high return on your dollars spent. This week, I am presenting you with information on how to do a remodel for yourself. One of the wonderful things about owning your own home is that you have the opportunity to express yourself and your unique style

 

 In my last column I went into detail on how to do a quick remodel that would give you a very high return on your dollars spent. This week, I am presenting you with information on how to do a remodel for yourself. One of the wonderful things about owning your own home is that you have the opportunity to express yourself and your unique style.

You will recoup much of your remodel dollars when you sell. Real estate is an investment that will almost always be sold and passed on to someone else at some point in time. You may want to temper your own personal taste at times to make sure your remodel is palatable to other people. In other words, if you are into oak, a wood that is out of fashion right now, don't over use it. If you are into dramatic mod graphically black and white design, something that is considered chic right now, you may want to mellow out the contrast a bit. If you like architectural lines, try to avoid letting it get too stark by adding warm tones and natural materials. Generally, the most striking designs today will be considered the most dated and hopelessly trendy within the decade. A common idea is to wait to do the remodel little by little. Sometimes this makes sense. However, I have a lot of clients that buy a property with big plans to redesign the space and then they do the remodel right before they put their home on the market for sale. If they put up the money early in their stay, they would have been able to enjoy the remodel and still recouped their investment during the sale. If you are going to do a complete remodel you may want to avoid living through it. The dust alone can be unbearable. If your contractor tells you it will take 4-5 weeks expect it to take 7-10 weeks. Although I just completely remodeled a two bedroom condo in six weeks, most remodels take months and I have experience with over a dozen remodels.

The biggest time drain is the lead time for things like custom manufactured cabinets, which can take three to six months depending on the manufacturer. If you are doing a mid-end property you may want to use Ikea cabinets, you can buy them and have them delivered the next day. They are also highly rated by Consumer Reports for quality. If your taste is compatible with hand built cabinets, you may want to consider a cabinetmaker who should have an entire kitchen done and installed within a few weeks. There are a lot of pitfalls to avoid while working with contractors. You can hire a General Contractor to make things easier on yourself. Make sure you get one you really trust that has excellent references. This will lower your stress level but it will cost you. And you should note that even with a General Contractor remodeling isn't easy. If you are low on money, you may want to run the remodel yourself and hire sub-contractors. If you take on this position, plan on spending a couple hours a day on the project. When I am working with sub-contractors I feel like I am a high school football coach. Sometimes they won't show up, they'll get in fights with each other and so on. I am sure that people have told you that they have an amazing contractor, unfortunately you need more than one guy to run a job. It is possible to do a job with only the best possible workpeople, however this will take months. Sometimes you can't wait for your favorite electrician. Regardless of who you hire remodeling isn't easy, so be prepared.

One of the golden rules of hiring a contractor is to hire specialists. They all think they can do everything. Additionally, don't fall for the photos of work they have done. Oftentimes these photos are of jobs they were a part of but not the main contractor of.  Call their references and ask exactly what they did on the job. You need to respect the work these guys do-- it's not easy to be an excellent tile setter or a plumber-- so hire guys who really know what they're doing. Never pay workpeople up front. I generally give a 20% deposit at the end of the first day of work unless I've had a previously good experience with someone. If your granite counter top guy needs money for materials pay the vendor directly. Don't give a guy a three thousand dollar check on the first day of work. These contractors generally have other jobs going on at the same time as yours. You need to use your payments to keep them focused on your job. When they are about 80% done you can give them another 50% of the bid. Always make sure that they have done more work than you have paid them for. This may sound a little cheap, but if you're too nice they'll walk away with your money and you'll be chasing them down to finish the job. This column could be a lot longer, but for now this should get you started. If you are looking for good people who work in Santa MonicaPsychology Articles, you can visit my web-site santamonicasimon.com and contact me from there-- happy remodeling!!!Simon Salloom is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker who specializes in Santa Monica Real Estate.Click here to learn more about  Santa Monica Real Estate

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Simon Salloom is a Realtor who specializes in Santa Monica Real Estate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Brokerage, Brentwood Court Office. He is ranked in the top 3% of Coldwell Banker agents Nationwide for sales volume. Contact me via my web-site: www.SantaMonicaSimon.com



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