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Remodeling basics

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Updated: 6/11 5:38 pm

Several basic steps are involved in remodeling your home. The first is to thoroughly plan your project. Carefully consider every detail of the design process from the way you'll use the space and the color scheme you like, to the appliances and light fixtures you want. The second step is to hire a contractor. Solicit at least three bids and discuss them in detail with each contractor. Keep in mind that the lowest bid isn't necessarily the best offer; higher costs may indicate better quality materials or might include higher labor costs for a more thorough job. Check the contractor's local references, and contact the Better Business Bureau to see how long he or she has been in business. Make sure the contractor has proper insurance such as workers' compensation, property damage, and personal liability. In addition, check with your state, county, or city housing authorities to ensure that the contractor meets all licensing requirements. The final step is to obtain financing. For a large project, the contractor may be willing to arrange financing. Additional options include paying cash, refinancing, home-improvement loans, and home-equity loans. If you're not paying cash, do some homework and compare interest rates and repayment terms to find the best deal.

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