Remodeling Sanity Tips


Redoing your home can be exciting, but it also takes careful planning. Here’s some advice to keep you on track.

Organize. Keep copies of all contracts, change orders, invoices, receipts and permits in a three-ring binder or expandable file folder, so all your important documents and good ideas are in one safe place.

Play designer. Since you live in your house day after day, you’ll often have better ideas than the pros. Get out a pencil, make 50 copies of your current floor plan and sketch out all the alternatives.

Don’t get too wild and crazy. Stick with a traditional size and shape for your home—to increase its resale value and hold down the cost of your remodeling.

Be a do-it-yourselfer. Have contractors itemize their quotes so you can determine which phases of the project you can handle yourself and which ones you need someone else to take care of. Consider doing the demolition and finish work yourself.

Source: Adapted from Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision by Dan Fritschen, ABCD Publishing LLC, 2005.

Are They Trustworthy?

To find a contractor you feel comfortable using, you can

Ask for referrals from friends and neighbors.

Ask people who have done work for you in the past, such as your plumber or landscaper, to recommend someone.

Ask your township or city building department for a list of preferred contractors.

Try online referral services such as and .

Inquire at home improvement stores, especially ones that cater to contractors.

Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints on specific contractors.

Source: Adapted from Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision by Dan Fritschen, ABCD Publishing LLC, 2005.


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