Should You Remodel or Buy New? It’s a big question, not all remodeling projects will return your cash investment and that may be okay if you’re doing it to enhance your lifestyle and you plan on living in your home for many more years.
However, if you think you might move in the next 3 – 5 years you should know what the best home improvements are for the highest return. Or it may make more sense for you to find a home that better fits your lifestyle and needs.
We’ve created this Checklist to help you think through all the steps of Remodeling. The purpose is to address all aspects of your Remodeling Project and the process, so you can clearly define what you really want to accomplish, arrive at a practical end product in a style that suits your family and within your budget.
FIRST, SOME BROAD QUESTIONS:
Off the top of your head, what are the Top 3 priorities that immediately come to mind when you think about you remodeling project?
Are You Planning to Remodel the Entire Space, (Interior and / or Exterior) Or Partial remodel such as Kitchen or Bathrooms?
Do you have a budget in mind?
What is the low, medium and
your “Not to Exceed” Budget?
What is your timeline?
Do you have a drop dead date the remodel
must be completed by?
ABOUT The space –
What will it be used for and Who will use it?
Is this currently, or will it become your
Will it be used as a rental for income?
How many Adults, Children, Pets?
Any Special Needs?
Counter Heights, Door Width,
Handicap, Elderly or Small Children?
Is Entertaining Important?
Your Entertaining Style is:
Formal / Informal / Both
How many guests typically?
What type of entertaining?
Meals, Music, Games, Movies, BBQ?
Any Special Cooking Facilities Required?
Professional Grade Appliances
Island with Second Prep Sink
Walk In Pantry
Does More Than One Person Cook at a Time?
Where Do You Like To Eat Meals?
Dining Table, Kitchen Table, Kitchen
Counter, Family Room, Other?
Reading, Cooking, Home Theater, Music,
Crafts, Sewing, Sports, Other?
Any Technical Needs?
Computer, Laptop, Docking Station,
Charging Station, Wireless Hub, Satellite,
Surround Sound, Home Theater
Any special needs such as Soundproofing,
Computers, Task Lighting, Storage, Printer
Locations that may need more lighting?
Specialized Lighting for Art (niches or walls)
Bathroom or Kitchen Task Lighting
Family or Living Room Ambient Lighting
Garage Cabinets / Closet Organizers
Books, Holiday Decorations, Kitchen
Appliances or Serving Dishes
What are the most important outdoor spaces?
Patio Dining, Covered Outdoor Living, Pool,
Spa, Fire pit, Outdoor Kitchen with BBQ, Sun
Deck, Private Spa, Putting Green, Fountain
or Water Feature, Courtyard Garden Entry.
What interior features are important to you?
Wet or Dry Bar with or without Seating,
Built in Refrigerator, Fireplace in Living or
Master Suite, Separate Closets in Master,
Do You Want to Add or Enlarge?
A room or Guest House?
AC to Garage
Home Theater or Sound System
Do You Want to Add or Enlarge – Continued
Home Automation System –
What will it control?
Remote Controlled Window Coverings
Remove a Wall to Open two rooms together
Security Screens or Gates
Are “Green” Objectives important to you?
Energy Audit for Cost vs benefit Analysis
Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling
Energy Efficient Appliances
Backup Generator System
Low Water Landscape
Low Water Fixtures
Indoor Air Quality – Duct Cleaning
Dual Pane Windows, Low “E”
What Atmosphere Do You Want to Create?
Casual, Formal with defined spaces, Clean
Lines, Warm & Cozy, Open Light and Airy,
Elegant, Sophisticated, Lived In, Romantic,
What is Your Style?
Tuscan, Beachy, Old World, Mediterranean,
Cottage, Art Deco, Asian, Tropical, Mission,
Southwest, Modern Minimalist,
Color and Tone Preferences:
Lighter or Darker
Cool such as Blue, Gray, Black, White,
Warm such as Earth Tones Beige, Brown,
Subtle Tones or Bold and Bright
Colors You Dislike:
Hard Surface Material You Like?
Hard Materials You Dislike?
Wood, Cork, Bamboo, Carpet, Marble,
Stone, Concrete, Ceramic or Porcelain Tile,
Saltillo Tile, Combination, Other
Counter / Vanity Preferences?
Granite, Marble, Quartz, Tile, Wood
Stone, Texture, Wallpaper, Contrast Paint
Window Treatment Preference?
Bermuda Shutters, Verticals Blinds, Pleated
Shades, Motorized Solar Shade, Drapes,
Roman Shades, Grass Roll up, Ceiling
Pockets for Disappearing Electric Shades
Door and Cabinet Hardware Preference?
Knobs, Levers, Pulls Bronze, Chrome, Satin
Nickel, Brass, Other
Cabinet Finish and Door Style Preference?
What Style do you like?
Stained or Painted
Wood interior or Melamine
Full extension drawers
Corner Turn Table
Custom Built or Pre Fab Cabinets
How do you use your Kitchen?
Do you want family and Guests in the Kitchen to Help or Do You Prefer the Kitchen to be a Separate Room out of sight?
How many Cooks in the Kitchen at the same time?
Is the Primary Cook Left or Right Handed?
Does the Cook Have Any Special Needs?
Do You Use Caterers to Prep, Serve and Clean Up for Entertaining?
KITCHEN – continued
Where do you want the family to eat?
Are there Small Children to Accommodate?
Do you want the Kitchen Open the Family Room?
Do you Want a Formal Dining Room?
Seating for how many people
What is Your Cooking Style?
Do you Bake
What Type of Food Prep Do You Need?
Daily Heat & Serve
Daily Full Course Meals
Weekend Family Meals
Any Secondary Activities or Amenities You Want in the Kitchen?
Computer or Recipe Desk
Homework or Craft Station
Integrated Refrigeration Drawers
ORIENTATION OF KITCHEN
Partition walls be removed or altered?
Florescent Lighting to be Removed?
Relocate the Sink or Appliances
Add a Gas Line
Add a Second Water line and Drain
Add an Island
Reconfigure or add a Work Triangle
Add More Lighting
EQUIPMENT TO INCORPORATE INTO KITCHEN
Professional / Residential Grade Appliances,
Microwave, Trash Compactor, Icemaker,
Dishwasher, Separate Cooktop with Gas or
Electric, Double Ovens, Convection Oven,
Built In Refrigerator / Freezer: style and size,
Double or Single Bowl Sink, Second Sink, Pot
Filler at Cook Top, Instant Hot, Filtered
Water, Updraft or downdraft vent,
Architectural hood, Wine Cooler.
Do You shop in bulk and need extra storage?
What cooking equipment needs to be accommodated, i.e. Pots, Pans, Small Appliances
Specialized Storage such as spices, cleaning supplies, baking equipment, cutlery, plastic storage containers, non-refrigerated foods
Recycling receptacles and location
Display Storage such as Cookbooks, Dinner or
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
Are there enough electrical outlets
Do you need to bring a Gas Line in
Is there enough light
Add recessed lighting
Are light switches where you want them
Add dimmer switches
Is ventilation and cooking exhaust adequate
Preferred cabinet door style
Cabinet Facing Material,
Wood Stained, Painted or Washed,
Laminate or Thermofoil
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
Wall and Ceiling Paint Color
Pedant, under cabinet, recessed, display
How with the Bathroom be Used?
Is it for personal, family or guest use? Are there special needs now or in the future such as height, handicap, small children, etc.?
Do you need to accommodate any non-traditional activities such as Laundry or Washing Pets?
How much Storage do you need?
ORIENTATION OF BATHROOM
Is the Bathroom large enough
Can you relocate a door or window to help
Is it connected to a Bedroom as you like
Is there enough natural light
Add a skylight or solar tube
Remove Tub and Add Walk in Shower
Change or Upgrade Toilets
Shower for One or Two People
Adjustable Show Heads
Multiple Shower Heads
No Enclosure, Walk In
Pedestal Sinks or Vanity Cabinets with Sinks
Vessel Style Sinks
Chrome, Satin Nickel, Brass, Bronze Fixtures
Salon Style Storage for Hair Dryers, Curling Iron
Electrical Outlets inside Drawers or Cabinets
Towel Bars how many, location
Towel and Linen Storage in or near the Bath
Add Storage or Closet System to Closet
BATHROOM STYLE, APPEARANCE & FINISH
Cabinets, Single or Double Vanity
Recessed Medicine Cabinet
Wall to Wall or Framed Mirrors
3 Way Mirror
Knee recess / Makeup Mirror
Cabinet Door Style, Finish
Shower and Tub Surround Material
Wall and Ceiling Paint Color
ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
Does the Heating and Air Conditioning
System Operate Adequately?
How old is the Water Heater?
Would you consider Tankless Water Heater
Do you want to add water saving fixtures
Are electrical outlets GFCI protected
Hard wired smoke, carbon monoxide, and home
Add Solar Panels
Depending upon the layout of your home, it may be possible to add a room without adding to the building’s footprint. Example, you may be able to convert part of Laundry Room into a Powder Room.
Make a sketch of the layout you want, collect Magazine Clippings, Photos, and bookmark Websites that Illustrate Your Favorite Look and incorporate into an Idea Book where you keep all of your best ideas in one place.