So you want to remodel, but you’re not sure where to begin? Below, a step-by-step guide from Sweeten, the free renovation matchmaking platform, to get started on your renovation and find the best general contractor for the project.
Set your renovation goals
Though it sounds simple, the best way to get started on any renovation is to list what you’re trying to accomplish. By listing your goals and drafting your scope at the very beginning of the process, you’re setting yourself up for success in the long run.
This can be as simple as jotting down what’s motivating your renovation and the problems you’re trying to solve. For example, you may be hoping to rip out your ‘80s-style kitchen and replace everything with farmhouse-inspired finishes. Or perhaps you want to create an open floor plan. By setting out with a specific idea of what will make the renovation a success, you’ll be on the right track to determine your scope of work.
Get a sense of how much your renovation may cost
One of the keys to a happy renovation is going into the project with a realistic sense of how much it’s going to cost. While every renovation is unique and budgets can vary widely, there are general guidelines you can use. According to Sweeten, a free platform that matches homeowners with vetted general contractors and stays involved until project completion, the average starting point for a full home renovation in New Jersey is $100 per square foot. If you’re renovating your bathroom or kitchen, or if you’re planning on high-end custom finishes, your costs will go up from there.. It’s also worth mentioning that location plays a factor in how much things will cost. If you’re remodeling in Hunterdon County, you’ll likely be getting quotes that differ from what you’d be getting in Hudson County. Sweeten’s New Jersey home renovation cost guide is a helpful place to start mapping out where your renovation budget may land.
Meet with general contractors and get estimates
Now that you have a solid idea of what your remodel will entail and a general understanding of what your budget should look like, you’re ready to initiate conversations with general contractors. The trick here is finding the right one for your renovation. It’s recommended that you get at least 3 different estimates from contractors who are licensed, insured, have verified reviews, and are skilled at the type of construction work you’re planning. If you’re planning on putting an addition on your house in Middlesex County, you’ll need to meet with a specific type general contractors and/or architects who do that work best in your area, whereas if you want to update your basement in Bergen or Essex County, you’ll need to get quotes from contractors with that specific expertise.
How exactly do you go about finding a contractor that fits all of your specifications? That’s where Sweeten comes in. When you post your basic project details on Sweeten’s website, you’ll get matched with vetted, licensed general contractors selected specifically for your remodel’s scope, budget, location and style. Once you’re matched, you’ll be able to see their past work, read their reviews, and meet with the ones you like best to get estimates for your renovation. Once you have multiple estimates in-hand, the team at Sweeten will help you bid-level, breaking down and comparing the bids side-by-side.
Plus, when you hire one of the general contractors you’ve been matched with, the team at Sweeten will check in throughout the renovation to make sure everything is going smoothly and according to plan. To find out more, head to Sweeten for real-life renovation stories, cost and process guides and to find general contractors for your project.
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