How to Start Your Whole House Renovation

A Remodeling Guide with Before & Afters

You have been inspired by Pinterest boards, Instagram reels, and internet searches. You want to renovate your house but don’t know how to start. You are not alone. After all, there are so many moving parts to home renovations, including finding a contractor who understands your vision and can guide you each step of the way, discovering if your wants fall within your budget, defining a budget that covers your ideas and inspiration as well as unknowns and coordinating all specialty trades to ensure your renovation projects go as planned. 

A remodeling project can be difficult and time-consuming, but once the house has been finished you will be very happy with the final design. The two most common scenarios our clients come to us with are: 

Buying a Fixer Upper With Renovation Plans In Mind

There are so many beautiful homes in Westfield, NJ that offer the character, history, and more square footage. Unfortunately, over time, they have been unkept and their interior and exterior have lost the charm of its hay day. But many locals, realtors, and real estate investors in Westfield, NJ will tell you that once these homes have been restored, they can offer a great return on investment and provide an enjoyable home for decades to come. 

This option allows you to: 

  • Change the architectural design and layout of busy rooms like kitchens and bathrooms to look current and fresh.
  • Receive tax credits (depending on where you are located.)
  • Home values within a historical district rise quicker than they do in more modern areas and buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes in historic districts.

Completing a Whole Home Renovation For Your Growing Family 

For larger families, there comes a point where the home you have just isn’t enough for the family you have and all of their interests. In the scenario, homeowners come to us wanting to update their living room, complete a family-friendly kitchen makeover, and complete various interior and exterior home improvements that work with their lifestyles.

This option allows you to: 

  • Get that amazing master bathroom remodel you are after. 
  • Update your kid’s bathrooms with long-lasting and durable materials.
  • Change up your home’s interior and exterior entryway. 
  • Update your garage, basement, or mudroom. 
  • Add on through a home addition. 

Of course, there are many other reasons why whole home remodels are requested. Regardless of the driver, there are must-knows every homeowner must be aware of in order to get the results they want from their home remodeling projects. 


Here are a few things that we recommend to everyone who wants a whole home remodel but is not sure where to start planning a whole house remodel:


Hire a General Contractor – Here’s What to Do

Hiring a general contractor when planning a remodel is a huge benefit. They can help you understand the ins and outs of your project and keep you in the loop during each phase. They will probably hire subcontractors who will work on the plumbing, electrical, and heating, and cooling. They will also pull permits, order all of the supplies that are needed for the renovation, help keep the project on budget, and maintain the deadlines for each phase.

Talk to the general contractor and get their opinion about certain items. You may find out that some of the expensive items are not worth the cost. They may be able to suggest the perfect alternative at a lower price. Every attempt at saving money allows you to add those funds back into the project somewhere else or splurge on a different item.

To get started, we recommend our free downloadable, Choosing the Right Remodeling Company for Your Project

In it you will find insight on: 

  • Verifying Licences & Insurance Coverage
  • Avoiding Unexpected Project Cost
  • Approaching Payments
  • Signing a Contract

Think of it as your renovating a house checklist. It takes the guesswork and frustration out of the hiring process. Additionally, if you plan on renovating and want the design to be at the forefront of your renovations, ask your contractor if they provide design build services, which cover all aspects from concept, design, and construction. Some contractors do not provide those services, however, they pair with design build firms and interior designers who do. Having that collaboration early on in your projects allows everyone to be aware of all moving parts, who will do what, and minimizes your need to communicate details with multiple companies as the general contractor can act as your project manager. 

Plan a Whole House Renovation Checklist 

Sit down with all the decision-makers in your home and write down a list of wants, needs, and how you each see your home changing in the next ten, thirty, and fifty years (if you plan to stay in it that long). Why? It will really help you determine what you should put more of your budget towards and what will likely need to be replaced later down the road due to lifestyle changes or style preferences. If you have an older house, we recommend upgrading your electrical panel to be energy-efficient because older homes were not built for modern conveniences. Additionally, replacing the windows can help you conserve more energy as modern windows feature a triple pane of glass with many energy-saving features. Best of all, window replacement is one of the highest ROI renovation projects. You’ll earn back a large share of what you spend on replacing windows when you sell your home if you choose the right type of window.

If you are planning a home addition, you will want to be sure to communicate your ideas for creating a design that blends the new space with the existing house. Doing so will help the contractor configure the space in the way that works best for you. The more information that you relay, the more successful the renovation will be. 

How to Budget for a Whole House Renovation

Throughout each step, we have mentioned touching on your ideas and what is important to you with your contractor. That is because if you have one vision of what you would like, and you do not communicate it early on, you may find yourself dealing with some harsh realities on what labor, materials, and products cost. 

Here’s our suggestion for approaching your contractor with your ideas as they pertain to your budget. Create three different bucket galleries:

  • Remodeling ideas you want – these are concepts that catch your eye but you’re not too sure on what is involved to get the end result.
  • Remodeling ideas you need – these are your non-compromising pieces/areas. 
  • Remodeling materials and products you like – these are hardware, kitchen cabinets, countertop types, backsplash types, etc., that you would like to have but are open to discussing.

Have these buckets ready for your first consultation with your contractor. Most companies set aside a minimum of two hours when consulting homeowners about their whole house renovation project for the first time. That is enough time to share each of these with your contractor. At that point, they can advise you on:

  • What is involved to achieve the results you shared with them from your remodeling ideas you want bucket.
  • Explain how much of your budget will go towards items that are in your remodeling ideas you need bucket
  • Suggest alternatives that would work well for items in your remodeling materials and products you like. 

When you are completely transparent about your expectations, uncertainties, and non-negotiables, your remodeling contractor can prepare a quote that best aligns with your vision and budget. 

We always work very closely with the homeowners we serve because we understand that our job sites are the places our clients call home, and the difference is in the details. We’d be honored to design and construct the spaces your family will make memories in. However, if you choose to go elsewhere, we hope this blog will be the perfect starting point for your renovations.

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