By CRIS CARL
For The Greenfield Recorder
The new year often inspires fresh or resurfaced ideas for the coming months. If you have thoughts or plans to renovate your home, winter is a good time to start the process. Many local contractors are happy to help you make your ideas become reality and can offer good practical guidance.
Top tips for planning your remodel
“You first have to ask what your goals are and what are you looking for?” said Mark Penfield of R.G. Penfield & Sons Builders in Greenfield.
“For example, do you want to have a laundry or a bedroom on the first floor?” Penfield said it is important these days to initially take a good look at how tight and energy-efficient your home currently is before starting a renovation project.
It is also helpful to consider what your long-term plans are for your house. You want to have a good idea of what your budget is. What can you afford? If you are trying to sell, can you get back your investment?
Timing is also an important factor. Can you live without a bathroom or kitchen while the work is being done? A simple but important point is the amount of dust that will be created by the construction.
“Dust: Plan for it,” said Penfeld, with a laugh.
Popular remodeling trends for 2018
While kitchens and baths seem to still be the most common renovations, people are looking more at creating more open space in their homes, or creating living space for a parent or other family member.
Renovations are also becoming more common among people who want remain in their homes as they grow older. These folks want assisted living types of options, such as walk-in tubs and sturdy grab bars, and wheelchair accessibility to more areas of their homes.
Penfield has seen a greater call for painted cabinets and getting away from any type of carpeting and installing improved flooring.
“There are vinyl planks now that look just like wood,” he said, noting ease of maintenance of the newer products. Penfield said people are leaning toward ceramics in their bathrooms now for the same reason. “People are watching all those house remodel shows and they are getting a lot of ideas from them,” he said.
There is also a trend toward “green” and greater energy efficiency.
How to prepare for the contractor
Good communication with your contractor is priority.
“On our end, we let them know we’re there every day, whether us or a subcontractor, until we’re done,” said Penfield.
And you want to make the work area ready for the contractor. Put away belongings and safeguard areas you don’t want workers to have access to. Contractors need to know where workers can and can’t go and if they can use bathrooms. They also need to know if there are limits on their work day starting and ending times.
Also consider the safety of your pets as well and the safety of the workers. This includes making certain your contractor is insured, and that you have checked their references. ~