True Blue Remodeling

Remodeling: Where do I begin?

How to Approach Remodeling

So you’ve decided to update your kitchen, but where does one begin? Do I hire a contractor? Do I meet with designers? The idea of remodeling your home is exciting, but figuring out how to navigate the process can feel daunting. However, with a bit of planning and organization, the process can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are the first steps to take when considering a remodeling project:

Budget and Goals

The first step will be to determine your budget based on your goals. Are you remodeling to update the space? Does the existing layout have functionality issues that you would like to resolve? Another common goal is to prepare your home before selling it on the market. Determining your goals will help you set your budget, then you’re in control during the planning phase. Check out this handy guide to assist you in developing your budget:

How much should I spend on a remodel?


Next, you’ll want to consider hiring a designer. If our goal is to give the existing space a facelift, you probably don’t need plans and renderings drawn. However, an interior designer with a keen eye for materials, colors, and style will help bring your vision to life. That’s the primary purpose of the design phase, clearly communicating your vision to others. A good designer will make that easy for you to do. Another great result of good design is a clearly defined scope of work. This scope of work is vital in hiring contractors to ensure you’re getting apples-to-apples bid proposals.

But I don’t need a designer

If you’re going to forgo hiring a designer, take some time to research design styles and inspiration. Look at magazines, websites, and home design books to find ideas that inspire you. Note what you like about each space, and start forming a vision for your remodel. This will give you a better idea of what you want and don’t want, making the scope of work development process more straightforward.

Selecting a Contractor

The third step is to interview potential contractors. But before you pick up the phone, create a list of what you are looking for in your contractor. Are you looking for a contractor whose schedule you can get on right away and who can do the project quickly? Is price your primary concern when hiring a contractor? Is a contractor focused on attention to detail and providing quality craftsmanship most ideal? Typically, most contractors can provide two of these, but not all.

When interviewing contractors, note who communicates responsively and gels with your personality. Check on their schedule and see when they could start your project. Ask them if they consider themselves to be a high-end contractor or a budget-friendly contractor. Also, ask about ballpark pricing as early on as possible. Will they be purchasing materials, or will you? Those are a few things to consider when interviewing. Every contractor runs their business differently and has different abilities, capacities, and specializations. This is often why homeowners rarely get bids that are similar in price for remodeling projects. Hire the contractor who best fits your needs according to your goals and what is most essential for you. Also, don’t forget to check their CSLB license.

What’s Next?

Great job! You’ve selected your contractor. Here’s what to expect next. Your contractor will provide you with a contract, which should have a clearly defined scope of work or reference the documents which do. They’ll collect a deposit to get your project scheduled. Materials should be selected and ordered as soon as possible. It’s better to have the materials on hand and staged for months than to have your entire project delayed because of a back-ordered part. Behind the scenes, your contractor will be pulling permits and scheduling labor. Not every project requires a permit, so ensure you have that discussion.

Getting it Done!

The last step is the execution phase. Congratulations, your project is now in motion. You’ve hired a contractor you are comfortable with, communicates well, and fits your project needs. While the project is in motion, you’ll be able to receive progress updates from your contractor, who is now in the driver’s seat. You may still have some last-minute decisions as specific finishes are folded together, but you’re on the home stretch and will soon enjoy your new space. Cheers!

Check out our process below:

The True Blue Way to Remodeling