Plan for your Santa Barbara Remodel Now, so that you don’t go Crazy Later

RemodelMany of us have heard our share of drama stories and even read articles about the drama involved with many Santa Barbara home remodels.  Whether it is a simple kitchen make-over or a complete addition to your Santa Barbara home, here is a quick planning strategy to hopefully save you wasted time, energy and money.

  1. Start with a wish list, even if this will have to be dwindled down in the future.  This is surely one of the most fun activities in the entire remodelling process, so have a great time and get creative.  Keep all of your notes, drawings and cut-outs from magazines in a folder.

  2. Rather than just guess at a budget, consult with a financial planner or a CPA about your plans.  See where you are at financially based on your situation today as well as your future plans and determine your ceiling with regards to costs...stick to this!

  3. Pull a street file or city file on the property to help in determining what you can or can not do.  Also, ask your Realtor how much they know about your neighborhood and if they have their own personal tips and knowledge.  Just looking at precedent in the neighborhood (such as a second story) does not always guarantee that you can do the same.  The permitting process and building codes here in Santa Barbara can and do change.

  4. Hire your architect of choice and ask for some preliminary sketches of your plans.  From the start, make sure that these plans are aligned with your budget.  Check to see that your architect hopefully has some experience with drawings in your neighborhood.

  5. Interview several contractors that you know of or whom have been referred to you.  Most of your money and time will be spent with the contractor so make sure that your vision and personalities align with each other.  Hiring your contractor will be the single most important decision in the entire remodelling process.  Finally, have your contractor lay out a schedule of drawings, permitting, time-frame for completion of various phases of construction and ultimately costs.  It is important to know that the lowest bidder at the beginning is not necessarily the best choice for you.  Quality work, adhering to a time-frame and personality will go a long way towards the ultimate satisfaction of your completed Santa Barbara remodel.

For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative.  Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.

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