3 project tips from New York area home remodelers

Check Angie's List for a contractor that's right for you. (Photo courtesy of Craig Gay)

Check Angie's List for a contractor that's right for you. (Photo courtesy of Craig Gay)

If you're ready to break ground on a new remodeling project for your New York tri-state area home, consider these pieces of advice from highly rated local remodelers:

Determine your goals

"There are two ways to go about a remodel," says Joe Shoback, owner of highly rated Hudson Home Improvement in Jersey City, N.J. "One, you can remodel with the view towards selling your home. The other way is to take the view that you're going to be living in the home for the next five years.

"You definitely want to have that discussion with the contractor you choose; they should ask you what your goal is. If the goal is to sell the home, then I’ll generally steer clients towards to more cost-effective options for products such as kitchen cabinetry."

Set the right budget

Pick a contractor who can specify exactly how much each portion of the project will cost - to the penny, says Matt Zaccheo, owner of highly rated C & M Home Improvement in Brooklyn, N.Y. "If you do the right job with the right people, things can come up that may cost more," he says. "But if you have the right person, you can have your budget nailed down to the last penny."

For the unexpected problems that often arise with remodeling projects, Shoback suggests adding a cushion to the project budget. "A good buffer zone would be adding about 10 to 15 percent extra to the budget," he says. "That will help alleviate some of the pain of unexpected expenses."

Do your homework

"Hiring the wrong person is the No. 1 mistake people make with remodeling," Zaccheo says. "Homeowners should do their homework by getting at least three guys to bid on the job and checking their credentials — that’s the most important thing."

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