Renovating your home is a big undertaking whether you’re updating your kitchen or taking on a larger project like replacing your roof. But whole house remodeling can be an entirely different commitment. From installing a new roof, refinishing or buying new flooring, to the design and construction process, there are countless things to consider when updating your new house or even a historic home.

Before you decide if whole house remodeling is right for your home, we’ve asked the experts for their best advice. So whether you’ve just purchased your first home in Charleston, SC, or bought a fixer-upper house in Denver, CO, keep these remodeling tips in mind to help make a complete home renovation that much easier.

First steps first, hire the right professional

The most important part of any remodel is making sure you hire the right professional for the job. Factors to consider in choosing a professional should include expertise and experience, reputation, time frame of availability. Money is also a factor to consider, however, it should be the last priority. Cheapest is usually not best, the value a contractor brings to the table is way more important than the price they are offering. – Larabell Home Services

Understand what works for your space and what doesn't

We first get to know our client’s lifestyles and focus on their needs, so we can design a functional space that flows well. Our biggest tip is to first live in a house before remodeling, so you can understand what works for you and identify pain points. Focus on function and flow, then focus on design and style. – Peartree Homes

Have an empty space before you consult with the experts

How should you prepare for a major remodeling project in your home? Many homeowners have a good idea of what they want for their home remodel, but when it comes to their contractor actually putting hammer to nails on the project, they aren’t sure what to expect. How can they prepare? What should they do to prepare the space? The process can be messy, so our remodeling experts recommend cleaning and emptying the space before your contractor shows up so they don’t worry about knocking or breaking something that is precious to you. – Gill Construction Solutions LLC

Find a cohesive style and plan

When planning for a first floor remodel, come up with a space plan that’s cohesive. Determine your style, whether it be traditional, contemporary, transitional or modern and make sure your design choices and color choices fit within that theme. – Century Kitchens & Bath

If you're working with a small space, take these tips into consideration

Here’s five flooring tips for remodeling small spaces:

  1. Use the same type of flooring throughout – be consistent
  2. Avoid dark colors
  3. Install wider planks along the longest wall in your room
  4. Minimize clutter
  5. Use larger tiles

– Home Zenith

Consider everything that goes into the project

Get the products you want in your remodel without the stress by planning your project down to every nuance. Professional firms understand the importance of planning and procuring all products to ensure they are inspected and on hand when it’s go time! – Joshua Ayars, Ayars Complete Home Improvements

Opt to refinish your floors if possible

Homeowners who have their wood floors refinished recover 147% of the cost, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The return on investment was the highest of all remodeling projects.

When it comes to flooring options, there are two things most homeowners consider: cost and appearance. We recommend that homeowners should also consider more practical factors, such as the lifespan of the product and how it will be used in your daily life. This way you can find a product that will last and look great for your home. Many homeowners don’t consider resurfacing their existing wood floors instead of buying new. 

One of the major advantages of refinishing your existing floors is the cost savings. It is significantly cheaper and easier to update what you already have than installing new. 

After your floors have been refinished, the lifespan of your new floors is dependent upon proper maintenance and care. The best way to care for your new floors is to lightly dust mop the floor using a tack cloth lightly dampened with an approved cleaner. With proper maintenance, a professionally refinished floor typically lasts an average of ten years in a residential home. – Scott Newman, Founder/CEO of NewRidge Refinishing Group Inc.

Think of hardwood flooring as an investment

Installing hardwood floors is one of the greatest investments you can make in your home for the quality of your home environment, increased real estate value, and as a pivotal piece to the puzzle of style and design. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and hickory make a durable foundation that can last for decades, and they offer a blank canvas for custom-distressed flooring. If your home has a higher moisture content – but you still want a hardwood floor – look for a high-quality, 100% wood, engineered product that gives all the benefits of solid hardwood flooring with the added perk of not visibly shrinking or swelling with the presence of moisture. – StoryBook Floors

Make sure you order extra flooring to prevent future issues

No matter the type of flooring, always order with a buffer of 10% extra. People often live in their homes for years and you never know when you might need to replace a broken tile, or you are extending a room a couple feet. The flooring industry changes rapidly and once flooring is two years old or older, it is nearly impossible to find an exact match. – Tile Liquidators

There’s a lot to consider when updating your roof

When selecting a roofing contractor be sure to do your due diligence to verify their trade license (requirements vary by state) and the company’s online reputation (social media/google reviews, BBB complaints, etc). Avoid 3-tab shingles at all costs and ensure that your contractor is going to replace all step and headwall flashings as well as tear the roof all the way down to the bare deck to check for moisture damage before installation. Also, make sure that every project detail is carefully outlined within your build contract in order to protect yourself from any issues on the back end. – Michael Morganti, Lumen Construction 

Strengthen your roof when remodeling your home

For a long lasting and durable roof, we recommend using base sheets made from rubber as an alternative to paper base sheets. In addition, granulating all tie in seams, though not a building code requirement, will ensure positive, long-lasting results for your roof. – Evans MacDowell, E.W. MacDowell Roofing

Consider energy efficiency when choosing your roof

When remodeling your home, it is wise to select the right roofing material not only for the climate, but also for energy efficiency. Many current home roofing systems are not correctly ventilated, adding to high cooling costs as well as shortening the life span of the roofing material. In addition, choose roofing that fits the aesthetics of the neighborhood and will help increase the curb appeal of the home. Always select a licensed and insured professional roofer to ensure the roofing system is installed correctly and to code. – EverGuard Roofing

Don’t make these common remodeling mistakes

When choosing new floors for your home it is important to avoid these common mistakes. Most importantly, always purchase flooring installation from a licensed dealer. This will assure you that Manufacturer’s guidelines are followed and no product warranties are voided. Licensed dealers will have a showroom as well as a customer service team to oversee the project. This is a requirement of reputable manufacturers. Once your new floor is “professionally” installed be sure to follow the manufacturer’s “Care & Maintenance” guidelines. These can be provided to you by the retailer, found on the manufacturer’s website, and also found in the box that the flooring comes in. – Cregg Henson American Dream Flooring & Tile, Executive, “Cregg The Floor Guy” from WPTF Radio’s “Making Your Home Great” Home Improvement Show

Originally published by Redfin

Most home owners aren’t roofing experts.  How does one go about selecting the right contractor to install or repair a roof? Below are a few tips to help you out.

Local referrals

Finding a roofer in the area who has worked on other projects in the community is always recommended. Along with having a verifiable track record, someone local will also be familiar with all the local rules and regulations related to the job.

Research what’s best for your home

If you can at least find out what kind of roofing materials have worked in the past, find a contractor who regularly works with these products. Also beware of the contractor who doesn’t offer many options in terms of tiles, shingles, and other materials needed to do the job right. The style, color, and quality of these materials can sometimes impact the resale value of your house, so make sure you’re getting what you need, not what a contractor only offers.

Is the contractor licensed and insured?

While most states require licensing for contractors, including roofers in FL, it’s still always best to do your due diligence. Any roofing contractor should be able to provide copies of their insurance certificate, which documents insurance for all employees and subcontractors. Not having proper insurance can lead to home owners being liable should an employee sustain a serious injury on the job.

Installing a new roof on your home is a big investment and making sure the right materials are used for your home specifically is our top priority. But just how do we determine what materials to use for your quality roofing project? We briefly explain below.

Cost and durability

There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right roof system.  Cost and durability usually top the list when making a decision. What’s the highest quality roofing system we can install for the least amount of money? That’s the question we always ask ourselves before making any suggestions. And to answer that question, we consider the architectural style of your home, how certain materials will look on your home from an aesthetic standpoint, and also how certain materials will hold up against all the elements as well.

What’s surrounding your home?

Speaking of holding up against the elements, something else we’ll look at is your home’s specific location and also what surrounds your home. How much direct sunlight does your home get? Are high winds a problem? How much tree coverage / shade does your home get regularly? There are all question that need to be answered before determining what roof surface is right for you.

Do you need a roof replacement?

Water dripping into your living room usually suggests a roof replacement is needed, or at the very least some serious roof repairs. But aside from the obvious, what are some other warning signs that can help home owners determine when it might be time to look into having a new roof installed?

Below are just a few tips that should help you know when it’s probably time to have some roof work done on your home.

What is the roof’s age?

As the old saying goes, nothing lasts forever. Generally speaking, a roof usually lasts between 20 and 25 years, so if you’re coming up on the quarter-century milestone for your current roof, chances are you’ll need a new roof installed sooner rather than later.

How many broken tiles does your roof have?

Broken tiles are another obvious warning sign that it may be time to replace the roof. While just a few broken tiles won’t cause much harm, an excessive number of broken tiles means a full roof replacement is recommended for your home.

Are you seeing moss growth?

Moss growth is more of a problem for roofs that don’t get a lot of sunlight. And while moss growth tends to be more of a cosmetic issue, it’s also possible for it to hold moisture and cans damage over time to roof shingles. Also remember that while moss can certainly be brushed off a roof, doing so won’t guarantee it won’t grow back.