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With the current economic times of unstable home prices and a decrease in construction spending, the days of knock down and replace seem to be over. There's a new catch phrase around the valley these days and it’s “sensible renovation.”

JNR Design Solutions believes home renovation shouldn't be painful and understanding the scope of a renovation project is key. We're happy to provide resources to help educate home owners before they start their project. Included in this section are our FAQs, newsletter tips and articles, worksheets, and case studies.

Before you begin any remodel project here are five crucial steps every homeowner should take:

1. Brainstorm Ideas - Look at magazines and catalogs, go to home shows, cut out pictures, talk with family members for their ideas, develop your dream room down to the smallest details. Then create a list of "need to have" and "like to have". This will help you finalize your ideas and make it easier to communicate with your contractor.

2. Create a Budget - Remodeling costs can quickly spin out of control if you don't have a firm budget in mind. Having a budget also helps you set realistic goals and ultimately will help your project proceed smoothly and quickly. Also, if needed, secure your financing ahead of time. That might also affect your final budget.

3. Get Recommendations - The contractors and design firms your friends and family recommend are ones that you already know have happy customers. Ask your friends about their experience, the timeframe to complete the project, any problems they encountered and if they'd hire that firm again. Once you have some recommendations also check out those companies with the Better Business Bureau, national trade associations, the State Consumer Affairs Department, and online review sites, just in case there have been any changes since the company was last used by your family or friends.

4. Interview Remodelers - Don't be afraid to ask questions! A good firm will be one that is educational, visual, and upfront about all aspects of the remodeling process. I.e. if the firm answers your questions, listens to your ideas, discusses the pros and cons of ideas, and provides visual examples they are likely to be more organized and receptive to your needs as a homeowner. For a list of questions to ask contractors, please see our FAQs.

5. Make a Commitment - By this point, you've probably received a few design concepts and preliminary estimates, but more importantly you've gotten a sense of the companies you've interviewed. When you find one that you're comfortable with the next step is to make a good faith commitment to that company in the form of a retainer check or deposit. This provides that company funds for materials as well as covers the hours spent designing, researching, and sourcing vendors.

For more questions and answers about remodeling, visit our FAQs.
If you have additional questions please feel free to contact us.