Living room with fireplace

© Rae Duncan Interiors

4 Tips to Help Buyers, Sellers Choose the Right Remodeler

August 6, 2018

Summer can be a popular time to remodel a home. Calling in the professionals may help ensure the job is done right and satisfactorily to help boost a home value, too. For homeowners looking to spruce up their digs, Rae Duncan of Rae Duncan Interior Design in Chicago offers some of the following tips to help buyers and sellers choose the right interior decorator and contractor:

1. Sellers should choose a designer who not only can aid the inside of a home but also boost curb appeal. Clients should research and select a designer with great reviews and testimonials. “Design can get frustrating and complicated,” Duncan says. “You want to hire someone you are going to work really well with and who ‘gets’ your vision. Meet with them. Talk in depth about what you want to achieve. A remodel can be one of the most stressful things a homeowner ever does. Choose carefully who goes through that process with you.”

Custom bathroom

© Rae Duncan Interiors

2. Look for a contractor with great technical skill and all the proper licenses and insurance. Duncan says it’s equally important that they have excellent communication skills. “Words matter as much as, if not more than, blueprints,” Duncan says. “Good communication limits ‘surprises’ and pricing changes mid-job. Choose someone with integrity and lots of referrals, too.”

3. When buying a home, don’t buy homes that are too funky or “unique,” Duncan suggests. “Previous owners may have done some bizarre things to structures, and while potentially charming, those oddball decisions can be very expensive and difficult to change,” Duncan says. “You want your home to be a unified masterpiece, not choppy and all over the place. Don’t make it harder on yourself to achieve that vision by buying the wrong home.”

4. Don’t break the bank, especially when you are selling. “When it’s a home you plan on living in for years to come, you should do what your heart desires,” Duncan says. “But when you are looking to sell, certain improvements may not give you a return on the investment, such as tiles and fixtures.” She suggests that those choices be made carefully with a design professional who is knowledgeable about real estate and knows what appeals to buyers. “Making things look luxe without them actually being luxe is the key,” she adds.

Learn the remodeling projects that can offer the biggest paybacks at resale: Remodeling Impact report