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A Contractor's Guide for Homeowners: Steps to a Successful Home Remodel

Howdy folks! Chris Bishop here of Bishop Builders. Over the years that I've been a general construction contractor, I've certainly seen my fair share of remodeling nightmares. Usually, this has to do with a homeowner not understanding the process, trying to cut the wrong corners to save money, or the big one...thinking that it's costing too much and hiring a subcontractor that promises to do the same job for way less money. As they say, most of the time, you get what you pay for.

As experienced contractors in the industry, we understand the challenges and complexities involved in a home remodel. That's why we've compiled this guide to provide you with valuable insights, expert advice, and practical tips to make your remodeling project a triumph.

If you're a homeowner, you know that remodeling your home can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Whether you're looking to update your kitchen, revamp your bathroom, or add more living space to your home, you can use this home remodel guide to help you.

From initial planning to finding the right contractor, selecting the best materials, and staying on budget, we've got you covered. Our goal is to empower homeowners like you, so you can make well-informed decisions and achieve the home of your dreams.

The Importance of Planning a Home Remodel

According to the National Association of Realtors, homeowners feel a major sense of accomplishment and get more enjoyment out of their home after a remodel. Common types of home remodels include updating kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living areas, and even removing or adding walls. You can optimize space, make cosmetic improvements, enhance storage space and even improve energy efficiency.

The first part of any home remodeling project is the pre-construction phase. This consists of planning, scoping, and sampling materials. You’ll work closely with your contractor to create a desired design. Having specific goals in place and knowing exactly what you want from your remodel can help you keep your project on track and prevent your project from going over budget. In our experience, effective planning is the most critical phase of a successful project.

Planning is the first and most crucial step in any home remodeling project. A well-thought-out plan ensures that your vision aligns with your budget and that you're prepared for the challenges that may arise during the remodel.

To start, take the time to clearly define your goals for the remodel. Are you looking to create a more functional space, improve energy efficiency, or enhance the aesthetics of your home? Understanding your objectives will help guide the decision-making process as you move forward.

Next, assess your budget and determine how much you're willing to invest in the remodel. Consider factors such as labor costs, materials, permits, and unforeseen expenses. It's important to be realistic about your budget to avoid any financial strain down the line.

How will fund you home remodel? Are you paying in cash, taking out a loan or applying for credit? Once you know how much you can afford to spend, set aside 10-20% of your available funds for unexpected expenses. By setting aside a percentage before beginning, you know you will have the funds available to finish your project no matter what happens.

Once you have a clear understanding of your goals and budget, it's time to gather inspiration for your remodel. Browse home improvement magazines, websites, and social media platforms to find ideas that resonate with your vision. Create a mood board or folder to compile your favorite design elements, color schemes, and materials. This will help you communicate your vision to your contractor later on.

Lastly, work closely with your contractor to create a timeline for your project. This will help you stay organized and ensure that the remodel progresses smoothly. Be sure to account for any potential delays or setbacks that may occur, as they are common in home remodeling projects.

Remember, a well-planned remodel sets the stage for success, so invest time and effort into this initial phase to save yourself headaches later on.

Image of a professional with a ruler, pencil, and blueprints making plans for a home remodel

The Process of Bidding During a Home Remodel

Once you have an idea of the top priorities of your remodel and what will be done to achieve these goals, you should start meeting with contractors and getting bids. The process of bidding and then choosing the right contractor for your remodel can be difficult. Different contractors have varying qualifications, equipment, experience, work ethic, and, yes, different pricing. One thing for sure is that your project requires experience and expertise.

When shopping for contractors keep in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best bid. Contractors who bid too low may be cutting corners on qualified labor or materials. Getting the best quality of work and materials that fit with your budget is most important in the long term.

Contractor Selection for Home Remodeling

How do you choose the best contractor? Finding an expert contractor for the right price is usually a top priority for homeowners. Good communication is also important. Do not hesitate to ask questions and gauge their knowledge, skill level, and ability to communicate. Look for a contractor who understands your needs and answers your questions clearly. Here are a few questions you might ask while choosing a contractor:

Have you performed work in the area?

How long have you used your crew?

How long have you been in business?

How experienced is your crew?

What happens if I’m not 100% satisfied with your work?

How can I reach you during the process?

Home Remodel Contract Signing

The basic job of a contractor agreement is to outline the project, including tasks, materials, timeline (or phases) and cost. This is the document you and your contractor will consult throughout the job, so make sure it is clear and detailed. It’s important that you are comfortable with all details of the contract. Read it yourself carefully. Make sure you workout who will be responsible for handling permits.

Image showing a worker in gloves swinging a hammer at a wall during a home remodel

Demolition Phase of a Home Remodel

Permits and approvals: Depending on the scope of your remodel, you may need to obtain permits from your local building department. Your contractor will guide you through this process, ensuring that all necessary approvals are obtained before construction begins.

The level of the demolition phase of construction depends on your type of remodel. This phase can be very noisy and disruptive and may even require the electricity or water to be shut off for a period of time. The time it takes is dependent on the scope and size of the project. Small projects are typically completed in a day or two, while large projects, such as gutting the interior can take multiple days or weeks.

It is critical to work with a contractor who follows mandated procedures. Look for a contractor who has a record for safe construction practices and who is well-respected in the field.

Air Quality

Demolition impacts indoor air quality and dust can contain products that are hazardous to human health. There are many precautions that must be taken during this portion of the construction project.

If there is significant demolition such as a wall removal, openings, air ducts, and HVAC air returns should be sealed and secured because an enormous amount of dust can be distributed by the forced air HVAC system and impact its functionality.

Uncovering Damages

It is possible to uncover damage inside the walls during the demolition phase. This can come from plumbing leaks, pest infestation, roof leaks, poor wiring and other problems. Sometimes contractors uncover code violations and poor workmanship.

When this happens, the scope of the project may grow. Contractors must fix whatever is wrong before they can move forward with their project. Believe me, this is something we dread as much as you do. This can increase the cost of the project and can also extend the duration of the project.

However, keep in mind that although these are unpleasant surprises, it is certainly better for your home in the long run that these items are taken care of.

Image of framing during a home remodel

The Construction Phase of a Home Remodel Project

The construction phase of a home remodel involves the actual physical work of transforming the existing structure according to the renovation plans.


Depending on your remodel, there may be a framing phase where the walls and floor are built. The word “framing” generally refers to the studs in the wall that form the visible frame of the structure. In an existing structure, the subfloor and roof may already be in place. Typically, frames are built from wood. These frames make up the “skeleton” of the building.


Next, any mechanical aspects of the building must be installed and connected. Typically, this includes items such as wiring, duct work, and plumbing. This is a time when subcontractors may be in and out. Communicate with your contractor to find out who will be on the premises. Stay informed throughout the process to ensure that you are comfortable with the way the remodel is proceeding.

Finishing Up

During this time, drywall is put up, outlets are installed, baseboards are in place, walls are painted, and flooring is put in. The contractor corrects any problems from the punch list and cleans up debris. The final walkthrough takes place near the end of the project closeout phase. A good contractor will work hard to resolve issues that are raised during the final walkthrough.

Key Considerations for a Successful Home Remodel

In my 30 years as a contractor and home remodel expert, I can tell you that whether you're happy with the outcome really depends on what your goals were and if those goals were met. So, consider what is most important to you out of the project. It may be multiple things, but getting what you want mean knowing what you want. Consider some of these reasons I've heard from homeowners when remodeling their home.


When redesigning your space, think about the functionality of the space. Consider how you use the space and what improvements would make it more practical and efficient. This could involve reconfiguring layouts, adding storage solutions, or improving traffic flow.


Of course you will want to consider the aesthetics of your remodel. Choose design elements, colors, and materials that align with your personal style and create a cohesive look throughout your home. Seek inspiration from design magazines, websites, and social media platforms to help you visualize your desired outcome.

Energy Efficiency

In today's eco-conscious world, energy efficiency is a top priority for many homeowners. Consider incorporating energy-efficient appliances, lighting, insulation, and windows into your remodel. Not only will this help reduce your environmental impact, but it can also result in long-term cost savings on utilities.

Resale Value

If you plan to sell your home in the future, consider the potential resale value of your remodel. Focus on improvements that have broad appeal and will attract potential buyers. Consult with a real estate agent or appraiser to understand which features are most desirable in your market.

Tips for Effective Communication with Your Contractor

During a home remodel project, communication with your contractor is so important. I've learned that establishing open lines of communication, setting expectations, and always being available to answer any questions or concerns helps to ensure that the project runs smoothly and there are no misunderstandings. Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively with your contractor.

Establish Regular Check-ins

Schedule regular meetings or check-ins with your contractor to discuss the progress of the remodel. This allows you to stay informed, address any concerns, and make decisions promptly. Communication is key to avoiding any misunderstandings or delays.

Be Specific

Clearly communicate your expectations, preferences, and any specific requirements you have for the remodel. Provide your contractor with detailed information and visual references whenever possible. The more specific you are, the better your contractor can understand your vision. If you're not happy with the way something is going, don't hesitate to let your contractor know before it's too late to make changes.

Listen To Your Contractor

Your contractor is an experienced professional, so value their expertise and advice. They may have suggestions or insights that can enhance your remodel. Be open to their recommendations and ask questions if you don't understand something.

Document Everything

Keep a record of all conversations, decisions, and changes made throughout the remodel. This includes written agreements, change orders, and any modifications to the original plan. Having a paper trail ensures that everyone is on the same page and helps avoid disputes later on.

Address Concerns Promptly

If any issues or concerns arise during the remodel, address them promptly with your contractor. Openly discuss any challenges or changes that need to be made. Prompt communication allows for quick resolutions and prevents small issues from escalating into major problems.

Bishop Builders for Home Remodeling in Dallas, Fort Worth, and North Texas.

Hopefully, this home remodel guide helped you to understand the steps that are involved. Choose an experienced contractor with a team of trained technicians that can help you plan and execute your remodel. The team at Bishop Builders pride ourselves on exceptional customer service, unsurpassed construction quality, and efficiency to ensure you receive the highest quality services.

If you have any questions about residential remodels, please contact the team at Bishop Builders at 1-817-221-0873 or


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The Bishop Builders Team

Chris Bishop and Dennis Hall

Chris Bishop brings over 30 years of expertise to the construction industry in Texas. With a comprehensive understanding of construction techniques, materials, and project management, Chris oversees every aspect of the building process, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.


Dennis Hall is the strategic business operations specialist. Dennis plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of Bishop Builders with his adept handling of contracts, seamless communication with clients, and financial management. Together, Chris and Dennis form a dynamic partnership, combining construction expertise with astute business acumen to deliver outstanding results.

Photo of Dennis Hall and Chris Bishop
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