Tackling a major home renovation project is not for the faint of heart. For many people, this type of project could likely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Home renovations can transform your living experience and improve your comfort and quality of life while also increasing your homes value. But, the process of making these renovations can be costly and time-consuming. Many homeowners find themselves getting exhausted with the endless streams of decisions coming their way. Proper preparation can help you control remodeling costs and make tough decisions throughout the process. With patience, foresight and equal amounts of attention-to-detail, you can navigate the experience and get through the project without losing your mind. Start by following these tips, and commit to a roadmap that will leave you saying “that wasn’t too bad.”
How To Plan A Home Renovation
There are several important things to keep in mind when planning your upcoming renovation. A wishlist, flexible budget and knowledge of which (if any) permits will be needed are just a few of the different factors which need to be considered. To help you know exactly what you should be planning for, read through the list below!
1. Create Your Wishlist – Before you begin renovating, it’s important to consider exactly what you want in order to gauge how extensive the home remodel will be. Are you looking to make better use of space for your family or simply increase its real estate value? Sketch out your vision while deciding both your wants and needs. Do research on your neighborhood to determine which projects would be a good return on investment and which ones would be less valuable to you in the long run. When making your list, prioritize your wants and needs. Having a detailed list of your desires, and what will make the most impact on your life at home will make it easier to decide how best to allocate your money, as well as how best to move forward in case any surprises come up during the process.
2. Set Your Budget – Setting a budget and sticking to it is essential during a renovation project. It’s best practice to set aside a contingency fund for unplanned repairs or unexpected costs, and expect to use it. Also, don’t forget to plan on the indirect renovation costs that might arise during the project, such as dining out more or staying in a hotel for a few nights. If you hire a contractor to remodel your room or home, they should have a system for keeping costs, and any changes to their expenses, in line with their estimates.
3. Understand Bylaws & Permitting – Once you’ve created your wishlist and set your budget, it’s time to think about the scope of work. There may be ordinances from your neighborhood or HOA associated with home additions, lot lines and more that can alter your original plans. As the homeowner, you will need to research if any of these exist and if you hire a contractor to complete the job, share that information with them. If you are doing the renovation project yourself and a permit is required, but sure to obtain it before you start.
4. Understand Your Timeline – When you’re planning the timeline of your renovation, consider upcoming holidays, weather seasons, and other important events that you want your home to be ready by. It’s best to set your end date and plan backward, being realistic and planning for extra time if possible. A little extra time is almost always needed in case of delays or an unexpected repairs.
5. Pack Up and Declutter – This may sound overly simple, but packing your things up and decluttering your renovation zone is an extremely important step. Not only will it protect your possessions from being damaged, but those working on the project will be able to complete their work much quicker and more efficiently without things being in the way. For projects that span across multiple rooms or an entire home, consider renting an offsite storage unit to keep your items safe. If you will be hiring a contractor to complete the project for you then consider taking pictures of items that can’t be moved. Those can be useful if there is an accident that requires an insurance claim.
6. Plan Ahead for Life During Renovation – Depending on the size of your project, adjustments to your living situation might be required. Is your project going to require your family to live in a hotel? Your timeline and costs are huge factors when making this decision. It’s much more affordable to simply stay at home during a renovation project, however, it can be a bit difficult. Renovations are uncomfortable and can often lead to specific rooms, such as bathrooms or the kitchen, being inaccessible or usable. Load noises and dust are other things your family may need to deal with while a room remodel is underway. Don’t forget to consider your work routine and how that could also be impacted. If you’ll be staying at home during your renovation, designate a renovation-free zone where you and your family can escape to for some peace.
Making the decision to remodel part of your home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. However, if you properly plan everything in advance then you will find the entire process is less stressful. Planning ahead prevents surprising costs or issues that might arise unexpectedly. It also ensures that all of your visions will be completed and none of the specific details will be forgotten about. Completing a small home renovation yourself is completely possible. Just use the six tips above to make sure you plan everything out ahead of time!