Thinking about renovating your home? Wait. Don’t make the most common mistake of jumping in too fast and ending up with a job you’re dissatisfied with. How is it possible to side-step all the usual pitfalls? Here’s a list of six things you can do to make your renovation project a success.
Decide on the Scope of Work
For Everyone planning a home renovation, it’s a must to plan the scope of the renovation before beginning making changes to your property. Without it, it’s really easy to lose the so-called “scope creep” and spend much more than planned. If you prefer, constructors also call it a “wish list”, in any case, you have to have it to detail what you want to do in detail, and how much it’ll cost you.
So, it is a must to make a list of what you want to do. It could look like this, for example:
- Change the roof
- Completely re-do downstairs bath
- Replace floor in upstairs bath
- Remodel the entire kitchen, etc.
Just be as detailed as possible.
Make a Detailed, Realistic Budget
This step is actually the most important of all because it dictates everything else. The catch is that you do have to come up with a scope of work before cranking out budget figures. Assuming you’re not a contractor, you’ll need to hire one or two for estimates. Don’t let them give you a grand total only. Tell them that you want a detailed expense breakdown for each piece of the job.
With two or three estimates in hand, each one carefully delineated as to pricing, you’ll know exactly what parts of the proposed job you can or can’t afford. However, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to take out a personal loan after getting several personalized financial offers from various lenders. For example, if the job includes a new roof that adds significantly to the price, consider doing the roof as a separate project a year or two down the road. The beauty of getting multiple estimates and loan offers is that you will see exactly where you stand.
Make a Day-to-Day Schedule
Contractors who provide estimates will give you a ballpark timeline for each segment of the job. From this data, create your own calendar that includes days you and your family will be spending away from the house, which ones will require a bit of schedule juggling, and which days won’t present any personal schedule changes.
Draw Up a Plan B
Have a Plan-B for unexpected events like work stoppage due to inclement weather, death in the family, labor strikes, materials shortages, and work delays. Alternate plans might include staying in a motel or with relatives if a roof job is only partially done when a major snowstorm hits. The point is to be prepared with reasonable, comfortable accommodations. Another aspect of a backup plan is related to slow work progress. Even the best work crews don’t always hit every intermediate deadline. Are you and your family ready for a job that takes 10 months instead of six?
Speak with a Designer
If you have unique or unusual or even useful design ideas for kitchen, living room, etc., hire a professional designer to assess them for you. You might hear that can’t be done for a reasonable price, to consider this alternative, or your house is too old to accommodate that kind of structural renovation.
Consult a Contractor
This consultation is not about getting a first estimate. In fact, set up a consultation with a contractor who you will not be hiring to do the work. This assures objectivity to a certain degree. What kinds of things should you ask about?
Consider getting a second opinion on the estimate, only as to whether it’s too high or low. Ask for specifics so you can go back to the contractor you’re considering with some solid negotiating points.
Next, ask if there are perhaps more efficient ways of doing the job, any foreseeable problems with materials, cost overruns, weather delays, or something else. An experienced contractor can pull from their vast pool of knowledge and let you know whether your renovation plan makes good sense, is impractical, or is not suited for your home.