Taking on a major renovation can be extremely exciting. As you transform something old and tattered into your own slice of paradise, it’s important to take your time and avoid rushing in without creating a solid plan. The following 8 steps will help you go into your major renovation project with your eyes open and avoid the common pitfalls that cause delays and cost you money.
Do Your Research
Before you undertake a serious renovation project, it’s essential that you do your research. Renovations should never be rushed into, rather, take your time to get inspired and really plan what you want to do with your space. When you know what it is you want to do, look at similar projects to see exactly what is involved, how long it’ll take, and what you can expect to pay.
Create a Budget
Once you’ve done your research and have a solid idea of what you want to do, it’s much easier to come up with a rough budget. Can you afford to do the job properly right now, or is it better to wait until you’ve saved up the funds? Do you want to renovate your bathroom alone, or maybe just give your kitchen a facelift? Depending on what you want to do, you’ll need to consider prices for materials, labor, and any appliances/products you’ll want. It’s also worth thinking about whether you’ll need to move out during the renovations as temporary accommodation costs can soon build up.
Make a Plan
When you’ve worked out whether you can afford to realize your dreams, it’s time to get a proper plan in place. The shape your plans take depends on the type of renovation project you’re looking to undertake. Will you need to draw up blueprints or sketch designs? If you’re planning to hire professionals to carry out the work, you’ll need to make a detailed plan that you can present to contractors or architects. This plan should give everyone a firm grasp of what you aim to do, how much you plan to spend, and which materials, appliances, and other features you want.
Seek Professional Opinion & Help
With a budget and a solid plan in place, it’s now time to approach the professionals — unless, of course, you’re planning to do the work yourself. Research a variety of professionals and get personal recommendations if possible. Make a short-list and interview potential candidates. Your aim is to find professionals that you’re comfortable working with and who you’re sure can do a good job. Ask for references and whether they’ve worked on similar projects to yours, and be sure to discuss your renovation plans in details. Ideally, they’ll let you know if your budget is adequate, how long the project will take, and whether your plans need any alterations.
Write up a Contract
When you find a contractor or architect you’re happy to work with, it’s wise to draw up a contract and get everything in writing. Detail the processes you’ll take in case of delays or disputes. This will prevent things from getting out of hand further down the line. Also, discuss a payment schedule in advance so that you know what you need to pay and when.
Be Flexible With Designs
Don’t be afraid to alter your designs before getting started. After discussing with professionals, you may want to make some changes to your original plans. This is okay, but be sure to keep your contractor informed of any changes you make as soon as possible. It’s much better to make changes before the work has begun.
Choose Your Materials & Products
Many renovations are delayed due to problems getting the materials and products the homeowner wanted. This is often due to ordering materials too late or not making a timely decision. You may be pressured into making a decision you regret if the contractor needs you to decide on a certain material quickly to avoid delaying the rest of the project. To prevent these issues, try to decide on the materials, fittings, features, furniture, and appliances you want before work starts. Of course, you can change your mind if something better comes along, but by making a decision in advance, you can be sure what you want is in stock and will be on site when it’s needed, avoiding potential delays.
Communicate With Your Contractor
Finally, keep in touch with your contractor and let them know of any changes when they occur. For large scale renovations, set out a communication plan that clarifies the roles of everyone involved in the project. Furthermore, to ensure everyone is able to do their job without holding other workers up or getting in each other’s way, detail a time frame and working schedule.