Getting Ready to Renovate: Everything You Should Know Before You Start Your Project

Getting Ready to Renovate: Everything You Should Know Before You Start Your Project

There are two types of people in this world – those who get excited at the thought of a renovation project and those who want to run fast and far away from it.

No matter which side you fall into, proper planning will bring you both to middle ground. You can get the renovation of your dreams without it spiraling out of control. All it takes is both physical and mental prep work.

To help you get started, let’s look at everything you should know before you start your project.

Plan a Budget – and Prepare to Go over

In a perfect world, we set a renovation project budget and stick to it, down to the last penny. Yet, it usually doesn’t end up that way in the real world of home improvement.

To avoid any financial surprises, plan a budget but also work in a contingency fund. This contingency is ONLY used in case unexpected costs come up. It softens the blow of going over budget without having to worry about where to come up with the extra money.

Have a Realistic Time-Frame

TV renovation shows make a 6-10-week project look like a piece of cake. But there’s a lot more that goes into a renovation time estimate than you may think.

Consider things such as the weather, how many people are working on the project, the scope of the renovations, and the expertise of those involved.

It’s always best to add a cushion of time to a deadline. An additional few weeks to a month will give you wiggle room in case things take longer than expected.

Know Your Limits

DIY weekend warriors think there’s no renovation project they and YouTube how-to videos can’t handle. While many projects may be within your scope of work, know when your talents have hit their limits.

Things such as plumbing and electrical work are better left to the experts. Also, ask for help when it comes to structural projects such as load-bearing walls.

Tackling projects on your own may save money at first. Yet, if the project isn’t done right, it could cost you more in the long run to fix it.

Do Your Homework

Starting a renovation project is exciting and you’re ready to jump right on into it! But it’s always best to look before you leap.

Know what you’re getting into. Talk to friends and family who have tackled home renovations to get some insight. Getting advice might help you avoid potential problems or setbacks.

Also, research what you need before you get started. It’s always important to have things like the right tools and building permits before you hit the ground running.

Decide Whether to Stay or Go

Are you doing a whole house remodel? Or will key rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom be out of commission during the project? If so, you need to think carefully about whether it’s best for your family to live through the mess or rent a place off-site.

Staying with friends or family is a cost-effective way to get away from the construction. Or consider looking into an AirBnB to give your family the comforts of home that a hotel can’t provide.

If you choose to stay in your house, designate a reno-free zone. And make sure your contractor knows your family’s routine so they know the best times to start and stop work each day.

Be Organized

To have a successful renovation project and keep things within budget, you need to stay organized.

That means make a list of planning details, permits you need, items you have to buy, and what order things need to be done. Then check each item off as they’re finished. If it helps, separate things according to room or function.

That includes keeping track of everything you buy, down to the last paint roller. Knowing where you stand with the budget will help keep you from free spending then wondering how you’re thousands of dollars over budget.

Hire the Right Contractor

When it comes time to call in the experts, be very picky about which contractor you choose. The right contractor can make or break any renovation project.

Get referrals from friends or family. Read contractor reviews and customer testimonials online. And look at pictures of previous work.

Be sure to interview at least three different contractors by asking the right questions. Plus, never hire a contractor that doesn’t have the right license and liability insurance. It’s also a good idea to look into whether they’ve had any complaints or litigation history by contacting the Better Business Bureau.

Schedule Cleanup

After a long day of renovation work, it’s tempting to walk away from the mess and leave it for another day to clean. But scheduling time to tidy up each day comes with many benefits.

A messy workplace leaves too much opportunity to lose tools. A buildup of mess means you’ll need even more time to clean up a bigger mess later on, which can cause delays. And the more dirt and dust you leave on the job site means more dust left to settle in your newly renovated space.

Plus, walking onto a clean site the next day simply feels better, which does wonders for productivity.

Expect the Unexpected

A seemingly straight-forward renovation project can veer off course once walls and ceilings get opened up. That’s why it’s best to always expect the unexpected during any remodel.

Older homes can fall victim to lead paint, hidden asbestos, electric or plumbing not up to code, or structural settlement.

But it’s not only older homes that can conceal secrets within the walls. Shoddy workmanship and faulty foundations can happen anytime. And pests will move in anytime they like.

That’s why contingency funds and padded timelines will help take the stress off the unexpected.

Reno like a Pro by Knowing How to Plan Your Next Renovation Project

Taking time to do the prep work will get both you and your remodel off on the right foot. With these renovation project tips, you will avoid the hassles and get the remodel you’ve been dreaming of.

Ready for more home advice to use around the house? Check out the rest of our articles right here in our blog!


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