A renovation can make your home a more desirable prospect for buyers or a more delightful place to live. It can re-purpose old buildings and rejuvenate newer ones. It’s also a very big undertaking, and one that needs careful planning if you want to avoid mistakes. No matter the size of your renovation project, following these five steps can keep your stress to a minimum.
- Set Yourself Clear Goals
You need to have a clear vision of your final outcome. Research the possibilities in design magazines, websites and books. Investigate current trends and timeless classics. If your friends and family have successfully renovated their homes, talk to them about their projects – the successes and the pitfalls. You need to be realistic about what is achievable with the space, resources and time you have available. You need to know what you’re aiming for.
- Set Yourself a Realistic Budget
Once you know what you want to do with your property, you need to plan your budget accordingly. There are a lot of expenses involved in a renovation project, and you need to be prepared for all of them. Materials, labour and expert planning are important and also obvious, but there are other expenses to consider. Will you need to stay elsewhere while the work is being completed, or will you need to store furniture and possessions elsewhere? And it’s very important to leave yourself five to ten per cent for contingency costs. You can never foresee everything that might go wrong with a big project, but you can make sure you have enough give in your budget for unforeseen costs.
- Get Professional Plans Drawn Up
Big projects in particular need careful and professional plans, drawn up by an architect or by a design build renovator who can provide architectural services. In order for your contractors to give you sensible estimates, they need to be able to see what they will have to do. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but proper blueprints mean fewer changes during the work – and so fewer unexpected expenses.
- Find the Right Contractor
Once you have your professionally drawn up and realistically costed plans, you can start the process of finding the right person or people to do the job. There is a lot to consider here, and several ways of choosing the right contractor. Has this contractor worked for people you know and trust? Do they have professional accreditation? What’s their portfolio like? An important thing to consider is how well they communicate. If they don’t communicate well with you before they start the job, they won’t communicate well if problems arise. You should really get at least three estimates. Make sure that your chosen contractor has proof of insurance. When they provide references, you must check them.
- Execute Your Contract
You need to make sure that your contract covers every important aspect of the project. It should detail the work, make the payment schedule as well as the work schedule clear, include design selections such as tiles, paint, carpentry or cabinetry, reference detailed design drawings and specify definite start and completion dates.
Once you’ve prepared the groundwork in this way, you’re ready to go.