There’s no doubt that home renovations can be stressful, but there’s a lot you can do to make sure yours runs smoothly. After all, a smooth and well-planned renovation is the key to beautiful results. Here are five suggestions to follow if you’re getting ready to start the remodel process:
1. Hire the right team
Going with the lowest bid isn’t always the best value. Hiring a contractor who isn’t up to the job or who simply isn’t the right fit for you can cost you money, time, and heartache. When you’re choosing a contractor for your home renovation:
- Look at reviews from past clients
- Ask for references
- Scroll through their portfolio to make sure you like their work
- Write down a list of questions to ask them when you meet
It’s also important to listen to your instincts. No matter how great someone seems on paper if you don’t feel that you can trust them with your project, it’s best to walk away and find someone else.
2. Be an early bird
When it comes to making decisions about your remodel, it’s best to make them earlier in the process rather than later—especially design decisions. To avoid complications and delays, make sure you finalize your design and get all the permits you need before demolition even starts.
Many people put off selecting materials, fixtures, finishes, and appliances until later in the remodel, but you don’t want to leave these choices until the last minute and then find out that the material you wanted is going to take three weeks to ship, or that an appliance you had your heart set on is out of stock.
Working with a construction company who does both design and remodeling can help since they will typically assign a project manager to make sure everything gets done when it should according to your timeline.
3. Prepare for the unexpected
A common rule of thumb is to add a cost contingency of about 10 to 20 percent to your budget. It’s a good guideline, but the amount you add should depend on how many unknowns are involved in your project. For example, imagine you recently moved into a 100-year-old house and you’re planning to renovate its outdated kitchen. Since you moved in recently, there’s a lot you still don’t know about the property. Plus, old homes are more likely to have complications. You don’t want to pull up those kitchen tiles to find a whole lot of rot underneath that you didn’t factor into your budget.
If you really want to be prepared, you may also want to have backup options for certain items in case an unexpected complication ends up straining your budget. Choose a less expensive backup option for items that won’t affect the structural integrity of your remodel (you don’t want to cut corners there). These are items that can be easily replaced in the future if you decide to upgrade, such as:
4. Decide whether or not to stay in your home during the renovation
Depending on the scope of your remodel, you may decide to live in your home the entire time, take a vacation during construction, or stay with a friend nearby so you can periodically check in on the job site. It’s a personal decision, and it really depends on the scope of the remodel and your family’s situation.
If you decide to stay in your home during a kitchen remodel, you can set up a make-shift kitchen in another room. Think about including:
- Dishes and silverware
- Slow cooker
- Coffee maker and/or electric kettle
- Your camping cook stove (if you have one)
You could even set up a microwave and mini-fridge if possible.
5. Take time to de-stress when you can
Most homeowners end up investing a considerable amount of money, time, and energy in the renovation process, and that can be stressful.
Hiring the right team can go a long way. If you trust your remodeler to do excellent work and keep you informed, you won’t feel like you have to keep tabs on every detail at all times. But even with the best team, there will likely be times when you feel stressed.
Schedule some time to do things that relax you, whether it’s a spa day with friends, a fun date night, or 30 minutes of quiet time with a book and a warm drink. If you have kids, consider asking a friend or family member to look after them for a few hours while you recharge.
Are you planning a home renovation? Have questions about how to plan or where to start?
At L. Evans Design Group, we handle renovations from concept to completion. From the beginning, we make sure we have a full understanding of your needs, scope of work, budget, and timeline. We will walk you through each step of the process to ensure a smooth and seamless renovation that still gives you as much creative control as you want.