Home renovations require hard work. The process can involve weighing costs, rethinking design choices, possibly moving out of your house, and keeping track of progress.
Expert renovators like Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine often advise that homeowners infuse their homes with personality (per Reader’s Digest). To make a project successful, it is essential to know the following 5 Must-Know Tips for a Successful Home Renovation.
1. Know What You Want
Whether you’re planning to sell your home soon or simply want to improve it, having clear goals will help ensure the project runs smoothly. Be sure to consider how extensive your renovation will be, and which projects will bring the best return on investment.
If you’re on a budget, be sure to include a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. Having some extra cash will make it easier to get the project done even if you hit a few snags.
It’s also important to know what you want from your renovation so you can find the right professionals. Professional House Builders will deliver with a unique home designed and built just for you. Get recommendations from family and friends, and interview potential contractors to see which one is the best fit for your project. Be sure to compare prices, as you may be able to find similar products at lower prices somewhere else.
You should also decide if you’ll be staying at your home during the renovation or moving out to a hotel. If you choose to stay, you’ll need to think about how you’ll be able to bathe, cook, and sleep while the work is happening. Some renovations can be noisy and messy, so it’s a good idea to designate a space that you and your family can escape to for peace and privacy.
Also, it’s important to think about how your renovation will impact your energy bill. For example, upgrading your appliances can save you money in the long run by using less electricity, heat, and air conditioning. So, if you’re looking to save some money on your monthly bills, focus on those renovations that will provide the most impact. If you’re unsure what would be most cost-effective, talk to an energy expert.
2. Set a Budget
It’s important to be realistic about your renovation costs. It’s also a good idea to plan for unforeseen expenses and set aside a contingency fund. You can get an accurate picture of your budget by reviewing cost estimates from multiple contractors, and comparing them to the list of tasks you want to be completed during your home renovation. You may need to make changes (such as eliminating some lower-priority items) to align your budget with the scope of work.
You should also shop around for renovation materials. Look for sales, discounts, and price-matching policies at home improvement stores. In addition, consider hiring contractors who don’t have a fixed team of subcontractors. This allows you to find the best deal on labor and save money by purchasing the materials yourself.
Finally, don’t forget to factor in additional renovation expenses, like paint and cleaning supplies, permit fees, insurance, and a new driveway or garage. Another way to reduce your home renovation costs is to seek out financial assistance, such as grants and tax credits. Check with your provincial and municipal governments to see what programs are available in your area.
It’s also a good idea to think about what will add value to your home and prioritize these projects. For example, converting a garage into a game room will add living space, but it may not be something potential buyers would be interested in buying. In contrast, adding a new bathroom will increase your home’s value and could be more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re not sure whether a renovation will add or subtract value to your home, consult a professional.
3. Shop Around
The renovation process can be a stressful experience for the whole family. There are always workers in and out of the house, dust everywhere and rooms that become inaccessible. That’s why it’s important to do some shopping around to find a contractor that will not only be competent at completing the project but also offers you a fair price.
Home improvement projects come in all shapes and sizes, from replacing a water heater to knocking down walls and expanding your home’s footprint. While it’s tempting to go all out on your renovation, it is important to assess which ones are a “nice-to-have” and which will make the most impact in your home. It is also crucial to consider whether the project will increase your home’s value.
Many renovation loan programs require a complete construction plan and cost breakdown as part of the mortgage approval. This ensures the contractor will work within the guidelines of the program and that the finished product meets government standards. A good contractor will be able to guide you through this process and will communicate with your lender throughout the project to keep them updated on progress.
It’s easy to get entranced by trends, but it’s important to choose designs and materials that will stand the test of time. It can be expensive to replace items that are on the verge of becoming outdated.
A lot of historical homes have been stripped of their character because homeowners have replaced period features with uPVC windows or swapped original fireplaces for gas alternatives. It’s important to research how the area you live in values these features and what the best options are for keeping them as a part of your home’s heritage.
4. Establish a Timeline
There’s a mythology out there that renovating a home is often a nightmare project with budgets and deadlines that spiral out of control. While some of these stories are tall tales, many homeowners have experienced the reality that it takes time to complete a renovation and there are always unexpected issues that arise along the way.
One of the most important things you can do is establish a timeline for your renovation in advance. Many people get caught off guard by how long it takes to renovate a bathroom or kitchen and have unrealistic expectations based on what they see on design shows. Be sure to add buffer time to the start and end of your project and aim for a move-in date that is at least two months earlier than your current estimated completion date.
Another important aspect of the timeline is planning out what you need to do to prep for your renovation and getting all necessary permits. If you have a lot of furniture or other items to remove from the space, make arrangements to store them for the duration of the renovation. This will help keep your stress levels down and also allow the renovation team to work more quickly without having to move around your possessions.
It’s also a good idea to do some research ahead of time and find out what other homes in your neighborhood look like. This will help you decide how extensively to renovate and what kinds of upgrades will be a good investment for your home. If you’re going to be selling your home in the future, it’s essential that you don’t do too much work that will make your home stand out above the rest and scare off potential buyers.
Having a system in place to communicate with clients during the renovation process can turn the nitty-gritty, often time-consuming, project into a manageable task. Without it, your team could fall into the cliche of the contractor who doesn’t answer calls or return messages—a problem that can ruin client experiences, cause unnecessary stress and damage a company’s reputation.
Communicating with your team can also help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the client is happy with the work that’s being done. It’s important to clearly communicate the design, materials, services and estimated costs with the client so that they are aware of what to expect throughout the renovation and can avoid unexpected surprises and frustration.
Today’s homeowners are accustomed to seeing visual representations of what the finished project will look like before the renovation begins. Using software that can convert a photo of the existing space into a 3D rendering can give them an accurate idea of what the end result will be and can even allow them to see how their own belongings will fit within the new layout.
It’s also helpful to establish a communication schedule with the client and agree on how often your team will touch base. Some clients may prefer daily updates, while others might be happier with biweekly check-ins. Depending on the type of client, this will help to create a smoother renovation experience for everyone involved.