Homeowners renovate for many reasons – perhaps their family is growing and they need more space, or maybe they simply want to update the house’s style. Whatever the reason, successful home renovations start with careful planning.
You should know your budget before you start the remodel, and consider adding a contingency to the timeline of your project.
Know Your Goals
Having clear goals in mind is critical when renovating your home. This will help you communicate effectively with professionals and make decisions that align with your vision for the project.
It’s also a good idea to spend time researching renovation ideas and materials to get a feel for the process. This will help you prepare for the upcoming process and stay on budget, experts say.
For example, if you’re renovating to increase your resale value and plan to sell in the future, you may want to consider choosing classic design elements that won’t date as quickly as trendy trends. This could save you money and headaches down the road. If you’re staying in your home during the renovation, it’s also important to have a plan for keeping children and pets safe from construction dust.
Know Your Budget
Unless you have unlimited funds, you will need to keep your renovation within a reasonable range. Thankfully, many online calculators can help you estimate your project’s potential costs.
As you research your materials and labor costs, you can decide where to save and where to splurge. For example, you may be able to cut back on new flooring in order to upgrade your countertops.
You should also account for any living expenses that you will incur during your renovation, like eating out or booking a hotel room. Finally, make sure to factor in 10 to 20 percent of your budget for unforeseen expenses. This can cover any problems that arise or upgrades that you may want to add later on.
Know Your Permits
Most renovation projects will require building permits to ensure compliance with safety codes and regulations. Without a permit, you can face fines, have your work shut down and may be forced to redo certain aspects of the project. Additionally, if you try to sell your home in the future, potential buyers can back out of the deal if they notice that the work was done illegally and could have a negative impact on your home’s value.
Choose a reputable contractor who will take care of applying for your building permit. This will save you time and give you peace of mind that your project is up to code. They should also be familiar with any zoning requirements specific to your neighborhood that may affect your renovation plans.
Know Your Contractor
A good contractor can make or break a renovation project. Ask for recommendations from trusted friends and family members and check online reviews. Also, look for a home improvement contractor with the appropriate credentials like a state license and insurance policies.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear contract with your renovator and spell out in writing what work will be done, when and how long it should take. This helps avoid misunderstandings down the road and ensures everyone is on the same page about expectations.
You should also prep the space for construction by packing up all belongings and arranging for offsite storage if necessary. This will protect your stuff from damage and speed up the process by eliminating delays while movers are in and out.
Know Your Options
Having a plan in place is critical to keeping your renovation on schedule and within budget. Establishing a clear communication strategy with your contractor is also essential.
Researching design trends, materials and pricing is important before hiring a designer. This helps avoid being talked into a design that is above your budget.
Significant structural changes can be very expensive. If possible, focus on cosmetic upgrades that will improve your home’s livability without adding significant cost.
If you need to finance your renovation, consider an unsecured personal loan. These loans typically have a shorter approval process and are less expensive than home equity financing. Also, consider asking for help from friends and family who may be able to assist with the project. This can save you money on labor and free up your time.