I love renovations and remodeling projects. The smell of the lumber and the noise of the power tools invigorate me. I find the whole “reno” scene, at every stage exciting and a bit addicting. Okay I confess, extremely addicting. I always want more. That is because I know it means something is about to get a whole new fabulous look. Something old is about to be new again. Now, doesn’t that sound exciting?
I have had the pleasure of helping many clients with their homes but also have gained much experience with renovations first hand. My own home has been through many transformations. It started as a little cottage that many thought my husband and I were over ambitious for buying (maybe we were). It quickly grew to a ranch and then years later transformed again when we added a second floor.
My husband and I, along with our children, lived in the house throughout the whole second-floor addition. I remember somebody asking me if I was okay. The concerned and caring person thought I must be stressed out beyond belief. I shocked them with my reply, “Are you kidding, this is great.” I was in my element and in my glory! I was so wrapped up in the excitement of the transformation journey that it didn’t matter that I was living in the middle of it.
If you are about to start a renovation or remodeling project, here are some things I have learned as a designer and from personal experience that WILL HELP you throughout your project.
Be Organized Throughout Your Renovation
From the planning stage throughout the completion of your project, being organized is essential. I dedicated a whole post to this advice a few weeks back. For details on being organized from start to finish throughout your project: big or small read, Headache saving advice for anyone starting an Interior Design project.
Hire Contractors Carefully
Having the right people on the job can make all the difference in the world. Start by gathering recommendations from friends or on social media community pages. When interviewing and getting bids, ask a lot of questions. The information you collect will be helpful when you are comparing proposals, so you know you are comparing apples to apples. Of course, you want to hire someone talented, honest, and reliable but also pick a personality that you will not mind in your home for an extended amount of time.
Understand Your Design Plans Fully
If you have hired a designer or architect to help with your plans, make sure that you understand the floor-plans and designs. If you are not used to reading a floor-plan, ask for 3d renderings to help you visualize the design concept.
It is also a good idea to ask for a furniture plan when having a new space constructed. Furniture on the floor-plan can give you a reference to understand the size of the room. Also, if the furniture is not laying out to your liking, you have the opportunity to tweak the design plans before construction begins.
Review And Check The Work Completed Each Day
Errors can be made even by the most qualified crew. But if you catch them early, they can be corrected without too much backtracking. If a wall goes up and it is a few inches shorter or longer than the plan calls for, it can drastically change things, for example, not enough room for a double sink or a smaller hall than you wanted etc.
Check Deliveries As You Receive Them
All deliveries should be checked thoroughly to make sure that nothing arrives damaged, and that all the parts needed are on the job site. You do not want to find out on installation day that something is damaged or missing. Not having all the components needed will cause your job to be delayed while you first wait for replacement parts and then wait for the contractor to be available again.
Expect Bumps In The Road
If you find yourself hitting a bump in the road, have faith in the people you hired to smooth it out. It is impossible to control everything. Sometimes things get back-ordered, dye lots don’t match, or the weather doesn’t cooperate. Whatever the obstacle is, keep it in perspective. Remember it is temporary and fixable.
Budget For Surprises
Things can pop up unexpectedly that need to be tended too. Have some extra money budgeted so that these surprise costs do not financially burden you. The insurance of a slush fund takes the stress off, and if you don’t need it for a “surprise” you will complete your project under budget. If you need help with establishing a budget, Home Advisor’s website has a ton of information about average remodeling costs per zip code.
If you are about to start a renovation enjoy the journey and take lots of photos; before, during, and after!
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