If you’re thinking of pulling up your floors, refurbishing your kitchen, or transforming your older home to an open floor plan, you need to prepare yourself. No matter how well you prepare and plan, there will be delays, miscommunications, or changes. You’ll need to remain flexible and willing to shift gears to survive the process.
Planning is your best defense against frustration. Use reasonable estimates, plan for cost overages, pad the schedule, and remember that the results are worth the hard work.
IT’S NOT HGTV
If renovation shows inspire you, remind yourself that your budget and theirs are different. With a crew of skilled labor and a work shed full of tools, the TV producers have an advantage over all DIY’ers.
For example, you won’t have access to an interior designer with impeccable taste and hundreds of hours of experience redesigning spaces. You might not have the professional architects on call to determine which walls are load-bearing or gophers who can file plans with the city or engage inspectors with tight deadlines. Most home renovators don’t have a team of carpenters who will handcraft furniture for just the price of the wood.
Keep your plans realistic and don’t use the timelines, budgets, or assumptions that your project will proceed like the ones you see on TV.
INVEST IN SKILLED LABOR
Labor is the most expensive part of most remodels and well worth the investment. If you were to have surgery, you would seek out an experienced doctor with a long record of happy patients. Skilled contractors and laborers have the expertise of thousands of hours of projects under their belt. They know how to navigate blueprints, permits, inspections, and have reliable subcontractors on speed dial.
You’ll find that a good contractor is worth more than they charge in terms of satisfaction, efficiency, and results.
RENT A STORAGE UNIT
You might think you don’t need to move items out, but renting a storage vault to house your valuables and overflow items will make a world of difference. First, it can help clear the area where the renovation will take place, leaving you ample room to work and set tools. It also minimizes the dust and minor scratches that can occur and keeps your valuables safe and secure from theft.
Rent a storage vault from a reputable, secure facility where you can renew month-to-month. Pack and remove your valuables, breakables, and any technology components which might suffer damage from dust.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL CLEANING SERVICE
Contractors are usually quite good at cleaning up after themselves in work areas, but no one can control the dust that will float throughout the entire house. It will be less expensive and much more effective to hire a cleaning crew to get the whole house in shape before restoring your house to order.
Whether it’s a new prefab house or your current one, renovating your home can be rewarding and exciting. Clearly outline the scope of the project and invest in a team of skilled laborers to limit problems, delays, and miscalculations. Store anything important offsite until the renovation is complete, and get some help cleaning up the dust before you sit down to enjoy your new area.