Home renovation projects sometimes go smoothly and finish on schedule and under budget. Other times. . . not so much. While watching a recent episode of “House Hunters” I was struck by a man insisting he and his wife shop only for a move-in-ready house because the home renovation on their current house “almost wrecked” him. That sounded like a terrible experience and it got me thinking about the countless renovations done by Trusted Hands Services. Some went more smoothly than others. The biggest lesson I can share is that planning for a home renovation is just as important as the work itself. Gaining a beautiful new room should never come at the expense of your sanity or relationships. Here are some guidelines for how to plan for a smooth home renovation.
There is some great renovation planning software on the market. If you are planning your first renovation project of it’s been a while since your last project, planning software can be really helpful for keeping track of all the scheduling and budget details. Plus, they can provide some insights and tips easily overlooked to eliminate stressful situations down the line.
For a big renovation involving room additions or moving existing walls hire a qualified architect to draw blueprints. Contractors use them to make sure the finished renovation is exactly what was planned and all local and state building code requirements are met.
If you are planning for a four-week project, make sure your contractor confirms this timeframe is realistic, then add a least a week for unexpected delays. That date should be your new expected finish date. If everything goes according to plan, then your project will be completed early! Cutting down the actual work time by having all your permits issued and building materials delivered before the job gets started is a great way to keep the project on track.
When setting a budget for your project, confirm all materials prices and estimated labor costs, then add an additional 10% contingency sum. Unexpected expenses can occur. This could be a stressful situation if the budget is tight. When this happens, knowing there are contingency funds to cover these unexpected expenses will help you keep your cool. If you find the budget is more than you can afford, scale back the project by taking something out, but never take out the contingency sum. You will use it, guaranteed!
Construction dust gets everywhere so plan for a mess and how you will live while the project is underway. If you can, move to a nearby hotel or a friend’s home while yours is being renovated. If not, a plan for a smooth home renovation must include tips for how to live in your home while it is a temporary job site. Divide the house into a calm side (those rooms not being affected by the renovation) and a crazy side (the rooms under construction). Shut off the crazy side with heavy layers of plastic sheeting to contain the mess. Rent a temporary storage unit for the contents of the crazy side so the calm side will not be affected and feel normal. Having a quiet, comfortable retreat will keep life normal and stress to a minimum.
Pets and home renovation projects are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Workers coming and going and loud noises from a construction site will stress them out. Dogs, especially, have very sensitive ears so if noises are loud for us, they are even louder for them. If possible, find a place for your pets to stay, at least during construction hours. Calm and happy pets will help keep everyone calm.
Plan to spend time each day reviewing the work done and set up a daily appointment with your contractor to discuss the progress of the job. If unexpected issues come up, be ready to make quick decisions. A quick fix will help keep the project on schedule and ensure your expectations are met. If your contractor doesn’t want to talk with you every day, find one that will. Communication is the key to smoothly resolving issues and meeting your expectations.
Home renovations don’t have to be stressful. These tips on how to plan for a smooth home renovation will help you keep your sanity while you upgrade your home. A good contractor, like Trusted Hands Services, can make all the difference. They provide reports on progress, keeping the project on schedule, clearing debris and cleaning up construction mess every day. When the project is done, your experience should be as good as your new rooms look! Here are some additional tips to hire a contractor. And to get started on a home renovation project of your own, contact Trusted Hands Services today at 813.520.0000.