You have all your ideas in place and are ready to pick a contractor to get work started. But through all your homework and research, there are a few things for which you may not have planned. So before you swing that sledgehammer, here are a handful of tips to help you prepare for the realities of a home renovation project.
Create a Solid Design Plan
A solid plan and a team you trust are the backbones of a great home remodel. Almost every home project—big or small—will have some surprises. There’s the potential for hidden plumbing or electrical, mold or rotting wood, subcontractor delays, materials on backorder, to name a few.
These unforeseen issues are easier (and less stressful) if you planned for them in advance. Hiring a contractor or designer to assist in building your renovation plan can prevent or mitigate these issues. They can also help find solutions quickly and efficiently when issues arise, leveraging their years of experience and relationships.
Build a Realistic Timeline
Let’s face it, home projects generally take longer than planned. On average, timelines for home remodel projects are underestimated by 25%. And when you are eating takeout for several weeks, this underestimate can add on excessive stress.
It is important to have a realistic timeline as part of your project plan, and to prepare yourself for an extension should unforeseen delays occur. Additionally, your timeline should take into account time needed to order materials and the availability of a contractor or designer, as quality professionals tend to book two to three months out.
Accept Now That It’s a Dirty Job
There will be dust and dirt and grime. There is no way around it. When you start moving walls, tearing up flooring, pulling out windows and so on, you create the perfect scenario for dust and other dirtiness to settle in.
As professionals, we always do our best to prepare for and clean up the dust, dirt, water and other things that come along with renovation projects. But in the meantime, be prepared for surfaces to be less than sparkling.
Understand That Changes and Extras Add Up
Homeowners often go over budget because they don’t accurately plan for additional time they request of their contractor or designer. While your contractor or designer is there to assist you and has allocated sufficient time to your project, it important to be mindful of additional requests that were not originally planned. For example, changes to materials being used or requesting shopping assistance, along with the time needed to coordinate these tasks, will accrue extra charges.