Home renovation is a big undertaking. It is much more enjoyable when things run smoothly for you and your family. No one wants hiccups or complications. Be prepared by compiling a project checklist to help avoid potential problems and allows for easy work flow. Here are some key items you should consider in planning for your renovation or restoration.
1 Plan with your budget in mind. Make sure that the work you are having done falls within a budget you can manage. Plan for what you want accomplished in the project and allow a little extra for things you may not be thinking of yet. There may be an area that needs more attention than you thought, or you may decide to upgrade a particular item or area. Be sure to give yourself a little leeway on your budget. If possible, plan for funding 20-25 percent more than the known expenses.
2 Know the person doing the work. It’s your home. Take the time to research the person doing the work. Are they experienced? Insured? Do they have a history of finishing on schedule? Check with the Better Business Bureau or online reviews to learn about a company’s history and performance. Ask for referrals and references. A reputable company will be able to give you a reference for someone who has experience working with them.
3 Anticipate alternates. Sometimes we don’t end up with exactly what we thought we wanted. Appliances must fit spaces. You may find a better-quality product or material and opt for a change from your original idea. Take time to review your plans and be willing to flex a little if things need to be changed.
4 Plan to keep yourself occupied. Plan to be active during the renovation process. Arrange for activities that will give you time away from construction areas. Be available for decision making if questions arise but allow yourself some time away from the renovation area to reduce stress. Watching someone else work won’t make it happen any faster and could drive you a little nuts.
5 Plan ahead for meals. This may sound a little silly but it’s important. If renovations are in or near the kitchen and dining areas, plan for meals during renovations. Confirm estimated timelines and plan for meals – whether dining out, take-out or make-ahead-meals can help ensure everyone is fed and happy without trying to prepare meals in a construction zone.
6 Check all permits. Be aware of what permits are required for the work being completed. Will you pay for permits or will the contractor manage them as part of the job? Talk to your contractor. You can also research online or contact the city or county in which you live to verify permit requirements.
7 Will there be noise? If you’re in the home during renovations, you may have unexpected or repetitive noises from hammers, drills or other tools. While it might start to wear on your nerves, consider a plan for small children and pets that will keep them safely away from work zones and “scary” noises. Make a plan with friends or family to have a place away from the hustle where you can put children down for naps and ensure pets escape the noises of construction.
8 Save the Furniture. Most renovations produce dust and particulates. Take steps to make sure that any furniture that stays in the home is covered. Most contractors will take steps to ensure that they do their best to keep your items safe, but you can help ensure valuables are protected. Move fragile or highly valuable pieces away from work zones. Purchase plastic sheeting and tape to cover furnishings in advance of the work taking place. And remember fabric items like curtains can collect dust, too. Covering valuables will help safeguard them.
9 Ask about ways to trim expenses. The work being done to your home is an improvement and as we already know it’s going to cost some money. However, there may be options with materials or time that can save you some in your budget. There may be extras that can be included or manufacturer’s savings available. You won’t know if you don’t ask… so ask!
10 Keep a distance but don’t disappear. One of the best ways to make sure things run smoothly is to stay informed. Allow time and space for the work to be completed, but don’t disappear completely. Check in at end of the work day for updates on progress or problems encountered and how you both agree that you will handle them. Maintaining daily communication with contractors will keep you informed and set your mind at ease about what’s being done in your home.
Remember this is an improvement to your home that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Keeping that in mind will help the process run as smoothly as possible.