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Home Renovation: Things To Know Before Starting

 

Having lived in your home for quite a long time, you may have noticed a bit of repair needed here and there. Hinges may have come off, your sliding windows might need realignment or you might have a bit of a termite problem and many other issues that need your immediate attention. You just confront those needed repairs and maintenance as they come.

There will come a time, however, when a bigger resolution has to be done. Maybe it’s time for a major home renovation. So when can you say that your home needs renovation?

Repair vs. Renovation

To better answer the question of when you need a home renovation, you first must be able to distinguish one from the other – repair vs. renovation. So, they aren’t the same thing, you might ask? They are not.

Repair means fixing something to get it back to its working condition, or to make it like new. Renovation, on the other hand, basically means replacing old ones with new. It may involve removing a surface or structure and building a new one.

So, if you don’t intend to change a structure within your home and just want to fix broken things to get them looking like they were before then a renovation wouldn’t be necessary.

However, if you want a change in the layout of your house to make it more responsive to your current needs then, a renovation may be what you need.

Before Starting the Renovation

You can call a contractor to do everything for you from planning to sourcing out supplies, and managing workers. But to leave yourself out of a major home renovation may not be a very good idea. You have to be actively participating every phase of the renovation so you are in the know about what your house is going through.

We know you are excited about making a change in your living environment and we would want to get you informed of the things that you need to know before you start your home renovation process.

 

Break Down your Goals

When aiming for a home renovation, you just don’t simply say that you want your bedroom done or you want a deck patio or a new kitchen. You have to break a goal down into, sort of actionable steps to get you to your desired renovation.

Say, for example if you want your kitchen renovated, you have to be as detailed as saying you want to put up a divider in a specific area or tear down a counter, put up new cabinets, go for a stainless steel theme or something like that. Whatever it is that you have imagined for your new kitchen to be, you have to be able to relay that to your contractor down to the minute of details like knobs and colors and such. In doing so, you get everyone involved in the project with a common thought.

Get into an Air-tight Contract with your Contractor

Do not be deceived by contractors that charge you far less than what others have quoted you. You can also tell that if a contractor is trying to sweet talk you off of an air-tight contract then that could mean trouble. Your contract should have detailed provisions on the project schedule, detailed scope of works, bill of materials, mode and schedule of payment, any retention period, turnover, and other pertinent details. This will protect you from any discrepancies and disagreement. If there are any then you can always go back to the contract.

Hire a Project Manager

One of the tasks that burden many homeowners doing a renovation project is coordinating with different parties. If you are one who has all the time in the world to devote to your home renovation, then feel free to be your own project manager. But if you are working and wouldn’t have the luxury of time to be coordinating with your contractor, suppliers, and other people involved in the project then, a project manager can come to the rescue. He will be made accountable for whatever happens to the project as long as you have done your share. This may also help you save time and money as you have a project manager who will be fully accountable for any inexcusable delays.

Changes are Inevitable

There are chances that the plans you drew up may not be viable to implement based on the current situation of the renovation. There could be unforeseen circumstances that arose only during the implementation. Some layouts, while they seem to work on the drawing plans, may not work in the actual renovation when all the factors are present and visible to the eyes. The size of the stairs, for example, can be seen as less functional even when in paper, it fits right in. Some other like situations may need changes.

You can Overshoot your Budget

No matter how much you try to stick to your budget, there will always be a huge probability that you can exceed the budget that you have planned. First, as discussed prior, there could be changes and those changes are usually accompanied with additional cost. Or, you can decide at the middle of the renovation to add some features or structure to make a space more efficient for use. Remember, you are investing in a home renovation that you will use for the next decade or so. It is understandable and necessary to make your home livable as you planned it to be.

There can be Delays

Even if you have placed every activity in a GANTT chart to ensure that the project is implemented as scheduled, you have to be open to the fact that there can be delays.

Inexcusable delays are not acceptable, of course. But there are delays that are uncontrollable. The weather is one. Torrential rains, hail, and other weather disturbances can cause delays as work can be impossibly done. Late delivery of supplies or materials can also cause the project to be pushed back. It would be less stressful if you just accept that delays are normal occurrences in a home renovation project.

Keep a Record of Everything

By everything, we mean everything – from expenses, materials, specifications, preferred suppliers and all other important details. This will also ensure that you have expressed in detail what you wanted to the contractor or project manager and if there mistakes, you will know who is accountable. For expenses, you can track where your money went. Or, if there are changes, you would be assured that your money just didn’t go down the drain and that it has gone to a necessary part of the project.