Renovations and remodelling at home is exciting but also stressful. It’s expensive, it’s messy and it always takes longer than you hoped it would. Before you start, you need to be properly prepared. Do your research, and bring in residential architects to help you make the proper decisions for a project that is as stress-free as possible. Here are some essential tips to know before you get started.
- Set a realistic budget. Any project will need a budget set before you start to help you to keep your costs reasonable. You need to find a balance between your dream design and the design you can actually afford. Make sure you have a proper understanding of the real costs of the materials and labour required, so you know what kind of cost to expect. Make sure a contractor goes over your budget with you to make sure it’s realistic. All renovation projects, whether you’re having a new bathroom or building an extension, run over at some point, so make sure you have some room in your budget to cover unexpected costs.
- Determine what’s worth splurging on before the project begins. If you’re on a more restricted budget, it’s inevitable that you will have to compromise on some things. Decide up front which things are worth a splurge to you and where you’re willing to compromise. For example, for kitchen renovations, you might be willing to splurge on a beautiful marble worktop, but would be happy to compromise by keeping the existing shell of your kitchen cupboards and just changing the doors.
- Have a clear vision. Make as many decisions as you can before work begins, like choosing saltillo tile or which appliances you might want. There’ll be lots of decisions to make when the renovations are in progress and by having as many choices as you can made already, you’ll save time and headspace for those new decisions that pop up.
- Know who you’re hiring. If you’re going to get quality work, you need to bring in the right contractors and subcontractors to do it. Get recommendations from friends who’ve had work done. Check licenses and certification to make sure you’re hiring people who are properly qualified. Make sure you choose people that you get along with, as they’ll be in your home for quite a while. You need someone who understands the vision you have for the finished project too. Take the time to speak to a few, so you know you have the best person for the job.
- Don’t be misled by television. If you like to watch DIY programs, remember that what they show is often not realistic. It’s a lot easier to do on budget, fast renovations with a large television crew and the option of having materials shown on TV to push down the prices. Don’t be misled into thinking you can take on a larger scale project that you can’t actually manage.
- Be prepared to live in discomfort during the remodelling. Living through renovations can be very difficult. There’s dust everywhere, the house is full of builders, you’re exhausted and you can’t use large parts of your home. Accept that living at home is going to be rough. If you can, arrange to stay elsewhere for at least part of the renovation project so you can at least go somewhere clean at the end of the day. If you need to set up a temporary kitchen, decide how and where to do this early on to save stress.