How to... prepare for renovation

Check out this handy guide to preparing for a renovation.

Renovation and remodeling is a huge undertaking that requires planning, management and patience. Not only does it cause upheaval to your home but there is an emotional, physical and financial toll too. To minimize the stress and complication we have listed a number of tips that will make the renovation process that bit easier:

Motivation

Clarify your motivations before you start. Establish your reasons for remodeling and what it is that you want to accomplish. If you intend to improve, fix, increase the value of the property or even just create a place of your own, ensure that this is clear in your mind and that it is achieved. It’s a huge financial investment and time commitment.

Financial commitment

Get a firm idea of the construction costs at the very beginning of the project. Get quotes from a number of contractors, and ask for recommendations and references. A major home renovation can often take a year, from the design stages right through to finish. Ensure that you are you financially able to invest and you can afford to accomplish what you want within your budget.

Assemble a good team

The success and stress of your project will depend on how well your designer, contractor and architect can communicate and execute. Ensure that the team you hire are capable of communicating well with you and each other. Get your team to do a walk through to make sure they understand the age and condition of the house and that there are no unexpected costs. Make sure your architect; interior designer and builder complete all of your drawings and specifications and clarify before the construction starts whose job it is to get all the necessary permits and permissions

Formal agreement

Make a formal agreement with your contractor, and make sure that your builder provides you with a week-by-week schedule and timeline to complete the job. Ensure that your formal agreement with builder includes a specific generation of the architects’ drawings. Don’t be afraid to question each step of the process and to make decisions.

Plan ahead

After your specifications are completed begin selecting materials, components and finishes. Have a good understanding of the lead-time for all materials. Get your contractor to order as many materials as appropriate prior to beginning the actual building. Plan ahead to prevent delays, and make sure your contractors stick to the timeline as much as possible.

Packing

Pack all of your possessions in clean boxes to protect them from dust and damage. Find a place that is unaffected by the refurbishment and store the boxes there. If there are items that can’t be packed, cover them with plastic sheet and tape. If you decide to move out during renovations, move somewhere close by so you can regularly check in on progress.

Constant communication

Monitor progress, and keep the project on track. Meet with your contractor and architect every second week if possible, but try always to retain a schedule of meetings. Regular conversation with each member of your team helps avoid conflict and keeps the project on schedule. Coordination among the team is very important, as is email communication as any questions can be references to previous emails.

The projects end

There are a number of things that could go wrong when you’re renovating, and you are more than likely going to encounter a number of problems during your building work. Stay calm but assertive and have faith in your designer’s vision. It is also very important that you don’t make your last payment until you are entirely satisfied with the result. Do a final walk through with your team and take the time to make a list of concerns/questions and carefully do through it with your team.


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