Preparing for Home Renovation

Remodeling a house is a huge undertaking. Even if you’re just redoing a couple of rooms, your whole household is likely to be disrupted. It’s best to go into home remodeling with a plan.

Talk It Out

Sometimes you think you and other members of your household want the same thing, but it’s still important to talk it out. Let everyone sketch or describe their vision to make sure “redoing the kitchen” means the same thing to everybody. It’s possible, what one person means is just upgraded appliances while someone else in the family is envisioning busting out a wall for more counter space.

Prepare a Budget

Unless you have remodeled before, you may be shocked to learn the cost of renovating a bathroom or adding a bedroom. Do research to get an estimate on how much various projects cost and then create your own budget. When you interview contractors, let them know your price point. Honest contractors will tell you right away whether they are willing to do the work for that amount of money.

Hire a General Contractor

Hiring a general contractor is like hiring a wedding planner. You can dream big and someone else translates those dreams into smaller actionable steps. Because of their experience, general contractors will know if it’s necessary to bring in an architect, for example, or a specialty contractor. General contractors oversee the entire project and coordinate workers. You spend 90% of your time dealing with one person rather than every plumber, electrician or woodworker at your house.

Prepare for a Mess

Demolition and construction are both messy, so prepare for it. If the contractor tells you to clear out a portion of your house, it’s best to just bite the bullet and rent a storage shed for your furniture. The dust, sawdust and paint fumes will possibly make that portion of your house uninhabitable for the duration of the work, not to mention power tools, nails and other equipment that might be lying around. Most construction workers do a good job cleaning up their workspace, but it’s inefficient to expect them to leave the room spotless at the end of every day. Provide works with trash bags for snack items and access to a bathroom (unless you want a portable toilet in your yard). If possible, just live somewhere else while it’s happening.

Remember the Extras

Remodeling some rooms comes with extra decisions. For example, taking a kitchen down to the studs means that it must be built back up again. Decisions will have to be made not just about wall color and appliances, but also doorway trim, cabinet styles and draw pull choices. Bathrooms come with just as many, if not more, choices. It can get overwhelming. If possible, divide the duties so that each stakeholder oversees certain aspects of the room. (Everyone involved gets veto power, of course.) If one person chooses the faucets, someone else can choose the light fixtures.

Once the renovations are complete, you can enjoy your new space. Even though it might seem like the hammering would never end, the inconvenience of the work will quickly fade, leaving your family with a beautifully redone home.