With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation projects. Take the next several weeks to analyze, research, and evaluate your current home to find out what you really want and need. This will save you from wasted time and potentially costly mistake down the road.
Whether it’s that gourmet kitchen you’ve been dreaming about, the outdated master bathroom you’ve been putting off, or the new bedroom addition you desperately need, winter is for planning and spring is for building.
Following this five-step approach will take the stress and anxiety out of the home renovation process, at the same time saving you valuable time and money.
1. Dream It!
Assess Your Situation: Taking a realistic look at your current situation will make all the difference between a good home renovation project and a great one! What problems need to be solved? Walk through your home room by room and take great notes along the way.
Inspiration File: Educate yourself on the materials, finishes and appliances that are available to you. Check out the design magazines and the plethora of home design shows to gather ideas that inspire you in some way. You’ll see a pattern beginning to emerge.
Wish List: Creating your wish list will influence the overall concept and design that you ultimately want your home to reflect. Gathering all of this information will help you determine the overall scope of your project.
2. Plan It!
Budget and Financing: If you plan on staying in your home for ten years or more, then budget what you can to create the home of your dreams. Be realistic, as your lenders will let you know exactly how much you’re qualified to borrow.
Professionals: Hiring the right design professionals will definitely save you valuable time and money, and eliminate any planning mistakes down the road. Pre-planning is undoubtedly the biggest money saver!
The Contract: Once you’ve committed to a licensed contractor review the bid and contract line by line and make sure that the scope of your project is documented throughout. If you’re unclear on a item, ask for clarification.
3. Design It!
Floor Plan: Designing the floor plan is where you begin to see your dream
take shape. Try to visualize this space three dimensionally.
Details: Whatever your style, focusing on the details will set your space apart from the rest and will provide you with a true reflection of your
Shopping: Selecting the perfect materials, finishes, appliances and fixtures
is what will infuse the detail and character into your project. Take your
plans, samples and photos with you on every single shopping trip. You never know what you’ll find.
4. Do It!
Demolition: This is chaos at its best. If you want to release some deep seeded aggression now’s the time to grab a hammer and crowbar and help the demo crew. I highly recommend it!
Construction: The most exciting phase of the renovation process. This is where you begin to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Attending weekly site meetings and following an agenda will keep your project
Coping with Construction: Be realistic and plan for delays. It will reduce the level of stress and anxiety you could potentially feel. Be flexible.
5. Live It!
Do a final walk-through with your contractor and list all the outstanding minor repairs and completions that still need to be done before your project is one hundred percent complete.
Even if your stipulated a clean up clause in your contract, hire your own cleaning crew to come in just before you move back in. Just remember though – it will take weeks for the dust to settle.
Moving Back In:
It’s all behind you and you’ve made it through the renovation process relatively unscathed. Now roll up your sleeves and put your personal signature on everything. Invite some family and friends over for that dinner party you’ve wanted to host – and start living the dream.