While a home renovation project might sound simple, it’s actually very involved. Any plan that you have to make updates to your home will involve a good deal of time and money. Even something that should have been done quickly can end up being more of an undertaking than you thought as things start to go wrong or come up. Despite the mess, you’re going to end up with a beautiful home that will be well worth the project that you took on. Whether you’re taking on the renovation yourself or hiring outside contractors to do the work for you, there are some basics that you should understand before getting started.
Taking On One Room at a Time
Purchasing an older home can be an affordable investment option, but you should think about the process that you need to follow in order to get everything done. It can be quite overwhelming to take on the entire house at once. Try to break it down into numerous projects, especially if you’re going to be living in the home during the renovations. You should provide yourself with a few rooms that you can use while everything else is under construction. You can also discuss with a contractor what they would suggest the order of operations should be. Certain things have to be done before others, so wiring, insulation or plumbing might be first up no matter what you have in mind.
DIY or Professionals
Some homeowners are extremely handy, and they feel like they can take on a project easily on their own. This may very well be true if you have the time and resources. Some people have the skill and the best intentions, but they just don’t have the time that’s needed in order to get the project done. If a professional is the best way to go, ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations. Call a few different people, ask for a few different estimates and check out the references for contractors that you’ve spoken to. Don’t rush the decision to choose a professional for your home renovation. There are plenty of bad contractors out there that have left homeowners with incomplete work or a bad final result.
There’s also the option to do part of the work yourself, and hire professionals for the more intricate parts of the project. If there’s wiring involved and you’re not an experienced electrician, it’s probably better to bring someone in to help you. The same goes for plumbing, drywall installation or the installation of insulation.
What’s Your Budget?
Always set your budget before the project begins. You should also make sure that you have some money set aside for any unexpected work that comes up during the process of the renovation. Your contractor may come across mold that needs to be safely removed. There may be a leak in your plumbing that you didn’t know existed. The foundation could be compromised, and a major repair would need to be done before proceeding with the rest of the renovation. Make sure you’re upfront with your contractor about what you can spend so they can help you adhere to your budget.
Permits are Typically Needed
Before work can begin on your home, the town you live in may require you to secure a few different permits. This may take a few weeks, so plan on getting the permits before the contractors are going to come out. There’s usually a fee for the permits, but they won’t break the bank. Just make sure you expect this part of the project. You can also talk to the code enforcer to figure out if certain renovations need to be completed a certain way in order to comply with zoning and code requirements.
Think about Your Return on Investment
Making changes to your home can either increase the overall value of it, or you can end up making some bad style decisions that would decrease the value if you were to sell. While you might not be planning to renovate and immediately sell, make sure that you’re not making any changes that would negatively affect the home or property. There may come a time when you feel it’s time to move on. Make the process of selling as easy as you possibly can.
Health and Safety
Renovations can greatly impact the indoor air quality of your home. There are certain contractors that will care about this more than others. If you’re renovating an older home, make sure that there aren’t any concerns with removing potential asbestos or lead. When it comes to new materials that you will be installing into the home, choose materials that are as ‘green’ as possible. Low to no-VOC paints will produce the least amount of off-gassing. Bamboo flooring has much lower VOCs than laminates or vinyl. Carpet is an item that puts out a lot of VOCs, so consider a hardwood variety to make things healthier for you and your family. Make sure that cleanup is done at the end of the project.
Dedicated planning is ideal for anyone who wants to start up a home renovation project. Before you pick up a hammer or start pulling up the carpet, sit down and make a list of what your ideas are. Makes sure you’ve researched everything thoroughly before you get started. Meet with various contractors to determine who should take on this project with you, if this is the route that you’ve decided to go.