Whether you’re looking to update a small bathroom or need to gut an entire house, renovation projects are daunting. Many homeowners make mistakes during the renovation process that can potentially cost thousands of dollars.
Use this list of do’s and don’ts to make your home renovation project run smoothly and save yourself time and money.
Make a plan
Few things can throw your renovation plans off track like not having one to begin with. Before you swing the first hammer, make sure you know where your renovation is going. This includes a general overview of what you want to do, as well as the details of the project. Picking out colors and products in advance helps ensure you don’t meet delays later down the road.
Looking at online reviews or asking for recommendations from friends and family members is a great place to start when looking for contractors to complete your renovations. You’ll still need to do your own research as well. Take the time to meet with potential contractors and get quotes from multiple companies. Try to work with contractors that have 3 years of experience or more providing the exact types of services you need.
You should also plan to visit a contractor’s current job sites. Look at the crew’s cleanliness and organization. A disorganized or messy worksite could make it difficult to move about your home during renovations.
Remember Contractors are Human
Whether they make a small mistake or things are taking longer than expected, keep an open line of communication with your contractors. Being open and honest helps both you and your contractor stay on the same page about the status of the project.
Set Up Usable Space
Renovating a kitchen or bathroom can take a toll on the usability of your home. Kitchens can leave you without a way to cook dinner for several weeks. Set yourself up to save money on takeout or lost time due to inconveniences around your home by making a model of the renovated space somewhere away from construction. When renovating a kitchen, for example, get a mini refrigerator and toaster oven so you can still cook small meals at home.
Put in Features You’ll Actually Use
Redoing a bathroom to include a luxury whirlpool tub may sound like a good idea, but if you never take baths it will likely go to waste. When planning your renovations, be sure that any of the features you install fit with your lifestyle and personal needs. Even if something sounds like a good idea, it may not be right for your or your family. One of the best ways to get the features you need is to think about your biggest issues with your current space. If you lack counter space in the kitchen, for example, by sure your renovation includes plenty of open countertops and storage for existing clutter.
Let Anyone Start Work Without a Contract
It can be difficult to think straight in the rush to get your renovation started. One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make when renovating their home is to not sign a contract with any renovation companies. Before any work is completed, insist your contractor provide a contract that has exact details about the work to be performed, timeline, cost and a list of anything that won’t be done.
Try to DIY More Than You’re Capable Of
Being handy with a drill to hang pictures is a lot different than being able to install a completely new bathroom. If you’re thinking of a DIY renovation, make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Take classes and complete smaller projects first before jumping into a total remodel by yourself. This allows you to brush up on your skills and gives you an idea of the work involved in your remodel. When in doubt, hire a contractor to do the work for you.
Forget the Big Picture
Your renovation may look great now, but what about in five years? If you don’t think your intended renovations will stand the test of time, it may not be worth it to put a lot of money into renovating. It’s equally as important to think about how your renovations will affect the long-term maintenance and cost of your home. Installing energy-efficient windows, for example, probably makes more sense than spending money on older-style windows that lose heat.
Leave Valuables Laying Around
Even if you trust your contractor, you never know who’s walking into your home to complete renovations. Keep valuable, such as jewelry, hidden or locked away to protect them. In addition to potential theft, your décor or valuables could be susceptible to damage from the contractor’s work. A vase near a wall, for example, could get knocked over when the contractors move things around.
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Before Renovating
When you renovate your home, you’re usually making major upgrades. These upgrades can quickly change the value and rebuilding cost of your home. You’ll want to contact your insurance agent and make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance coverage to meet the new rebuilding costs of your home.