Home projects don’t have to be a hassle. Use these tips to maximize efficiency and minimize your family’s discomfort while your home is undergoing a renovation.
Define the purpose and project manager.
Your reason for renovating could guide the entire project.
For example, if you’re updating to put your home on the market, you’ll need to research comparable homes to make sure your project doesn’t exceed the return on investment. This might also mean you’ll be working with a smaller budget and firmer deadlines.
The most important part of the process may be defining the scope of the project. While the purpose aims to fix a problem, the scope defines the ideal results. Having a clear, defined scope (in writing!) will make decisions easier, budgets more accurate, and time frames more realistic.
Decide who will be making all of the decisions and why. If you and your spouse choose to make the decisions jointly, add in deadlines for each decision to keep the project moving. If you have trouble making a decision, measure it against your goals, and the choice will become clear.
Organize your budget, and determine what the project should cost. Compare this to what you actually have to spend. Price out the project with every desired update included, and then determine which features are realistic and which you are willing to forgo. It would be wise to have an emergency buffer to account for unexpected costs as well.
Make a list of all updates, with the highest priority item at the top and the lowest at the bottom. Ask yourself, “If this were the last step in the process, what would I be willing to give up to get this feature?”
Do some research into which materials are readily available and how much they cost. For big-ticket purchases, you may want to know the life expectancy or durability of the material.
Outsource: Get estimates and find your contractor match.
If you don’t already have a working relationship with a contractor, ask your real estate professional, friends, and family for referrals. Make sure you ask for credentials, like licenses, designations, and proof that they’re insured. See the printable below for a list of questions to ask when choosing a contractor
- Step 1: Start a folder/Pinterest board of what you’re looking for. Define what kind of materials you want to use, because estimates can vary greatly without this in mind.
- Step 2: Look for companies in your area and interview, yes you interview them, on what they could do to help you reach these goals. Ask for their recent projects and who their subcontractors are. Shop around at least 5 companies to get estimates. Most will give free estimates and even set up virtual or in-person home appointments.
- Step 3: When you decide on a company, talk to current customers and come up with a list of questions for the company based off of those conversations. Additionally, check the integrity of the company by running a background check and ensuring they’re clear of any outstanding lawsuits. This is an important step many can miss and compromises the possibility and finance of their remodel.
- Don’t worry! We’ve already made you a list of questions you should be asking them with the printable down below.
- Step 4: Sign the contract after thoroughly reviewing it.
- Red flags: Ill-defined timeframe, overpromising, more than 15% upfront down payment, and waiving permits as an unnecessary expense.
At this point, you’ll be able to set a realistic deadline for the entire process, but also consider setting mid-project deadlines. Think of each component as a mini project.