Organization is key to keeping a home project running smoothly. Use these tips to maximize efficiency and minimize your family’s discomfort while your home is undergoing a renovation.
Define the purpose.
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.
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.
Determine the decision maker.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stick to the schedule.
The role of the project manager is to oversee all of the work and enforce project deadlines. Make sure that whoever is doing the work understands that they should make the project manager aware of any issues that are not consistent with the agreed-upon timeline so you can adjust accordingly.
It is important to understand (and accept) that, no matter how much planning is involved, not all projects will run smoothly. Staying organized will help you prepare for unexpected changes and delays and address them as needed.