Planning your Home Renovation

Before you begin your Home Renovation Project it’s important to have a good Renovation Plan.

So often I get called to give construction advice for a botched renovation job. Someone has a brainstorm, comes up with an idea and jumps right in. Hammers start swinging, walls come down and then reality sinks in. They hit a point where they have no idea what to do next or the next steps seem so daunting the work grinds to a halt. When it comes to home improvements success lies in an effective and well thought out Home Renovation Plan. It begins with a thorough understanding of what you really want to achieve. Brainstorming and setting a goal is fantastic. The next important step is to PAUSE. Take a breath. Pull out pad and pencil and turn your emotions and ideas into a plan.

Some questions your plan needs to answer before the hammer starts swinging include:

  • What am I trying to achieve here?  Think about all aspects of your renovation and everyone it will impact.
  • What needs to be included in your project? Think about what things are negotiable and non-negotiable. For example you are building a new ensuite bathroom – just can’t live without it any longer. That’s a non-negotiable. You would like two sinks but it’s not essential – that goes on your negotiable list.
  • What other features would you like to include?
  • How much are you prepared to spend?
  • Do you have the time, skills and equipment necessary to complete all of the project? some of the project? or none of the project yourself?

With most home renovation projects the final design and specifications are best worked out with the help of a renovation contractor or specialist. The more information you can give them, the easier it is for them to give you good advice and an accurate estimate of the cost for your project. This is where even the best intentioned home owner often falls short. They have an idea, they brainstorm and they may have even taken notes but that’s just the preliminary part of a good home renovation plan. The next step is to organize your thoughts and your notes into something your contractor can work with.

Here’s a list of what I recommend:

  • Give a good description of what you want to change in your home and why.  What’s the objective of your home renovation?
  • List the specific goals your home renovation project needs to achieve.
  • List things you see yourself needing in the future. Try to anticipate how your family and your life will change over the long term and how your home will need to be adapted to meet those changing needs.
  • List your priorities – this is where your negotiable and non-negotiable items come in to play. This can be a huge help to your contractor or home renovation specialist and helps them quickly cut to the chase by providing you an accurate assessment of time and cost.

Do your own renovation plan before you start anything else. The next step is to contact a renovation specialist to create a working plan for your project. The time and energy you invest in this pre-work will make a real difference in the success of your project – getting your job done On Time, On Budget and headache free!

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