Browsing through DIY blogs, Pinterest, and HGTV shows over the winter has given you plenty of exciting home improvement ideas to consider once the weather gets nicer, however, there are some less glamorous details you should tackle before you introduce your wall to the sledgehammer. Here are some thinking points.
Establish the scope of the project
Once you have the budget figured out, you should determine what you’d like to do in your home. Whether you’re looking to update the hopelessly 1960s looking kitchen or want to refresh your home with new flooring and more energy-efficient windows, make sure the budget you’ve allocated covers for all the sub-projects. You should especially keep track of the cost of labor, materials, and equipment. The bigger your project is, the more labor and material you’ll require. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need waste management professionals to handle and remove the demolition waste.
Interview the contractors
Whether the whole or just a portion of your renovation project needs skilled hands on deck, it’s essential that you contact professionals on time, so you can establish a favorable timeline and quote. Since most remodeling projects take place in spring and summer, make sure to call before the weather really warms up. Follow up on references and interview multiple contractors until you find a project manager who’s on the same page with your objective.
Set up work zones
Although it’s inevitable that workmen invade certain areas of your home, this doesn’t mean they can roam freely. Serious contracting firms typically order portable toilets for larger projects, but for most home renovation no toilets are provided. It’s up to you whether you’ll allow them to use yours. Having an extra toilet downstairs or in the basement would make things much more convenient. As an extra tip, remove the towels and place a few rolls of paper towels for workers to use. Unless you feel especially generous, kitchens and dining areas should be off limits, as well.
Relocate your movables
If you’re renovating an entire floor or the whole house for that matter, you may need to relocate your furniture, clothes, and electronics for a couple of months. This is especially important for fragile and precious items that are likely to end up damaged or lost during the renovation. Moving companies have entire relocation routines worked out, but you can save both time and money if you choose to rent a truck and transport your movables at your own pace. This is why you should consider hiring a Budget truck rental service, which apart from having great deals on its fleet of rental trucks, also has a mobile app so you can book trucks on the go. When packing and loading, make sure the large items go first and then stack boxes that are fragile on top.
Prepare your family
Your kids will be either excited or upset about the prospect of their home undergoing a major renovation. School children are rarely untouched by seeing construction machinery invading their backyard, and some of them might find the process disturbing as the world around them is changing. Others might get so caught up in the thrill of seeing professionals at work, that little else would matter to them. In both cases, make sure to talk to your children about the impending renovation, stressing the positive outcomes, e.g. the pool, the game room, etc.
Notify the neighbors
For a single-family semi detached home, you probably won’t have to seek approval from your neighbors, however, remodeling projects that touch the property line, like fences, are an exception. On the other hand, if you live in a condominium, remodeling projects within your walls might require the approval of the board. For projects that involve shared walls or your home’s interior walls, you will almost certainly need approval, especially if the project involves common plumbing and water supply. In any of these cases, talking to your neighbors and informing them on your upcoming plans will make a sign of good will and healthy neighbor relations.
Anticipate some delays
Delays are something nobody wants in their project: homeowners want their house back and the contractor wants to move onto another job. Everyone hopes for the best, but the truth is: we’re all human. The job of a contractor is not an easy one, and no matter how much effort is put into planning, sometimes things can go wrong. The best way to go about dealing with them is to be prepared and anticipate where delays usually arise; poor weather, materials supplier hold-ups, and permit delays are some of the most notorious hiccups in remodeling and building projects. It’s normal, and in the majority of cases, it’s not the contractor’s fault.
Proper planning is a key to successful home improvement, and it includes everything from the wall treatments to managing the total budget. Even if your physical labor input is minimal, you should handle many of the tasks related to the organization and preparation.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator. His articles can also be found on numerous interior design, real estate, family-friendly and green living blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share insightful and compelling content that helps readers navigate through these vast and ever changing fields.
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