Before you jump into a renovation, make sure you are actually prepared. You don’t want to just start, and hope things turn out for the best. You can ruin your house that way, which could lead to more expensive problems. Here are 8 things you should do.
Know what you like
What does a new kitchen or bathroom mean to you? Figure out if what you want is cosmetic or structural: do you want new cupboards and flooring, or do you want to knock down a wall and rearrange your entire layout?
The best advice is to look at Pinterest, magazines, and TV shows for ideas on what you want, then create a wish list.
Figure out the numbers
It’s called a “dream house” for a reason – sometimes we realize it might not exist in our budget. Shop around your local stores and price the materials and labor you’ll need to complete your project.
Check the reality of it
What might seem like a simple project could break your budget if you come across major configuring. Consult with an architect or contractor for insight on your design ideas, and whether it is realistic for the design of your home.
DIY or pro?
For everything that isn’t a simple project, you should be contacting a pro (unless you’re extremely handy). Don’t inflate yourself, but be realistic about your own skills, as well as your free time. Will you have the spare time to dedicate to a renovation of the bathroom and kitchen?
Test your colors and materials
It may sound good in your head but look awful in real life. Order samples of everything: carpet, tile, fabrics, cabinets, paints. Colors can also change with lighting, so you want to make sure it looks right at all times. Don’t be afraid to put a lot of paint swatches on the walls either!
Know your contractor
On top of looking up reviews, you should do a thorough background check:
- Contracting license
- Certification of insurance
- Lien history
- Bond number and certification
Also conduct an in-person interview that they match with you. They’ll be spending a lot of time in your home, so you want to make sure that you get along with them.
Create a contract
Be clear on what you want out of this project. Your contract with your professional needs to be specific:
- Payment schedule (do not complete until you are 100% satisfied)
- Potential penalties for miss milestones
Creating a contract will not only protect you but will make you more professional.
Our timelines can be interrupted and run over schedule for things beyond our control:
- Materials on back order
- Contractor sick
- Tricky renovation
Just make sure when you create your timeline, you are also planning for any potential problems. Better to be done early than set back a month.