A home renovation project is always a big deal—both in terms of your dream outcomes and the many pitfalls likely to come your way.
It can be easy to let your imagination run wild when starting a new project. Practicalities, budget, and time scale—it’s easy to forget the fundamentals amid the excitement of an extensive renovation.
Unfortunately, not scoping every stage can lead to problems as the project develops.
To minimize these risks, it’s essential to carefully think a few things through before starting that dream home renovation project.
1. Create a Detailed Scope
Before banging, sawing, or smashing the walls and old flooring, be clear about your renovation goals. Starting a project with a vague statement like ‘make the house nicer’ will only lead to disaster. A clear-cut plan will hopefully save you time, money, and stress.
However, deciding that you need clear goals is only the start of the process. Somehow you need to whittle down all those fantastic ideas in your mind and settle on an action plan.
Are your goals based around renovating a tired-looking part of the house? Or is the idea to create extra room now you have a new addition to the family? Maybe you want to sell the house down the road and feel the entire property could do with a complete makeover?
Formulate your plan carefully and write it up in a detailed scope. The more specific you can be at this stage, the better.
2. Think Budget
A kind word of warning before we continue—renovations often go over budget. It’s one of those many facts of life that, despite the best intentions, projects can quickly spiral out of control unless you keep them on a firm leash.
Before starting anything, you need to be clear on a budget that ideally has some wiggle room. Knowing you’ll likely go over the budget does not mean you can sit back and throw those Benjamins around. If anything, it should mean paying close attention to your spending throughout the process.
Careful planning on the costs will require knowing the expenses for each item—this is where that detailed project will come in handy. With enough foresight and control, you can leave some extra for that inevitable overspend.
3. Decide on a Timescale
A house renovation will almost certainly lead to inconveniences for whoever lives there. Whether moving out for a few weeks while the builders go to work or taking a three-day weekend to dedicate your own time to the project, understand that life won’t be the same until the project is complete.
With that in mind, deciding on a realistic and achievable timescale is essential. It will mean that you enter the project with a precise end date established. Once you have a set deadline, you can do backward planning and figure out when you need to complete each renovation step.
Know that, like renovation budgets, timescales have a horrible tendency to drag on for much longer than the contractor first promised. Delays could be down to various reasons, like underestimating how long the planning would take or not realizing that municipal authorities may take several weeks to approve permits for large-scale rebuilds.
The best advice here is to research the estimated duration for each stage and put that into your project scope.
4. Don’t Go for the First Contractor You Find
The first contractor might be the best person for the job, but don’t assume it. You shouldn’t rush into renovations.
Once you’ve created your plan, set aside your budget, and estimated the timeframe, you’re usually raring to go. It can be easy to hire the first contractor you consult.
There are many good contractors out there and plenty who are far from reputable. Even when it comes to budgets and timeframes, there can be huge variations from one contractor to another. If you jump for the first one, you risk paying too much or even choosing somebody who might deliver something that falls below your expectations.
Interview several contractors to get a rough idea of budgets, timeframes, and overall vision.
5. Prepare for the Unexpected
By now, you’ve probably established that home renovations often don’t go entirely to plan. Miscalculations in budgets and timescales can lead to plenty of stress and anger. While we don’t want to doom-monger, we need to set out the reality of renovations and prepare for the unexpected.
But then again, does life turn out how you expect? Just because there are some potholes along the way—perhaps the odd ravine that your car nearly topples into—doesn’t mean the entire process needs to be a complete disaster.
Preparing for the unexpected means accepting some things you can’t anticipate, but the right mindset lets you ride out the storm.
What Should Be Kept in Mind When Renovating?
Keeping on Track
Perhaps the most critical aspect to remember when renovating is managing the overall progress. Is the contractor on budget and within the timeframe agreed? And if not, why not, and what will this add in terms of time and money?
Keeping on track won’t necessarily cause things to speed up or magically become cheaper overnight, but it allows you to keep an up-to-date summary of what’s going on, which in turn helps you to know when life might be able to return to normal.
While contractors might not want you asking them for an update every day, a weekly review is perfectly acceptable.
Getting Rid of Junk
A significant part of any home renovation is the inevitable junk. There’s nothing like a major project to make you realize how much junk you need to remove from the home.
A home renovation is often not simply about sprucing up the odd room—it’s about regenerating an area. Usually, that involves getting rid of the stuff we have managed to attain but don’t really need.
You might have decided to upgrade the kitchen with new appliances and countertops. Or perhaps you gutted an entire house so that you can keep the historical structure but enjoy living in a modern and clean home. Regardless of the type of renovation, junk piles up, and when it does, you need professionals to help.
Disposing of Renovation Debris and Construction Material
Most homeowners don’t consider what they will do with all the construction and demo debris once renovations have started. Oftentimes, inexperienced contractors don’t bid hauling into their estimate, meaning the homeowner is left with the pile and mess.
Concrete, wood, treated wood, tile, steel, tiling and drywall all can be extremely difficult to haul off of a construction site.
Having an action plan for your construction waste disposal is an important step before getting started.
Some homeowners choose to hire a professional construction debris removal company like Nixxit to take care of the mess. Whether you need our services several times during a construction project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the construction debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.
Get in Touch With Nixxit Junk Today!
If you’re getting closer to your project start date and want a head start on junk removal, call Nixxit. We service properties across the Bay Area, whether it’s property cleanouts or furniture removal. We offer excellent, competitive rates and pride ourselves on our punctuality—we’ll help you clean up for that home renovation.