Updated: Feb 27, 2019
If you’ve decided that it’s finally time to renovate your home, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of giving your space a makeover. But if you take a sledgehammer to your wall before giving yourself time to plan, you can end up making costly mistakes that you’ll regret down the road. How do you make sure you’re in the best position possible to tackle a home renovation that fits your vision, budget, and timeline? Be sure to complete these 4 critical tasks before renovating your home:
1. Know what you want
It’s one thing to decide that you want to modernize your master ensuite. But it’s another thing to truly zero in on what you want to change. Do you simply want to swap paint colours and replace your current tiles with new ones? Or do you want to make major structural changes to your space?
To avoid expensive changes and delays down the road, identify exactly what you want to achieve before renovating your home. You can clarify your vision by browsing magazines, blogs, and Pinterest for inspiration photos. This will help you identify concrete changes that you want to make to your space and communicate your vision to your contractor.
2. Create a realistic budget
If you hate numbers, creating a budget may be the last thing you want to do before renovating your home. But if you skip this step and jump straight into your renovation, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up spending way more than you wanted to.
To create a realistic budget, identify the changes you want to make to your space and then do some research. For example, talk to friends or family members who have had similar renovation work done to find out how much they spent. It’s also helpful to window shop for materials, fixtures, and finishes to find out what you can expect to pay for the renovation you want. In addition, be sure to leave a buffer in your budget for unexpected expenses.
3. Choose the right contractor
Your home renovation contractor may seem like any other person you’ve ever hired to do a repair or perform an installation in your home. But if you’re doing anything more than a small renovation project, you’re going to end up spending a lot of time with your contractor. You’re also going to be placing your home in your contractor’s hands. This is why it’s worth it to take the time to select the right contractor before renovating.
To find the contractor that’s right for you, get referrals, check reviews, conduct interviews, and check for licenses and insurance certificates. It’s also helpful to consider the personal and professional fit between you and your contractor. And if you want your project to run as seamlessly as possible, consider hiring a contractor who will be fully responsible and accountable for executing your project.
4. Put it in writing
Most people have some sort of contract in place before renovating. But there’s a difference between signing a vague, general agreement and making sure that you have every key detail on paper. Some details – like the new size you’ve selected for your bathtub – may not seem important enough to document. But the last thing you want is to end up with a tub that’s too large for your space and be on the hook to pay for it.
To protect yourself and your home, put all the details of your project in writing before renovating. In particular, be sure that you and your contractor agree on the project details, payment schedule, and timeline for your renovation. And be sure to document changes you make as you go along.
Take the time to plan before renovating
A home renovation can be fun to tackle, especially during the initial honeymoon phase. But to ensure you end up with the space you’ve been dreaming of and saving up for, it’s important to take the time to plan before renovating. Identify what you want, create a realistic budget, choose the right contractor, and put everything in writing. The steps you take before renovating will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.
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