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A Homeowner’s Lament – Where Do I Start With Remodeling?

couple starting a home remodelYou can’t wait to remodel your home, right? Or at least, you can’t wait for it to be done. But maybe you feel stymied by the challenge of getting the project started. It can seem overwhelming because you have to think about budget and finance, clearing out rooms, storage, disruption, design ideas, contractors, stress, and more.

Where and how do you get started with home remodeling? Our contractors and designers have some advice for you.

Budget First

home renovation budgetingWithout the money, nothing gets done. Without enough money, the job gets partially completed.

What if your dreams are currently bigger than your pocketbook? It’s a pretty common dilemma. Do you wait until you have enough saved up for the whole project, or should you just get started and figure it out as you go?

Answer: Decide what you can spend, stick to that, and meet with the design team several times. They are well experienced in estimating and costing everything, right down to the last nail and screw. If your ideas are too much for the budget, the team will help you pare things down without sacrificing all your ideas. Just remember that your home will still be renovated and will look so much better.

Important: Leave a buffer of 10-15% for contingencies.

From Our Designer: Ensure a Uniform Look

home designer toolsThe design team will help you decide on the look you want (including what is feasible) for the entire job. You’ll want continuity from room to room where floors, colors, fixtures, baseboards, trims and much more complement each other. Be certain the design team shows you plans, drawings, mock-ups, even 3D renderings – all complete with measurements.

It is always – always – better to complete the full planning of your home renovation project before demolition and construction begins. Never do things “piecemeal”. Why? All materials should be purchased to cover the entire project. For example, all flooring should be bought at the same time. Purchasing for one room at a time is risky, because if stocks run out, you will have a different look from one room to the next. There is nothing worse than a patchwork home where the incomplete phases and areas are obvious.

From the Contractor: Completed Planning is Key

The worst thing you could do in a home renovation project is get started without completing a plan. It will always end up more complicated and more expensive in the end. There are often important elements that have to be looked at by an engineer or architect, like load-bearing walls or foundations. Trying to remodel over these things could be disastrous if the new work exceeds load limits or violates a bylaw or even simply ends up being measured wrong.

If you absolutely must renovate your home in phases, as funding is available, your design team and contractors should plan it 100% with you to fit with the budget constraints.

So, the Moral of the Story is…

  1. 6 Ps: Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance. Invest in proper planning of the overall design of your home.
  2. Stick to your budget and leave a buffer. Don’t let excitement distract you.
  3. Get an accurate estimate on each phase of the work from a licensed contractor that is well established and trusted in the community. The estimate is always easier and more accurate when you have complete plans drawn up for the whole project.
  4. If you can have the entire project happen at once, do it. If you must go a phase at a time, you keep track of funds to ensure each phase will be covered while the contractor ensures materials purchased will match throughout the project.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Nelson Construction & Renovations and a clickable link back to this page.

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