Practical Tips to Help Your Renovations Go Smoothly

Practical Tips to Help Your Renovations Go Smoothly
  • Opening Intro -

    Renovating a home can be fun and exciting, as you turn a house into your dream abode.

    However, it's also usually stressful and costly.

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As such, it’s important to do everything you can to make the whole process go as smoothly as possible. Read on for some tips you can follow to do just that.

Put a Budget in Place and Plan Out the Work

To begin with, it’s wise to not start spending any money on your remodels until you’ve put a budget in place. Renovation costs can add up quickly; so you don’t want to add more stress to yourself by spending without thinking about final numbers.

It’s best to decide how much you can afford on your remodeling project and feel comfortable with; and then work back from there. Be sure to factor in all the different types of fees.

This includes labor, materials, insurances, potential legal or government permits, and so on. Always add a buffer amount to plan for those unexpected expenses (around ten percent, as a minimum, is recommended).

It’s also helpful to sketch out the work that will need to occur. If you want to stay within your budget and reduce headaches, make sure you understand the order in which tasks need to be completed.

Once you have a schedule in place, you can be sure that materials arrive in time for scheduling contractors. If you don’t, costs can move into negative territory with contractors waiting for supplies or for other jobs to be completed before they can begin their own. 

Do Your Research

Do some research before you start ordering supplies, knocking down walls, or taking other steps towards your renovation. In particular, find out what kinds of changes or additions will actually end up adding value to your property.

What you think is important may not be for the target demographic in your suburb. So don’t assume that what you’ve done in the past will be accepted on the current project. Buyers and renters look for different things in different locations and markets.

To ensure you spend money wisely, attend open homes and auctions in your neighborhood to see what houses are selling for, and what inclusions they have and the condition they’re being sold in. Chat with real estate agents to get their advice on what renovations are selling. You want to understood, too, who the predominant buyers are in your area. For example, is it mostly single homeowners, families, couples with no kids, retirees, or a mixture of occupants?

Choose the Right Workers

Lastly, choose the right workers and materials from the start to keep your renovations progressing smoothly. While you can save money by doing certain jobs yourself (and this is great if you have the skills), keep in mind that if you don’t have experience in renovation work, it may end up costing you more time, money, and energy. It can be incredibly expensive to call in contractors to fix a DYI messed-up job.

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In many cases, it’s best to hire tradespeople straight up. However, be sure to choose the right workers. Research your options, and get multiple quotes so you can properly compare prices.

Check that prices can’t be increased in the future because of special conditions that creep into contracts. Remove from the contract any increased pricing clauses or negotiate the percentage increase that will fit within your budget.

Don’t make your contractor selection based on fees alone. Find out how qualified these individuals and companies are. What kind of experience and reputation do they have? Can they provide reputable references on past work? And find out if they have better relationships with material suppliers that could mean savings to you.

To give yourself piece of mind, try to find previous customers to talk to for honest reviews. And think about opting for warranties. Many home warranties cover plumbing, electrical work, and other repairs these days.

Stick to Standard Sizing

You can also make life easier for yourself, and cut costs, if you keep standard sizing throughout your home. This covers things like doors, windows, cupboards, and light switches. You don’t want to have to spend time and money on getting customized fittings and fixtures. Also, try to shop around to get the best deals on materials. You may be able to find good-quality recycled or second-hand goods. These may even be the best match for your home if it is an older one.

One final tip, get an independent inspection on any major project before paying the last installment on any contractoral work. Make sure the project meets code, used quality materials, and was installed correctly. Once you pass on the money, you loose any negotiation leverage to get the work corrected, if needed.

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