5 Home Renovation Ideas & Mistakes to Avoid
Planning a home renovation can be a lot of fun. You’ve watched all the television shows, you know what trends you like and what you don’t like too. You’ve got big plans and you can’t wait to get started so you can get your home the way you want it.
But there is a lot to consider when you’re contemplating a home renovation and making sure you make all the right decisions. With so many lists and things to plan it can be easy to let things sip through the cracks. Knowing when to skimp, splurge and what you want can be frustrating to get right because everyone has an opinion on what’s best for your home.
If you need some tips or ideas on what you should and shouldn’t do with your next home renovation, look no further. Here are 5 things that will help your renovation go smoothly so you don’t have to worry and can look forward to your remodeling project.
1. Do Hire Your Home Renovation Contractor Carefully
When you’re getting ready to undertake a renovation, no matter how big or small your project you will want to have a contractor take control of your project. Since a contractor oversees all the work, you will want to choose someone you can trust.
One of the best ways to find a great contractor is to ask for a personal recommendation. Have your neighbors recently had a project done in their homes and were they happy with the process? Ask for their opinions on the contractors that they liked and the ones that don’t have a great reputation in your area so you can make an informed decision.
Check out all the contractors on the Better Business Bureau website to make sure they are reputable and they have all the accreditations and licenses your area requires. Once you’ve narrowed your pool down to one or two, it’s time to schedule an interview estimates. Often, contractors offer free estimates on their projects.
When you meet with someone in person you can get a good feel for whether or not you trust those individuals to be in your home for an extended period of time. Most contractors are trustworthy but if you don’t feel like someone would be a good fit for your project, take the time to find someone who will!
During the estimation process be sure to ask what your potential contractor’s timeline is and how far out they are scheduling. Sometimes contractors are booked out far in advance and that may not meet your needs as far as starting and ending dates.
2. Don’t Underestimate Your Renovation Budget
One of the biggest pitfalls when planning a renovation is figuring out what kind of budget you can allot to the project. It is important to take into account all the materials and labor and those are items that most people plan for when they start dreaming about their new kitchen or upgraded bathroom.
But it is important to keep in mind the hidden fees associated with a major renovation. Do you need to secure permits before you begin renovating and do those cost money? What about paying for an inspector to make sure that your home is up to code and the work has been done correctly?
If you are planning a renovation of your kitchen will you be able to cook at home while work is being completed? Perhaps you need to budget for eating out. Or you may find that buying a hot plate, mini-fridge and toaster oven is more cost-efficient to create a makeshift kitchen to cook in, but you still need to plan for those items within your budget.
Is your planned remodel so extensive you may need to sleep at a hotel for a while? Or find a doggy day-care for your pets during the day? Sometimes construction noise can stress out family pets but finding them a calm place to stay can eat into the budget considerably.
As much as contractors and designers try to anticipate all that will happen during a remodel before beginning it is also important to ensure you have additional funds available in case something comes up that isn’t expected. These moments often appear dramatic on home renovation shows but they can be frustrating problems to solve in actuality.
Many people also find that a home renovation creates much more dust and grime than they were anticipating. When planning ahead with your budget for the project you may also want to take into account the cost of hiring professional cleaners to help get your home back to the state of cleanliness you prefer.
3. Do Choose Your Renovation Design Carefully
When you are choosing your design options, make sure you consider all the pros and cons of your choices. For instance, take a look at all the flooring material options. While hardwood floors are wonderful and can boost your home’s value, they are more prone to scratches and damages and may not by the right for your family.
If you are hoping to sell your home soon you may want to keep in mind what future home buyers may think of your design choices, otherwise choose features and design elements that you appreciate. While blue is a great color for bedrooms and neutral colors are favored by buyers if those aren’t your taste then choose what works for you.
Countertops are another area where there are many options on the market each with their own selling points. Granite countertops are quite popular but do require some upkeep. It is possible for the counter to stain and needs to be resealed occasionally.
There’s no arbitrary schedule as granites vary but typically resealing occurs every 1-5 years.
Choosing materials and design elements can be a lot of fun but ultimately, when you are going to benefit from the new renovation, picking what makes you smile and feel comfortable in your home is definitely the way to go.
4. Don’t Sacrifice Your Home’s Function
Many people want their home to feature an open floorplan but they don’t take into account where the load-bearing walls are. No matter how tempting it may be, making major structural changes to your home could result in weakening the integrity of your home. Luckily, a contractor will have the experience to help you make changes safely.
Take into account how you plan to use the space when figuring out where you want outlets, doors, and light switches. You can make the changes you’ve always wanted during a renovation so if you’ve always wished you could charge your phone near your fridge this is the time to add in an outlet.
Even small things like how you plan to use your laundry room and where you want your shelving to go can be well planned out to not sacrifice the function of your space. Consider this: if you’re going to take the time to renovate, make sure you’re happy with the final result.
5. Do Check-In With Your Contractors
Periodically during the renovation job, you are going to need to check-in with your contractor and make sure that everything is going smoothly but for the most part, you are going to need to give them space to work. This is for your safety, work zones can be dangerous.
Since you’ve picked a contractor you trust and you’ve approved all the design work, it shouldn’t be a problem to let go and allow your team to work throughout the given timeline. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do walk-throughs and have conversations to ensure things are the way you’ve planned.
Don’t be a nuisance, trust your team. That said, everyone can make mistakes and if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right to you, taking a minute to clarify or get a deeper understanding may solve a problem early.
A home renovation can be exciting to observe. Those before and afters are always great so take some great pictures before demolition day. When you take the time to follow these tips you will have a remodel that you will appreciate for years to come. Keeping some perspective and a bit of a sense of humor will help keep your renovation a project with a happy ending.