4 Ways To Kickstart Your Home Remodel Project

It’s a huge undertaking, and not without its challenges, but a successful home renovation is one of the most satisfying projects you can undertake. From avoiding the stress of a house move, to making your home fit the needs and lifestyle of you and your family, to adding value to the property if it does come time to sell, in the long game it’s definitely worth a little upheaval and some dust to achieve the home of your dreams. However, first time renovations are always a steep learning curve. There are many risk factors which can easily go wrong with a building project, and these tend to multiply when you factor in inexperienced owners who haven’t contended with the ups and downs of an extensive home remodel before. From completely blowing the budget, hiring the wrong contractor for the job, to regretting design choices when it’s too late to alter them – there are quite a few potential pitfalls to beware of. Your countermeasure for all of these potential dilemmas? Meticulous planning. Knowing exactly what you want, what to expect and how to proceed is the roadmap that will guide you through a successful project and ensure that any small issue doesn’t end up completely derailing progress.


Understand The Specifics


Everyone thinks they know what they want when it comes to home renovation. But often those ideas turn out to be quite top-level, and a successful home remodel is all about attention to small details you may not have considered in your pipe dreams about what your home could be like. In addition, as there are lots of costs entirely dependent on your selections – things like aluminium bi-fold doors or pvc? Solid quartz worktops or laminate? – that can fluctuate quite a lot, not knowing exactly what you want means getting an accurate idea of costs to inform your budget isn’t possible. Spend time with your architect, thinking through not just what you want your home to look like, but the behaviours and lifestyle it enables, and therefore what is important to you – be it a spacious open-plan area to entertain friends and family, or a luxurious bathroom to escape alone. Exactly what function do you need your home to perform, and how can the design and finish of the space enable this? Reading interviews in interiors magazines with other remodellers can be a really useful way to consider aspects that you may not have thought of before, and interiors boards on Pinterest are a rich source of design inspiration to get you going. From these you can create a design wishlist. This is highly important to make sure everyone involved -architects, builders and even spouses – are on the same page when it comes to what finished result you’re aiming for. It ensures that everyone agrees and that there is less chance of misinterpretation and you being unhappy with the finished result.


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Start With The Numbers


Although it’s a good idea to have a clear vision of what you’re aiming for with your home renovation, you also need to make sure of your budget very early on in the process. There’s no point getting carried away with things that you’ll never be able to finance. So once you have the initial cost estimates in place, start getting real about the financial side. Check exactly how much you can access and reasonably afford to borrow. Most people use a combination of savings and loans to get to their goal – you need to assess what is reasonable in terms of money and use this as the frame to hang your ideas off. Make sure to spend as much time researching available interest rates on mortgages and loans as you do wallpapers and kitchen cabinets – taking on too much unaffordable cost never ends well, plus every design needs a contingency amount of 20 per cent to cover the hidden costs that can come up during remodelling work.


Sense Check Your Plans


In home remodelling, it’s very easy to get carried away with the scope of what is possible technically, without assessing its feasibility for your particular project. It’s a good idea to do a sense check with your architect as to what actually suits the property and plot that you’re working with. There are some things that are just not a good idea for practical and budgetary reasons – for example re-siting a bathroom or adding a utility room somewhere existing plumbing is not located, leading to lots of expensive and time-consuming plumbing work which could seriously lead you off track and off budget. Go into the home design process with an open mind, and be prepared to hear suggestions from the professionals, who may have ideas which work much better in the space and budget available, or who may have worked on similar projects in the past and learned great solutions!


Double Check Your Contractor


Who you choose to work on your project is critical – pick the wrong builder and you can be left with a world of shoddy work and missed deadlines. Ask to see some previous projects they have worked on in person, and make sure they are a member of a relevant trade body and have full insurance cover should the business collapse or they be taken ill, or any other event which may affect the smooth running of your renovation. Decide whether you want the builder or architect to project manage for you – sourcing everything from skip hire to residential roof replacement specialists to assist on the project – or whether you want to do it yourself. This can save some costs but it does mean a lot of responsibility, chasing round for quotes and finding contacts. Sometimes going for the cheapest contractor can be a mistake – some will deliberately quote low to secure the job and then ramp up costs once on site. Instead, go on a mixture of value for money –  not the same as bottom line price – previous customer recommendations and experience of the type and scale of project you’re proposing. That is likely to generate the best results, and find a good match with a construction firm who can deliver the new home of your dreams.



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