Living through a renovation can be stressful, but there are five tips you can consider that will help the process go smoothly.
1. Set a realistic budget. The most common mistake homeowners make is operating at their maximum budget allowance and not saving extra for those unexpected costs or splurge items. A realistic budget should be 80% of what you can actually afford, leaving 10% for surprises (even the best contractors can’t know what hides behind walls), and 10% for decorating once the project is completed.
2. Determine your desired timeline for completion. Keep in mind that delays often happen, regardless of how well you have planned. Materials get backordered, bad weather can delay exterior work and trades people may get sick or require extra time to make sure the job is done properly.
3. Hire construction experts for anything you are unsure of. It is always best to hire licensed professionals because they are bonded and insured. You want to hire someone who works with a formal contract and can provide references. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Select someone who you can communicate clearly about all aspects of the project. Write down a list of questions as you think of them, such as, ‘What payments do I have to make and when? Am I coordinating the trades or will they be your responsibility?'. Contact local associations for referrals if you do not know where to start.
4. Be realistic about living through a renovation. Can you segregate yourself to another area and be comfortable? Do you need to move out for a little while? Keep in mind that most contractors and trades keep construction hours of 7 am to 3 or 4 pm. Will this be disruptive to you or your family members? Also consider the levels of dust and how they affect those children, pets and those afflicted with respiratory difficulties. Moving out during a renovation is often a good idea. It also means the job site can operate more efficiently if you and your family are not in the way.
5. The design aspects of your project: Are you creating something that will look dated in five years or can it be easily adapted to current trends as they change? This is where hiring professional interior designers , decorators and architects are a good investment. Not only can they help you define your style, they can mediate between you and the contractor and trades which will alleviate a lot of the renovation stress. These professionals make sure that your visions for your renovation become a reality.
As written for Wolseley Canada: http://www.kitchenandbathclassics.com/western/planningtools/5tipstosurvivingyourrenovation.htm
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