A major home renovation is, well, major. It is a huge undertaking with many different pieces to consider, from finding your perfect contractor, to how to survive in your home while renovations take place. With so many things to plan, we have gathered our best tips for renovating your house to make your project go as smoothly as possible.
1. Create Your Renovation Wishlist
Before you start renovating your home, it’s important to consider exactly what you want in order to gauge how extensive the home renovation will be. What is the goal of your renovation:
- Are you making better use of space for your family to enjoy for years to come?
- Or are you improving your home to increase its real estate value?
Sketch out your vision while deciding your renovation wants and needs. You should also do your research on your neighborhood to determine what projects would be a good return on investment and which ones would be less valuable to you in the long run. And when you make your list, prioritize your wants and needs. Having a detailed list of your desires, and what will make the most impact on your life at home, makes it easier to decide how best to allocate your money, as well as how best to move forward in case any surprises come up in the process.
2. Set Your Renovation Budget
Setting a budget and sticking to it is key during a large renovation process. It is best practice to set aside a contingency fund for unplanned repairs and unexpected costs, and expect to use it. Also, plan on the indirect renovation cost that might arise during the renovation, like dining out more, or staying in a hotel for a few nights. When you work with a reputable contractor, they should have a system for keeping costs, and any changes to expenses, in line with their estimates.
3. Do Your Research
When preparing for a large home renovation, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into, especially if this is your first time. Talk with friends and family who have completed renovations in the past and see what they struggled with and how they overcame certain obstacles. Read up on best practices and tips for going through a renovation. The contractor you choose should be a great resource, but it is best to already have a solid grasp on the ins and outs of the renovation process before getting to that point.
4. Hire a Reputable Contractor
Speaking of contractors, the very first tip should be to find a qualified one that is capable of bringing your dreams to life. However we know this usually occurs to homeowners after they've dreamed of the possibilities. Keep in mind that a great contractor may also offer some possibilities that you hadn't considered.
During the selection process, check out reviews and see what their past clients say about their work and service. Schedule a consultation to discuss your project and ask your contractor questions. You will want your contractor to be a partner in this process that knows the best ways to achieve what you want within your budget. A reputable contractor will be able to present solutions to the issues you have with your home, based on their experience. They can also point out structural enhancements that can improve the energy use and functionality of your home long term.
5. Understand Neighborhood Bylaws & Permitting
Once you have settled on your renovation team, it’s time to delve deeper into your scope of work. There may be ordinances from your neighborhood or HOA associated with home additions, lot lines and more that can alter your original plans. As the homeowner, you can research if any of these exist and share the information with your contractor. However, when you work with a reputable contractor, they should handle the process of obtaining the proper building permits in your area.
6. Understand Your Timeline
When planning the timeline of your renovation, take into consideration upcoming holidays and events you would like your home to be ready by. It is best to set your end date and plan backward, being realistic and planning for extra time if possible in the case of delays or additional repairs. Your contractor will guide you on how the season can affect or delay any building plans.
7. Pack Up and Declutter
This may sound overly simple but packing your things up and decluttering your renovation zone is one of our most important tips. Not only does it protect your possessions from being damaged but your renovation team can do their work more quickly and efficiently without your things in the way. For a renovation spanning your entire home, consider renting an offsite storage unit to keep your items safe and out of the way.
8. Protect Kids and Pets
Another important aspect when renovating your house is to think about your children and pets. While a renovation may be intriguing for your kids who want to get in and play and watch, it can be dangerous. Ensure you have gates and the proper safety equipment installed to keep adventurous toddlers from roaming through a construction site, and the same goes for pets. You may want to consider getting a pet sitter for longer projects to ensure your furry family members are safe.
9. Don’t Focus on Trends
It’s very easy to get entranced by the latest trends. While it’s great to gather inspiration from trendy design ideas, they may not stand the test of time. When it comes to a home renovation, you want to ensure you will love the finished product for a long time, so it's best to choose timeless designs, and decorate with of-the-moment decor that you can easily update as the times change.
10. Plan Ahead for Life During Renovation
Will you be staying at your home while the renovation takes place, or will you move to a hotel? Your timeline and cost are huge factors when making this decision. Many homeowners opt for staying at home if they can, however, it can be a difficult time to get through. Renovations are often uncomfortable, leaving you with loud noises, dust, and more, to deal with in your home. Consider your routine and work with your contractor on the best times to do certain tasks for a smoother transition. One of the best things you can do is designate a renovation-free zone where you and your family can escape to for some peace.
Renovating Your Home with Simonini
If you need an expert contractor for your home renovation, reach out to our Renovation Team at Simonini Homes. We are a group of dedicated realtors, contractors, designers and architects with over four decades of experience here in the Charlotte area.