So, you’ve made the decision to do a home renovation project. Good for you!
Now, are you panicking about it? Fear not. Whether you’re taking on a big or small home renovation project, you can follow the same key steps to guarantee success.
Here’s our tips on planning a home renovation project.
Have a Concept
Before starting your home renovation, you should have a good idea of what you want to achieve. This should include everything, from what you want to do with the space, to adding those finishing touches.
Having your entire concept in mind from the beginning will help to steer your decisions throughout the project. Creating a Pinterest Board is usually a great place to start and can also provide you with inspiration.
Your design and concept should take your home environment into account. If you’re only renovating one room, try to make sure your design is in keeping with the rest of the house. If you’re renovating an entire house; however, then go wild!
Make a Plan
Once you’re happy with your concept (and everyone is in agreement!) you can start to plan exactly how you are going to achieve it. This is a good time to get a good architect on board if needed, or download some free floorplan software to help visualise the space. We usually use Homestyler.
You’ll then want to put together a ‘Schedule of Works’. On smaller renovations, this can just be a list of the jobs that need doing. If you’re taking on a big project then you could go all out and create Gantt charts. Some builders may offer to do this for you, but starting with a list of things that need doing is a good for now.
You may have an idea of when you want the project to be finished. Alternatively, you may choose to ask a builder for advice on how much time to allow for. Either option is fine, but just make sure you account for any bank holidays and your own holidays if you are doing the work yourself.
Get a Build Team Together
Having reliable tradesmen on board can make a huge difference to how a renovation project goes. Take good care in who you ask to quote for any work. A good rule of thumb is to get 3 quotes from different tradespeople. This helps you to gauge what sort of price you should be paying. Getting recommendations from friends and family is helpful, too. A recommended tradesperson is almost always an asset because you can see first-hand how they handle their jobs and can see some of their previous work. You can also use websites such as checkatrade.com or mybuilder.com where you can see reviews from other people who have used certain tradespeople.
You don’t always have to go with the cheapest quote. You should get a good feel for the tradesperson when you meet and might have more confidence in someone who turned out to be the most expensive. As long as their price isn’t miles off, it’s sometimes worth paying a bit extra and having some peace of mind.
If you are planning to do the work yourself, it might still be worth having someone to quote in order to get an idea of how a professional might approach the task in hand.
Keep the Budget in Check
Keeping a home renovation project within budget can be a struggle without some prior planning. Try to estimate your costs before you start, taking into account any quotes from tradespeople and leaving yourself a realistic budget for finishing touches. If you’re not sure on how much things are going to cost, then go shopping early to get an idea of things so that you can create a budget.
Once you have your budget, it’s always worth adding an extra 5-10% on top as a contingency. This will allow for any additional costs which are tricky to foresee at the beginning of any project.
Now that you know what budget to stick to, it’s time to get a little creative! Ensure you shop around as much as possible for your décor pieces. We like to go shopping first to get an idea of what furniture and decorations we want, and then try to find similar items online or in other stores for a better price.
Tip: Don’t be put off by charity shops. Sometimes there are things in there that you can up-cycle. A bit of sanding and fresh varnish can work wonders!
Stay on Time
Like with your budget, it’s also important to keep your project on time. This can be a task of it’s own! The key to this is communication, communication and communication. Oh, and an added contingency.
We would always recommend adding a time contingency as well as a budget contingency. This should mean that if some things run over you aren’t getting ready to finish the space off whilst there are still tradespeople working.
Communication is the big key here, though. Ensure you ask your tradespeople for an estimated time and get them booked in early. Answering any questions quickly can ensure they aren’t waiting on you for any part of their work. We tend to check in with our builders and tradespeople at least once per week. This is useful on bigger projects and can be done simply by meeting up for a walk through of the work. This ensures you are both on the same page and provides an opportunity to spot any potential issues early on and correct them.
There you go! Those are our tips on planning a home renovation project.
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