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How to Plan a Remodeling Project

Remodeling and renovating your home can be one of the most exciting, or stressful periods of your home ownership life. There are a lot of moving parts in a home remodeling project, and having a well-thought-out plan beforehand can save you a ton of potential headaches down the line. If you’ve never taken on a renovation project before, then you may not know exactly how to plan for a renovation project. Below is an explanation of some of the most important things to take into consideration so it all runs smoothly.

Build a Basic Plan

Before getting into the nitty gritty of how to plan for a remodeling project, ensure that you have a thought out idea of what you want to do with your renovation. You probably have a good overall idea of what you’re looking to do. So write it down and start thinking of the things that are most important to you for your project.

If you’re a little light on inspiration, you can use instagram, pinterest, or Google searches to find ideas for what you may want to do. Start to define some of the basics that you want included. Do you want to completely redo the kitchen with brand new appliances? Are you just looking to upgrade the look of your main living room to make it more comfortable? What types of furniture do you want, what colour schemes do you like, and how do you want your new space to function?

Don’t be afraid to go a little wild with your ideas in the beginning. Dare to dream and come up with all of the aspects that will make your new space exactly what you want. Next, you will start to get more specific.

Calculate Potential Costs

Now that you have an overview of what you want, you can start to do some research around the materials and elements you’re thinking of using. You’ll notice fairly quickly that some materials are more expensive and more available than others and while taking cost into account, you may decide to use one material over another.

During your cost calculation research, be very thorough. This is where you’re going to get your first idea of what your renovation project will cost for materials. It is also where you may need to get a little creative with your sources and what you finally decide to do with your project.

Document everything and make sure you are thorough with your calculations. Doing so will help you when you’re carrying on with the next steps.

Define Your Budget

Your budget is going to be one of the most significant determining factors for the extent of your project. A larger budget will allow you to be more liberal and give you more choices. Whereas a smaller one will allow you to be more creative and minimalist. Either way, you have to work with the budget that you have.

Having done your research on the cost of the materials you’re going to need, you will have a good idea of what everything is going to cost already. Plus, knowing your budget and the expected cost of materials will help you when and if you start reaching out to local contractors.

Ensure you leave yourself a little extra wiggle room with your budget as well. Surprises often arise during a renovation and you want to make sure you’re prepared for any surprise costs. This includes things like permits, extra insurance, equipment and extra materials.

Get Contractor Estimates

This section may only apply if you’re not doing a DIY project. Which, in many cases, you probably should have a professional involved. Whether you’re taking it on yourself, or you’re hiring a professional, get multiple estimates. Doing so will allow you to choose which one fits your needs most and will give you an accurate idea of what you may need to spend on labor.

Contractors come in many varieties. There are general contractors or industry specific one such as painters, drywall contractors, floor experts, plumbers, and electricians. Some professions require licenses and some don’t. Do pay attention to which ones need a seal of approval and are certified to work on your project!

A few things you should check for when choosing your contractor to hire are:

  • Insurance: Without insurance, if something goes wrong, then it may all be on you. Ensure your contractor is insured to avoid any potential future headaches.
  • Experience: The more experience a contractor has, the less mistakes they will make and the more they will be able to consult on the best way to go in multiple situations.
  • Flexibility: Things change during a renovation project and a contractor has to be flexible. The best contractors will be able to work with your timeline and call in additional help if necessary.
  • Equipment: A contractor who owns the proper equipment won’t have to rent as many tools in order to complete the job. This may help lower the cost and the timeline for completing your remodeling project.

Also, once you’ve done your own cost calculation, you will be able to be more confident when contractors throw out figures if you already know how much certain materials should cost.

Finalize Formal Plans and Sketches

Once you’ve dreamed up your perfect space, finished cost analysis, and received a few estimates, it is time to make sure that all of the plans are calculated and drawn up to scale. You’ll need the plans to be done properly so that all measurements will be correct once everything starts to come together.

Don’t skip this step. Even a couple of inches off on measurements can cause a lot of problems for the rest of the project. Get the plans built properly by someone who knows exactly how to draft them and follow them to a T when renovating. If you do, you’ll have the space you dreamed of and planned with no headaches along the way.

Get The Proper Permits

Depending on where you live and what type of renovation you’re working on, you may require a permit from the local government. Do your research ahead of time and make sure you have all the documents necessary and that the type of remodeling you’re doing is allowed where you live. You’d hate to be half way through a project and have it shut down by the local authorities.

Get To Work!

The most exciting part of the project is beginning to get to work. Enjoy the process and when it’s done, you’ll appreciate it all the more!

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