Is your home too shabby? Are you bored at looking at the same every day? Or maybe you want to upgrade your home but really love the neighborhood? If your answer to these questions is a resounding “YES,” you are probably ready to remodel your home.
A home renovation done right is one of the best ways to get the home you want. It can also increase the resale value and fetch you much more than you invested in it. However, it can turn to be expensive in case of any mistakes. Even the smallest of mistakes can create a cascade of issues.
To avoid these, experts suggest investing a month or two, planning your house remodel. With proper planning, you can make it more enjoyable.
This article walks you through the most crucial part of a home remodel, planning, managing a home remodel, tips, and remodeling on a budget.
In What Order Should I Remodel My House?
When starting a remodeling project, it can be tricky to know where to begin, especially if you are doing it on a large scale. First, you need to put down a plan and what you would like to achieve at the end of your renovation.
The key to a successful remodel is the order in which you perform the work. Here is the sample order of work that applies to most renovations:
- Gut and remove anything that is about to be replaced.
- Any structural work on the floors, walls, ceiling, etc.
- Fix any plumbing, electrical and other wirings.
- Install ductwork for air conditioning and central heating.
- Continue with the plastering and flooring.
- Bathroom renovation
- Kitchen renovation
Home Renovation Planning Guide
A home renovation, big or small, requires unwavering attention, especially to the small details. But, if you split the work into smaller, actionable items, you can quickly work through everything. It’s pretty normal to get overwhelmed when making the to-do lists as they can be extensive.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to planning. Here are some of the steps you need to follow even before making your renovation plan.
Goal of Renovation
If a new appearance isn’t motivation enough, start with penning down what you want to achieve with your renovation.
Are you planning to renovate for a house flip? If so, not all home improvements pay the same. So, you may want to focus on the ones that add value. Are you renovating to upgrade your home? In this case, you may want to keep in mind that the work you do should benefit you for years to come. Is it an old property? If so, ensure that you are ready for any surprises.
Develop a Concept Plan
Draw up a concept plan with the help of your to-do list. A concept plan is nothing but a short schematic that helps the contractors come to an estimate.
Start with the most cost-effective home improvements and then continue to the significant remodels, new additions, etc. That way, you can minimize or remove it if it goes beyond your budget. Ensure that you consider energy efficiency at every stage and not as an afterthought.
Assess the Related Costs
Once you have a list of the work that needs to be done, you can quickly assess the related costs. Get estimates from three different contractors in writing. The quotes should be precise about what’s included and what’s not. Ensure that you also factor in the storage, permits, and other associated costs.
This should give you a realistic understanding of the budget and how much you can afford. Talk with your friends and family members who have recently renovated their homes. Assess the costs related to minor and major upgrades, repairs, maintenance, additions, adding sustainable features, etc. If it exceeds your budget, you may have to make changes to your design plan.
Seek Professional Advice
A home remodel can be expensive; however, the cost can be significantly reduced with the guidance of an expert. He/she can help you adapt your home according to the climatic conditions with operating costs.
You may also want to consult about the building laws and approvals. Your state planning authority or local council should be able to help you with that.
Assess the Conditions
Before the remodel, assess your home and make a note of everything that needs to be done. Is it just cosmetics like paint, or are any repairs involved, or does your home need an addition?
You may also want to determine if you can do the work yourself or if you want to contract a professional.
Add Value to Your Home
Even if you are not planning on selling your home immediately, you may want to consider which renovations increase the resale value. A rule of thumb is to spend 10% of the value of your home on a kitchen renovation and 5% on a bathroom renovation.
In the same line, mid-range renovation adds value rather than a high-end or luxury.
Revaluate What You Already Have
Stop with any new developments and evaluate what you already have to make the remodel cost-effectively. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Check if you can make use of the already existing structure or maybe expand instead of demolition.
Steps to Plan a Home Renovation
With a thorough understanding of the planning process, you can easily tackle the home remodel one step at a time. This minimizes the stress and makes the process clear-cut.
Create a Home Remodeling Project Plan
Assess where you stand in terms of renovation and make a plan of what you intend to achieve. This includes where to start and the order of things that need to be done. Also, ensure that you have the timeline and the intended budget.
Do not rush the process. Take as much as one month to complete this step.
Fix a Project Budget
One of the most critical parts of the planning process is the budget. You need to ensure that you have enough money for the project, however small or big it may be.
By now, you must have a listing of items that need to be done. Use the cost vs value report by the remodeling magazine to determine that average cost.
Labor costs account for 20-40% of the total budget and ensure that you set aside 10-20% for contingency purposes.
Make a Funding Plan
If you are short on cash, talk to your bank or mortgage lender about refinancing your mortgage. With enough built-up equity, you can avail of a home equity loan. It is also the easiest way to get funding since you have your home as the collateral.
In the same line, talk to your insurance company to verify if the current coverage fits your needs. If the remodel increases the home’s value, you may want to increase the coverage limits to protect your home better.
DIY or Hire Contractors
Are you sure you can handle to remodeling process yourself from start to finish? Or could you hire the services of a contractor? Handling all or at least a portion of the work yourself could save you some money.
While a DIY gives you a sense of accomplishment, it is not always possible to do so.
Suppose it is a small DIY project; you can do it yourself. However, for a larger house remodel, you may need the skill and support of an expert. In the latter case, you need to make a checklist of tasks that you can DIY and those that need a professional. This avoids confusion and helps you maintain a general guideline for the contractor.
Hiring a contractor is not an easy task. Your contractor:
- Should have experience doing the kind of job you hired them to do
- Have all the necessary licenses specific for their line of work
- Provide you with references and testimonials from past clients
- Have the certificate of insurance, especially the liability insurance and workers’ compensation
- Obtain all the permissions for you
Do not just rely on the references; seek out past customers and get a firsthand account of the remodeling project. Also, ask for before and after images for projects similar to yours.
Establish a Timeline
Establishing a timeline is essential in any remodeling process. It should be a part of the house remodel plan.
If you are looking for your home completed for a particular event, work backward from the end date. Otherwise, choose a start date after consulting with your contractor. Also, determine the length of time required for each task.
Furthermore, ensure that your timeline has the following:
- Some wiggle room to account for delays in the process
- Accounts for shipping and delivery of materials
- Includes the holidays and time off
Decide on the Design and Style
Do not forget to finalize the design for your new space. You want the design and style to flow from room to room in coordination. If it is a whole house remodel, the sky’s the limit for your imagination.
Talk with your contractor to see how your desired design fits in with the plans.
Manage a Home Remodel Project
Planning is by far the easiest part of a home remodel. Once you get the project started, you may face unexpected errors and snags. Without proper project management, you may not get the desired results, and the work may also get delayed.
Here are a few steps to help you manage your home remodel project:
Create a Vision
The beauty of remodeling is that you can create a beautiful home just the way you want it. And for a successful house remodel, you need to have a clear vision of what you want. Is it worth investing your time, money, and energy into something vital for you and your family?
In the same line, can you manage and oversee the entire project?
Make a List
Lists are the key when it comes to managing a project. It is the only way to organize your thoughts and ensure that you do not forget anything.
Make a detailed note of everything included in the scope of your renovation from start to finish. Ensure that your builder/contractor has a copy of this.
Ensure Everyone Is on the Same Page
If you are dealing with separate subcontractors, make sure that everyone has a copy of the list. Add the schedule as well so that they can make a plan in case of dependency. Everyone knows who is going to be onsite on a particular day.
Break into Subsections
Break your main list into subsections for each room in your house. Make sure that it includes every minute detail, including the finish, hardware, etc. The more detailed it is, the more apparent it will be to the contractor.
Finalize Your Design
Ensure that the design is finalized before you go ahead with the work. Take your time, draw up plans, get everything ready before proceeding. Without a design in place, you will find yourselves constantly making changes resulting in unnecessary expenditure.
Put it into Writing
Make sure that every tiny detail pertaining to the home remodel is included in the design. As well as preventing mistakes, you can also get an accurate valuation with a detailed specification. More than that, you can avoid disputes over the quote.
Stand by Your Decisions
Your contractor is more likely to bring along new changes, materials, or other alternate options for your renovation work. See to it that you stand by your decisions. Making changes on the fly can only lead you to make impulse moves that you will likely regret later on.
Remodel the House on a Budget
Remodeling your home is an expensive venture. However, it is also possible to renovate when you are low on funds; all you need to do is be resourceful and buy inexpensive but quality materials.
Here are a few ways by which you can remodel your home when you are on a small budget:
Start your renovation work with a deep clean. It is an easy but cost-efficient way to give it a new look and feel.
Paint the Exterior
If you have the budget to do one thing, use it to repaint the exterior, including doors and windows. The right paint and color combination can breathe a new life into your home.
Good landscaping can increase the curb appeal of your home and make it look neat.
Revamp the Front Door
Upgrade your front door with some bright and welcoming paint. In addition to that, add some decorative elements and change the hardware while you are at it.
Paint the Interior
A new coat of paint can transform the gloomiest of all homes and make it attractive to potential homeowners and renters.
Reface the Kitchen Cabinets
Instead of replacing your kitchen cabinets, reface them with a new coat of paint and hardware. It can make even the most ancient of cabinets look new.
With a new backsplash, even a simple subway tile, and grout in the kitchen and bathroom can enhance your home.
While new countertops breathe a new life into your kitchen, they can be expensive. Why not use peel and stick countertops resembling natural stones like marble and granite for a stylish appearance?
Replace the Carpet
A carpet is quite versatile. You can use it to cover old flooring and add a new life to the rooms. Furthermore, carpets are easy to install, so DIY it yourself with the help of few videos.
Vinyl flooring nowadays is cheap and is available in a peel and stick format. You can do it yourself, and it doesn’t require any particular skill.
Update Bathroom Fixtures
Replace the bathroom fixtures like the sink and shower to brighten up your bathroom. Instead of replacing your tub, reface it. That way you can retain the character if it’s an older style.
Upgrade Light Fixtures
Ensure that your home is brightly lit. Replace old lightbulbs with bright LEDs. In the same way, give a new life to your light fixtures by repainting them with metallic paint.
Tips for Planning a Home Renovation
While it is tempting to skip the tedious process of planning and jump to more exciting things like paint colors, fixtures, and fittings, it is essential for any successful renovation.
Here are some tips to make the best use of the planning process:
- Do not be afraid to ask the contractor endless questions about every step of the process. Get their opinion about the budget, building materials, and the schedule. However, do not let them railroad you into buying expensive products.
- Set up a remodel binder that has all the paperwork and information you may need.
- Start your renovation with the structural projects. Ensure that your foundation is strong, the roof is sound, and the electrical system is safe before going on to cosmetic changes.
- As with every home renovation, you are sure to have waste piling around as the work goes on. Plan ahead for waste removal. Include the cost of waste removal in your budget.
- Have your contractor set aside a plain area as your living space to wind down at the end of the day.
On average, a home remodeling project takes anywhere from 3-6 months to complete. However, this depending on the size and complexity of the project.
To ensure that your home remodel goes smoothly, you may need the involvement of a professional. While it may be expensive, it is always better to get someone experienced to prevent problems in the future.
Even the best-laid plans go awry. Set aside a portion of the budget for unexpected expenditure. In the same line, allot a few days worth of wiggle room for the same. Ensure that you incorporate both in your planning.
Pro Remodeling is a local, family-owned business established in Tucson in 1971 and is regarded as one of the most trusted, best run, and customer-friendly contractors that provide the best home remodeling Tucson has experienced. If you are interested in giving your fixer-upper bedrooms a new makeover, contact the experts at Pro Remodeling today for your free quote.