We’ve all heard more renovation horror stories then we’ve heard happy endings. It doesn’t have to end terrible. The important thing is to get educated on the process. I often warn clients going into a renovation of any scale can be tough on you mentally and physically. Even with all the preparation in the world, surprises can happen, budgets might creep and timelines can pass. Here’s how you can help yourself if you are tackling a renovation.
Hire the right professional! Whether it’s a designer, contractor, or gas fitter….hire people that know what they are doing and talking about. Check references and interview more than one. Hiring a friend of a friend might save you money up front, but if they are not experienced it will cost you in the end.
Take advice from the people who know best! If your designer tells you that purple carpeting is not the best choice….listen to them. Designers are constantly pushing envelopes and taking risks, but they are calculated and educated.
Find alternate living arrangements! I know this one can be tough for some budgets, but it will result in your all over happiness in the end. Living in a house under construction is painful, messy and it can be a huge distraction for the construction team. If you can’t leave for the entire renovation, try and get away for at least a few weeks while the bulk of the renovation is happening.
Don’t become the distraction! We all like to know what’s going on in our house, but being a busy body can actually create more problems. Walk through the house, make your notes and talk to your contractor. Don’t stand around talking to the trades and taking time away from their jobs.
Don’t take the lowest price! When prices start to add up its very tempting to take the lowest price. It’s crucial for the overall success of your project to make sure you assign value to each item. A contractor or designer will help you with this, but if you are working on this yourself you will need to see where it is important to spend more money. As an example, you are doing a bathroom renovation and you want the shower to feel spa-like and luxurious, you might want to give a heftier budget to the tile and plumbing fixtures and pull some out of the cabinetry and flooring. Making sure you are properly using your budget is the key to a great renovation story.