As anyone who’s ever attempted a renovation project knows, renovations take work and can be challenging. With careful planning and research you can avoid the common pitfalls of renovations.
- Know Your Goals
The first step in planning for a renovation is to really consider what you hope to gain from it. For example, it’s easy enough to say you want to redo the bathroom but if you don’t know what you want from your new bathroom, you won’t be able to go through any of the follow-up steps without problems. Do some research to find out whether the renovations you have in mind will actually add value to your home and what they involve. You may also want to consult with an architect, designer or an expert specializing in home renovations to help you with ideas and to draw up a design plan.
2. Be Realistic
The second step is to find out what is actually possible so you won’t hit snags that can put an end to the project halfway through. Especially for more extensive renovations, you should get a structural engineer to take a look at your home and see if the structure will support what you have in mind. You also need to find out what the local laws and bylaws are, whether you’ll be allowed to make the changes you want to make and which permits you need to obtain.
3. Do the Financial Prep Work
The third step is getting the money in place for your renovation project. Renovations are unique and its best to meet with a financial advisor for individual advice.
4. Outline the Details
Once you know what you want, what you can do and what you can afford, it’s time for the fourth step, which is to draw up a detailed plan. Get the help of a design firm with experience in renovations to work out every detail of the project, the timeframe for each job to be completed and the materials you’ll need. If you haven’t applied for the necessary permits yet, this is also the time to do so.
5. Shop for Contractors and Materials
The fifth step is to start shopping. You’ll need the right contractors for the job, so interview several. Ask them for quotes on how much the work will cost and whether they can commit to the timeframe. Check their references and visit other sites they’ve worked on before making your final decision. At the same time, you may want to get all the materials you’ll need for the project. This allows you to make small changes to the plan if any of the materials cost more than what you’ve budgeted for, before you sign any contract for construction.
Once you’ve carefully completed each initial step, from assessing your goals to careful budgeting and researching contractors, the actual renovation process will be easier and you’ll soon have the home of your dreams.
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The opinions expressed in this article regarding home renovations are those of the author and not The Bank of Nova Scotia.