1. Clearly define the scope of the project
By drawing out a detailed scope of project (or project plan), you can be sure that the end results will live up to your expectations. Ask yourself, “What are my objectives for this home improvement project?” as well as, “What are my constraints?”. Defining the scope of your project will also allow you to assess whether or not you really want to proceed with the project; whether or not your budget is adequate for the work you want done; and whether or not you’ll be able to cope with the inevitable disruptions that the renovation will bring.
Defining the scope of your project will also ensure that you and your contractors are on the same page from the very beginning. This way, you’ll be able to manage expectations from the start and you’ll be able to make sure that the end result is one that everyone is happy with.
When to start: 6-12 months before your project.
2. Set a project budget (and provide for contingencies!)
Be realistic about what you are willing to spend on your home improvement project and stick to it. Your budget will include the costs for permits, building materials, labour costs, the cost of decorations or cosmetic touches, etc. If using a professional renovation or construction company, ensure that they provide you with a detailed quote and schedule of finishes.
Also remember to take into account that accidents can happen and some uncontrollable situations may effect your project. To ensure that you don’t blow your budget, expect the unexpected and allocate at least 10 per cent of your project budget to cover any possible excess costs.
When to start: 3-6 months before your project.
3. Set a project timeline
Set a desired start date and a projected completion date. Be realistic about how long each task will take and set a priority list for tasks. Make sure that your timeline takes into account the time needed to clean and clear the area, the time needed for materials to deliver, and for any public holidays and potential bad weather days. Once again, prepare to be faced with unexpected delays and events. Allow for some wiggle room in your timeline to provide for any unforeseen issues.
When to start: 2-3 months before your project.
4. Strategically prepare your home
Once the planning stages are over and the project is set to begin, it’s time to pack up your valuables and prepare the project space. Whether or not your home will be liveable during the project period depends on the work you’re getting done. If you’re planning on staying, make sure you’ve made arrangements to accomodate for the work. For example, if you’re renovating or remodelling your kitchen, set up a ‘mini kitchen’ area elsewhere with dishes and cutlery, a microwave, a fridge, and other minor appliances so that you have a temporary place to cook and eat.
During this time, it’s also worth investing in a proper self storage facility. That way, your belongings will be stored away safely and securely and you can have peace of mind knowing that they won’t get damaged during the renovation.
When to start: make plans 2-3 months before your project; pack up 1-2 weeks before your project.
5. Prepare a safe place for pets and children
Keep your children and pets as far away from the workplace as possible, and make sure that there are no possible ways for them to wander into the workplace. Establish the traffic areas, and keep them far away from these areas. Ideally, try and plan for the kids to be at school, daycare, or out of the house and your pets to be in the yard or at pet daycare.
When to start: make plans 2-3 weeks before your project.
6. Do one final deep clean of your home
Commit to cleaning the workplace thoroughly before the project is scheduled to start. To ensure that dust and dirt doesn’t contaminate any of the materials during the renovation, dust and vacuum the area thoroughly. Investing in an air filtering system would also be useful in minimising dust.
When to start: 1-2 days before your project.
The scariest part of your first home renovation, extension, or remodelling project is the feeling of walking into the unknown. However, with the right team and the right planning, it can be a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience. If you’re after an accountable, reliable, and experienced team to do the job for you, feel free to contact us at any point to discuss your potential plans.