Top Ten Home Renovation Tips
Do you need home renovation tips? Do you long to renovate your kitchen, have a more luxurious bathroom, or just maybe you're brave enough to renovate your entire house? Well, look no further, because I have done it and am fairly confident that I can provide you with the best tips out there.
You know the saying in business, OPM? That stands for other people's money. Well, how about OPE? Other people's experience. Whether yours is a small project or the whole enchilada, armed with a little intelligence you can learn what I did right, and what's more, you can learn from my mistakes. And in the long run, that means more money in your pocket. Which is always a good thing! So if you're ready, read on!
My Top Home Renovation Tips
Get recommendations for contractors and get references from their customers. Personally, I would ask to speak directly with their satisfied, or as you might discover, not so satisfied customers.
If you are acting as your own contractor, as I did, you still have to oversee the tradesmen. Get everything in writing. And I mean everything. From the price of a can of paint, to installing new plumbing.
Home Renovation Tips: Budget, Negotiate and Communicate!
And then negotiate. You'll find that there's usually wiggle room somewhere. Don't be afraid to walk if you get a quote that's too high for your budget, just because you've been told it will be worth it. That kitchen that you just turned into a great room won't be so great if it keeps you up at night wondering how you're going to pay for it. So, barring winning the lottery, stick to your budget.
Communicate communicate communicate. And don't stop until the renovation is complete. Be clear and specific in your needs. Don't assume they understand you. In fact, doublecheck to see that you've communicated effectively. People, as a rule, aren't mind readers. This is where many people trip themselves up and end up spending far more than they'd intended.
Be prepared financially. At the end of the day, unexpected expenses will most assuredly arise. That granite backsplash you decided to go for unexpectedly covered up your newly installed electrical outlets and now the electrician has to redo them all. Oh, and he has to drill a large hole smack in the middle of the newly painted, faux finished wall that cost you an arm and a leg…and then the faux painter has to come back and redo the wall! Just breathe. . .
Home Renovation Tips: Preparation
Be prepared mentally. If you're renovating your kitchen, for example, are you prepared to be without running water and the ability to prepare meals? I personally had to wash dishes in the bathroom sink for three months because all of a sudden, the countertop I'd chosen was on backorder and they "forgot" to tell me. . . did I mention my pipes had been ripped out and I had no running water? Fun! Are you prepared for the dust that's kicked up from demolition? Will you need to move out if it's a large home renovation? Ah, and that seven A.M. pounding of the jackhammer. These are all realities of large or small home renovation; you really do have to be ready for it.
Make sure that your house is structurally sound to accommodate the new changes. Will the wiring support the extra power points? Can the heating cope with a room addition? Make sure the existing systems can cope with the changes you've planned.
Do you need permits? Are they costly? If it's a room addition, be prepared for an increase in your house taxes. If it's a new electrical box like I put in, be prepared to have all of your wiring inspected.
This may sound inconsequential. . . but down the road you will be so very glad you did this. Save the paint! Even if you pour the leftover paint in smaller containers, jot down the colors/numbers on each container and put them away. When you have to touch up a wall, the exact color will be within arm's reach. Happy days.
Have a sense of humor about it all. With these home renovation tips in mind, your renovation, while admittedly disruptive, is, at the end of the day, small stuff. It's not curing cancer, it's not sending a man to the moon. Yes, it's important to you, and it should be, but if you can have a few laughs along the way, you'll be better off. So what that the granite they delivered was the wrong color and the plumber is coming in the morning to install the pipes under the sink but now he can't because the countertop needs to be installed first?? And now, it's going to take that much longer and time is money. Ahhhh, welcome to home renovation. You simply can't expect it all to go smoothly. What can you do? Plan as best you can, keep these solid home renovation tips firmly in mind, expect the unexpected and leave a bit of padding in your budget (several of you will send me thank you notes for that one... someday!).
But seriously, my final tip to you is this: put it all in perspective. Smile, breathe, and have a wonderful time planning and executing your project. After all, this is about improving your home and getting more enjoyment from your life.