No one ever said that remodelling a house was easy, but it can be a lot of fun if you know how to plan your projects. By following some simple steps, you can avoid common pitfalls and make the process less stressful. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the basics of home remodelling planning so you can get started on your next project with confidence.
First—What Goal Are You Working Towards?
The first step in planning any remodelling project, whether it’s a simple room refresh or a complete gut job, is to determine the end goal. What are you hoping to achieve with the remodel? A new kitchen layout that’s more functional? A more open floor plan? A master suite with a spa-like bathroom? Breathing some new life into a dated bedroom?
Once you have a clear vision of what you want the finished space to look and feel like, you can start to make decisions about the scope of the project. For example, are you planning on gutting the entire kitchen, or can you get the effect you’re after through a few small projects like putting in some new backsplash?
During this phase, you’ll also want to check whether you’ll need building permits. Unpermitted work is likely to come back to bite you down the line. Keep in mind that even the most carefully planned projects can run into unexpected delays and unforeseen costs, so it’s important to be flexible and realistic in the planned scope of your project.
How to Budget For a Home Remodel
You can often get a ballpark estimate of what it might cost to renovate a home on a per-room basis by checking around online. For a major bathroom remodel, for example, you might expect to budget $15K–$30K.
However, this may not take into account hiring a professional vs. DIYing your project, the cost of permits or tools, the varying finishes available, the specifics of the room you’re working with, or even government grants for specific kinds of projects like energy efficiency upgrades. Many times you can save thousands of dollars by being your own general contractor. Finding materials at wholesale prices can significantly increase your purchasing power. Having the skills to do the work yourself saves money on labour. The best way to budget for a home remodel is to research, research, research.
One way to estimate expenses for your particular project is to calculate the cost of your chosen materials against the area to be renovated. You’ll also want to take into account the cost of labour—which can run around half of a renovation budget, sometimes more for highly complex projects—the cost of relevant permits, and a cushion against unexpected events, such as discovering mould or a pest infestation.
Should You DIY or Hire a Contractor?
You can undoubtedly save a lot of money doing the entire remodel yourself. However, be wary of overreaching your current skill level. For some projects, it’s fine to not do everything perfectly, but don’t be afraid to call in help for projects that can become safety hazards if done incorrectly. The last thing anyone wants is to accidentally start an electrical fire or cause a slow leak in the plumbing.
How to Stay On Schedule During a Home Remodel
Any remodelling project, from putting a home theatre in the basement to finishing the attic, can be disruptive and stressful. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the disruption and stay on schedule.
First, to stay focused and on track, it’s important to have a detailed plan and timeline rather than winging it. Second, be realistic about what can be accomplished in a day or week. It’s often helpful to break the project down into smaller tasks so that you can see tangible progress being made. This will also help you keep track of what’s been done already and what’s left on the to-do list. Things almost always take longer than you expect.
Be mindful of falling into a “while I’m at it” mindset. It can be tempting to add on little projects here and there, but this can quickly balloon the scope of your project and cause delays. It’s important to stick to the original plan as much as possible.
Finally, it’s crucial to communicate with your contractor (if you’re hiring one) or whoever else is helping you with the remodel. Scheduling conflicts can make the process drag on unbearably.
This may seem like a theme by now, but be flexible and willing to adjust your plans as needed. Remodelling projects are controlled chaos. If you’re prepared for setbacks, you’ll be more likely to stay on schedule and spare your mental health. It’s a good idea to overestimate the time any given task will take. This gives you time to take your time doing things right, not feel rushed, and shop around for the best materials, prices, etc.
Last Step: Celebrate Your Finished Project!
After all the work is done, it’s time to enjoy your newly renovated home! Take a step back and admire your handiwork. Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Pour yourself a glass of wine or open a beer—you deserve it. Your home is now one step closer to being the perfect reflection of your personal style.