When you’re taking on a new home remodeling project in your home, whether it's a DIY quick fix or a total home renovation, it can seem like your to-do list is never ending. There are many benefits to taking on your own home projects, but there are plenty of challenges you'll face along the way, too.
Three Important To-Do's On Your Home Remodeling Checklist
In this post, we'll take you through three important to-do's that you'll need to consider when taking on a home renovation project.
To Do #1: Think About Your Budget
Putting together a budget is the first step towards getting your home renovation project off the ground. A good rule of thumb for planning your remodelling budget is not to spend any more than 10%-15% of your home's value on any one room. For example, if your home is valued at $300,000, you can expect to spend no more than $45,000 on say, a kitchen remodel. For a master bathroom or a room addition, you'll see a cost of about $100 to $200 +/- per square foot. You should also factor all costs into this budget, including permits, labor costs, how much it may cost you to hire a skip to dispose of waste, as well as building materials, fixtures and finishes. Additionally, we would strongly suggest adding a cushion of about 10%-15% on top of the estimated cost for your project. It is pretty uncommon for a home remodelling project to come in under budget, so factoring in a bit of a contingency will help to offset any unforeseen expenses.
If you're considering a room remodel, you might want to do a little online research to see how much similar projects are going for in your area. There are several websites, such as Houzz, that can give you an idea of how much your project might cost. While these are just estimates and not written in stone, it will give you a jumping off point for which to work from.
To Do #2: Obtain Permits
I can't begin to tell you how important it is to obtain a permit before you start any sort of remodeling project, whether it be big or small. It's a pain in the butt and a bit of an expense, but it's also necessary. Building permits are written authorizations issued by your city or county allowing you to complete your interior or exterior remodeling project by agreeing that you'll follow all codes and ordinances. They're almost always required, and without a building permit there is an extremely good chance of your project being shut down (via a "stop work" order), a fine being issued and worst of all, the inability to sell your property because of a lack of permit on record for the work performed.
If you are unsure whether or not you'll need a permit, speak to your architect and planning authority who will offer you some guidance on your project. If you do a permit, be sure to factor that cost into your budget. You can always speak to your remodeler to see if he's willing to obtain the permits on your behalf and include that cost into their proposal--especially helpful if you're financing your project since you won't have to pay "out of pocket" for permit fees.
To Do #3: Consider Your Responsibilities
Work on your dream home is about to get underway but before it does, it’s well worth holding a round table meeting for everyone involved in the project to meet with each other and to be sure that the schedule you’ve set is workable for everyone. Have your architect and builder talk through the plans and swap contact details so you don’t have to be so closely involved in micro managing the project.
If there are any misconceptions about the work at this meeting you have the opportunity to clear things up before a single hammer blow is taken.
During the life span of the project, you may want to be on site most days but you also don't want to make a pest of yourself. For a vetted, qualified remodeler, there's nothing worse than a micromanaging client. While you don’t want to hinder the progress of your builder, electrician or plumber, being available at least an hour or two each work day will help you form a bond with the tradesmen and foremen, and you can ask (and answer!) any questions or lend a hand when needed. Your number one responsibility during the course of your project, however, will be to ensure your onsite workers have a safe environment in which to work, so be sure that the area they are working in is free and clear of furniture and personal items, and make sure valuables and breakables are safely stored away from the work site.
These three to-do's are by no means the only items on your home remodeling to-do list, but they are extremely important to bear in mind as you begin your home remodeling journey.