Renovating a house or even a certain room can take up a lot of time and money – as well as energy. Even if you aren’t doing the work yourself, the planning and redesigning can take up a lot of energy, albeit most of it is fun energy, it can still be tiring. If you’ve ever considered a renovation of your house or a specific room, here are a few things you might want to consider that you haven’t even begun to think about yet.
Once you start to get into the nitty gritty of all the plans, the design options, architectural features, paint and more, you will begin to realize that you are way over your budget. It happens. And that’s okay. But, that’s sort of the point of planning. If you are going to do an entire house, you need to sit down and think about what features matter to you the most. Then prioritize those features into a list. Are you willing to cancel out that unique and expensive built in coffee and tea bar for a bigger master closet? Are you willing to forgo the bigger pool in order to have a nicer deck? These are the things you need to think about. On the other hand if you are just doing a certain room, for example a master chef kitchen, then you will still run into budget issues, but you just need to use the same thought process. Are you willing to have a single sink instead of doubles to have money left over for that quartz counter top you always wanted? Or maybe you have been wanting imported Italian porcelain tiles for the flooring AND imported Italian wood for the cabinets. Which one is more important to you right this second? Because remember, down the line when you gather up and save more money you can upgrade the secondaries (the ones you chose to opt out of for something cheaper) in order to get the “top” item you really wanted.
Another thing to think about is these look alike items. For example, you might have wanted real wood cabinets, and that’s great – wood cabinets, especially real wood cabinets, look fantastic in a kitchen. But you have to remember that there are also cheaper options available that look like real wood, but they are much less expensive. This is possibly with almost any material – counter tops for example. Maybe you wanted something like granite – those black counter tops look exquisite in any kitchen. But, granite can be super expensive, not to mention the cost to install it. Instead you could look for something with similar appeal, function, design and durability, without cutting into your budget too much. Granite plus installation and labor may cost $7,000 on the low and $10,000 on the high. But, something just as pretty, functional and durable like soapstone will cost a fraction of that: $2,000 on the low and $4,000 on the high – and that includes labor, parts and installation.
Make sure that once you start to plan the renovation – full house or just a room that you take the time to find the best contractor. Make sure that they have been in business for over a year and that they have all the bells and whistles; a website, referrals for you to call, recommendations, social profiles that you can check out, a business address (not a P.O box!), and that you really check them out. And make sure you call those references too. It can be a nervous experience calling a stranger to ask them about experiences with the contractor in mind, but it will also be incredibly informative. Did they do the job they were supposed to? Were they on time every workday? Did they offer suggestions and alternatives to help save them money? Did the workers clean up after themselves every day? These are the things you want to ask. You also want to make sure they are a licensed contractor and that they have their own insurance so if anything happens to them or their workers on the job, you will not be held liable for hospital or doctor bills.
Most contractors will probably tell you that you only need to come to the renovation site once a week. But, I disagree. Mistakes happen, communication gets crossed, etc. It’s better to check in every single day via a phone call or by visiting the property to make sure that everything is going right and that the job is being done correctly the way you wanted it. Essentially this is a service that is being given to you, so by default you have a right to check in whenever you want. Don’t be a pest, but be available if they need you and to do your check-ins.
Have fun with this project. It’s not all work and no play. At the end of the day it’s your space so if you want it to look or feel a certain way – do it. Just remember that trends are coming and going all the time. So if you are basing something big on a trend it’s probably going to change in a year or two and it might be expensive to change it.