Whether you’re planning on renovating for profit or are aiming to transform your house into the family home of your dreams, renovating any abode is a monumental task. To help make the process easier, we’ve pulled together the ultimate renovation planning guide to start you off on the right foot.
No matter how big or small, renovating your home requires a severe amount of attention paid to all the details. But, if you set yourself up correctly with a clear plan in mind, you can spare yourself some of the headaches.
If you’re thinking of renovating your home, chances are, your mind is flooding with ideas. You’re most likely getting advice from family and friends, as well as the many different home renovation blogs online.
The biggest obstacle to home renovations is not knowing where to begin. It is kind of like a great unknown, especially if it’s your first time.
Here’s what you can do, take a step back and get your thoughts in order. A home renovation project requires objectivity. Here are some things that you can do.
Why You Should Remodel Your Home?
Getting down to the motivation of a remodel is the first step towards getting your project started. Before you go making additions or recrafting your kitchen, you should decide why you are remodelling.
When you get right down to it, there are two primary reasons to remodel. One is because you want to improve your current living conditions. The other is to increase the value of your home, in order to sell it later.
The reason for a remodel can affect crucial elements like the overall timeline of a project and its budget.
Among other things, you’ll want to consider:
- How much time can you allot for this project?
- How much money are you willing to spend?
- If you’re moving, how soon?
- If you’re not moving, can you live while your home is in a state of remodel?
Once you’ve established why you’re remodelling and can answer the questions above, you can finalise what exactly your home renovation project will encompass.
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What is Remodeling Project Right for Your Home?
The greatest thing about a problem room or an outdated kitchen or bathroom is – you can fix them! By now, you’ve run through the options (and there are a lot of them) of what your potential remodel could include, but it’s important to consider everything before you commit.
For example, more and more homeowners have resorted to energy-efficient remodelling to increase the value of their home and a method for saving on their energy bills! “Going green” isn’t always the first thing a homeowner may think when they start dreaming up a remodel, but it offers value to families planning to stay in their homes or those who are looking to sell.
A majority of renovation projects can be divided into one of two categories: additions or remodelling. The names are pretty self-explanatory, but acquisitions involve the process of creating new space or adding to a home, while remodels focus on changing what a home already has.
Some of the most common additions include:
- Sunroom additions
- Second story additions
- Master suite additions
- Great room additions
- And more
Remodels can include any element of a home, but more common types include:
- Whole house renovation
- Bathroom remodelling
- Kitchen remodelling
- Basement remodelling
- And more
Since you have already uncovered why you are remodelling, you can now assess your home state. List what you have, what you don’t have, and what you need to make your home renovation dream a reality!
After you decide what area of your home the addition or remodel will encompass, you can move onto the fun part! You likely have some concepts in mind but continue developing ideas and breaking down what you want your home to remodel to look like. Visiting contractor galleries is a great way to get inspired and see what other homeowners have come up with.
Determine Your Intent
Are you renovating to fix issues that plague your home or to increase its resale value? Think specifically of what your problems are in terms of space, light, and storage. Exploiting each of these elements to their fullest is key to creating a home that fits your needs like a glove. Whatever your space and budget, there’s an optimal solution for each part of this home-design trinity.
Examine your home
Before anything, take a look at what could benefit from changes in your home. You can go from one room to another to work out systematically what needs upgrading or renovating. Check the flooring, the walls, the ceilings, and lighting and airflow.
From there you should get a good idea as to the extent of the work required. Write down the possible solutions and items that need purchasing.
This is tied closely to determining your intent. By finding out what needs fixing in your home, you can work with the designer to create a home design that meets your needs.
An experienced and reputable design and build team will help you find solutions and work with the available space and your budget.
They will also build you a home that will grow with your family, meaning you will not need another home renovation when your kids reach high school, or when your parents decide to move in, or when you have another baby.
Find Out Your Budget.
Find out how much money you have for a home renovation project that would meet your needs. Are you taking out a loan? How much are you allowed to take out, and how much are you going to supplement?
Search for a designer and builder for your home renovation project
The next step is to find the most appropriate designer and builder for your home renovation project. If you can get a design and build team, it’s much better.
What makes a design and build company better than separate service providers is that they are more open to working with fixed-price contracts.
They offer the advantage of giving you a firm price quotation, quite unlike having a separate home designer and builder – which usually results in surprise charges and unexpected work later on.
Lastly, bringing together all your project elements under one contract and one unified workflow means a seamless delivery from initial concept through to completion.
Home renovation need not be a stressful undertaking with a design-build team that will take care of applying for CDCs or DAs, obtaining structural certifications, advising on materials and fittings, site preparation and rubbish removal, organisation of trades and final handover.
Highest Value Renovation Projects
Understanding your potential return on investment is critical before starting a new renovation project. The simple reality is that few projects instantly increase your home’s value in proportion to their cost. Still, many projects lead to increased values and high returns on investment over just a few years.
According to a Realtor.com article, the following projects feature high returns on investment:
- Fibreglass insulation in the attic
- Steel entry door
- Stone veneer (manufactured or real)
- Kitchen remodel
- Siding replacement
- Bathroom remodel/addition
- Universal bathroom redesign/remodel
- Basement finishing
Determining What You Can Afford
One of the most critical components of any home renovation plan is a budget. The sad reality is that many people skip this stage entirely and rush into their project without a plan to pay for it.
As a result, many people exhaust their cash resources and take on high APR credit card debt to complete their projects. Hearth’s previously mentioned study revealed that an alarming 16% of millennials are likely to refinance a home renovation project using credit cards.
Credit cards are admittedly convenient, and 0 per cent APR financing offers can be alluring. However, financing large home renovation projects using credit cards can trigger unexpected high payments and crippling interest charges once promotional offers expire in 6 to 12 months.
When planning a renovation budget, a wise rule of thumb lies in estimating total project costs and adding 15-20%. My wife and I used this technique when planning our basement renovation. It helped us determine how much cash we could afford to spend (without exposing ourselves to a financial emergency) and whether we would need to seek affordable financing to complete the project. At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of home builders Melbourne.
Ultimately, we qualified for a small loan with low payments at an interest rate lower than our current mortgage interest rate.
Considering Financing Options
Once armed with the knowledge of how much you need to borrow, it is best to research financing options from various sources. One common renovation mistake is applying for a loan with only one lender and accepting their offer right away.
Many borrowers fear that applying for multiple credit offers is too time-consuming, damaging to their credit score, and exposes them to theft. These worries may have been relevant in the past to varying degrees, but today’s processes have eliminated mainly these worries.
Things You Must Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation
Invest in a Key Lockbox
If you’re renovating your home before you actually move into it and live far away, consider investing in a key lockbox. If there are significant projects on your checklist that you can’t do yourself, you’ll need to hire a contractor. Remember that contractors start early, so unless you want to drive in morning rush-hour traffic to let workers inside, plan to attach a lockbox or install innovative door hardware that allows you to provide entry to guests with a code. It can save you countless hours, gallons of fuel, and painful, early morning wake-up calls.
Spend Time in the Space
As obvious as it might seem, it is essential to hold off on some decisions like paint colours, carpet, and light fixtures until you spend time in the space you’re renovating. For example, if you want to replace dated carpet, the choices can be overwhelming. Dense or loose fibres? Striated or no pattern? What exact shade of grey? The answers depend on the other aspects of the renovation, like choosing paint colours. Paint palettes selected before the renovation started to need to be seen on walls and could change as you spend time in the house. Freshly painted walls and new carpet can reveal that some light fixtures don’t illuminate the space as you thought they would. If you spend a little more time upfront considering how everything works together in the room you’re remodelling, you can save yourself several back-to-the-drawing-board moments.
Be Realistic About Your Timeline
Your renovation will take longer than expected, so be prepared and make accommodations to avoid frustration. For example, you might think replacing a whirlpool tub, and outdated double vanity in a bathroom will be quick. Removal of the old fixtures can take a few hours, but locating a new tub and vanity you love can take several weeks. It can be another two weeks before they’re delivered. An expectation of using your new hall bath within a week can turn into a six-week waiting period. Be realistic about the renovation process and timeline, and select your new updates before having the existing materials removed.
Expect the Unexpected
All homes hold secrets, in the walls, under the floors, and elsewhere. A renovation can bring those to light. Like when your contractor tells you your floors are uneven due to a shifted centre joist while measuring for your highly anticipated new hardwood floors. Now you need to deal with the home inspector who missed it and get the floor joist repaired before the new material can go down. This is just one example of how you should expect the unexpected by planning extra time in your renovation timeline and extra money into your renovation budget to allow for unanticipated mishaps along the way.
Interview Multiple Contractors
It pays to interview multiple contractors and compare bids. Suppose you want your water heater removed from an upstairs closet and a new one installed in the garage. The first plumber you ask says he plans to charge $6,000 and would reroute hot water lines. Cutting into your living room tray ceiling to do so. The second plumber said it was too much work. Plumber three plans to finish the job in a day and charge $3,285 with no water line rerouting needed. Without interviewing multiple contractors, you run the risk of paying too much and not getting what you want. It pays to do your homework and talk to several experts before making a final decision.
Renovate Your Kitchen First
Homeowners often want to know in what order they should renovate a house. It’s best to start with the kitchen because these remodels add significant value to your home. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s 2019 remodelling impact report, realtors estimate that homeowners can recover 59% of a complete kitchen renovation cost if they sell their home. Plus, if you have an outdated kitchen, upgrading the worn-out space will let you better enjoy the space while you’re home. Practically speaking, you’ll want to do the kitchen remodel first because that work will create the most dust and debris, which you won’t want landing on new paint or finish jobs. It’s always a good idea to isolate any demolition mess by putting plastic over doorways or pass-throughs. Since extensive kitchen remodels typically takes several months to complete, you’ll want to set up a temporary substitute kitchen in the dining room, family room, or another adjacent area in your house. Check out our range of Melbourne home builders for your dream house.
Be Specific About Design Ideas
You’ll want to narrow down your design preferences before you meet with an interior designer. Get inspiration from browsing home decorating magazines, interior decorating websites, and design shows. Getting a handle on a design direction will help you avoid being talked into a designer’s ideas, which might differ from your vision for the renovation. Also, keep your designer strictly on your budget. Don’t allow them to purchase expensive materials and charge you for it later. If you try to stay within a specific time frame, your costs will remain low, too.
Tips for Hiring a Professional Remodeling Company
Now that you have established why and what you are remodelling, it’s time to get down to the “business” side of things. Hopefully, you’ve set a budget for your project, but it’s important to note that experts urge homeowners to allow 15 to 20% in their planned expenses for contingencies.
Finalising your finances may include applying for a loan, but you may want to contact a remodelling company before this.
Many home remodelers offer free consultations, which gives homeowners rough ideas of what to expect from their company and a timeline for the project.
When it comes to finding the right remodelling company, communication is critical. You want to establish clear expectations and costs before the process begins. This line of dialogue should continue throughout the project’s length, but making sure you’re both on the same page early could prevent costly mistakes in the long run.
A professional company will be able to aid in more ways than one. Along with suggesting ideas and making sure your remodelling aspirations are feasible, remodelling companies are essential when it comes to finding subcontractors for plumbers, electricians or anything else you may need.
When it comes to remodelling your home, finding a remodeler you can trust is more than half the battle, take the time to get to know the company you wish to hire, take suggestions from friends, and do your research online.
By establishing why your home needs a good to remodel, what that remodel will look like, and finding an affordable, trustworthy company to get the job done, you’ll be well on your way to having a newly renovated home! Although intimidating at first, planning your home renovation should be an enjoyable experience. By having a clear vision, preparing for the various stages, and choosing a great remodelling company, you can rest assured knowing your project will be a success!