Renovating a house—whether it is your primary residence or an investment property—can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Despite how eager you may be to get into the new project, it is important to make sure that you don’t just jump all in… Take some time, research, and really think the entire venture through.
When you are considering a remodel on your property, make sure you truly understand the depths of the project. Renovations can be fun, but as many comedic movies will show you, can turn south quickly if you are not careful. If you are thinking of remodeling, here are five factors that are vital to take into account before you begin.
1- Do-it-Yourself or Hire Out?
The most important decision when pondering a possible renovation is whether you are going to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself or if you are going to step back and let a licensed contractor handle it. The choice you make can have a major effect on the rest of the project. Cost, time frame, and intricacies are all factors influenced by whether you will be handling the project or a contractor.
2- Deadlines Matter!
Deadlines can make or break a project for many homeowners. If the property you are remodeling is your primary residence, starting a remodeling project just a few weeks shy of the holidays is probably not a good idea. If the property is a rental unit and you have new tenants moving in next month or your current tenants are about to start their college exams, for example, you may need to rethink your timing. If you are planning to do the renovation yourself, you will need to take into account that things can go wrong and these things tend to take much longer than you would originally think. If you are hiring out, being upfront with your contractor about deadlines will help alleviate any surprises for either of you later.
3- How Flexible is Your Budget?
Whether you are hiring a contractor or doing the project on your own, you will want to be crystal clear about your budget limitations. Make sure to leave yourself a buffer though. It is not uncommon to come across unforeseen hiccups when in the middle of a renovation project. You never know what is behind that cabinet or underneath that flooring. Make sure you are not going to back yourself into a corner by coming in too tight on the budget. Always leave a cushion.
4- Know What You Want, But Be Flexible!
In order to properly budget, it is important to know what you want ahead of time. Going into a renovation project without a plan in mind can cause things to get out of hand quickly and can cause a lot of wasted time while you are busy making decisions on the fly. Make a detailed plan before you actually start the venture, but remember to stay flexible. Colors look different when in a larger scale, materials go on sale or rise in price, and some concepts just don’t work when placed in real life situations.
5- Consult an Expert!
Even if you think you are going to do the project yourself, it is always a good idea to check with someone who is trained, certified, and licensed in those types of projects. What may seem like a simple idea could turn out to require other work to be done and you may not know that if you just start swinging your sledgehammer. If you are going to hire a contractor, consult with a handful of contractors to compare prices, concepts, and schedules.
Remodeling a property is always exciting, while simultaneously being nerve wracking. Taking these five factors into consideration before beginning the process will help ease the stress for everyone involved—you, your family, and any contractor you decide to hire.