At some point, every homeowner dreams of breathing new life into their surroundings. When a change of soft-furnishings and new paint just aren’t hitting the spot any longer, it’s perhaps time to think about remodeling or upgrading your spaces. Whether it’s a complete overhaul to create additional space to your rooms, to upgrade dysfunctional or unhealthy materials, make your home more eco-friendly or because your home is crying out for more functionality- making the decision to remodel could be one of the wisest investments you ever made.
Better Homes and Gardens may provide inspiration for how to achieve your new look and even make it appear easy to achieve a whole new home in a few days, but the reality is perhaps not so simple! Before you break out the drawing board, there are several factors to consider. So here are 7 things not to do when remodeling:
Don’t Wing It
No two home restoration projects are the same and most vary in terms of reconstruction. However, all require a strategy. Some will also warrant an architect and/or an interior designer. However if this is not an option for you and you are going down the DIY route, ensure you do some research and perhaps seek the advice of a professional.
These steps will ensure that you get your desired aesthetic right the first time and will help you formulate an achievable design that you love. Remodeling without a floor plan can have disastrous and expensive consequences. Various fundamentals intermingle when remodeling a space — piecing them together on paper beforehand ensures that you’ll identify any issues before they become major. If you do decide to go it alone, there are software packages available to help you plan the renovation and refurbishing of your home.
Even the most accomplished DIYer can benefit from doing some homework! Sometimes it’s necessary to learn new skills from scratch or to revise tried and tested tactics. Many home renovation projects become multi-room and will require multiple skill sets. So before you choose which task to embark on first, it’s wise to determine what level of knowledge, skills and experience you already have in order to implement your project. Remember, some home developments require more expertise than others. So a little brushing up on knowledge and tactics will only be helpful in the long term.
Don’t Recruit Friends and Family
We’ve all been there – we’ve needed to stick to strict budgets so we’ve enlisted friends and family in order to save ourselves some precious time and money. This is unfortunately often counterproductive and can lead to expensive errors, accidents and worst case scenarios coming to life. Unless your friends and family are qualified and experienced in home renovations, then it’s probably best to not enlist their help.
Don’t Disregard Local Building Regulations and Codes
This is an essential and often overlooked aspect of home remodeling. Many homeowners assume that they are entitled to carry out any reconstructions and renovations on their own home. However, depending on where the home is located, building codes, regulations and statutes must be taken into consideration. This is especially true if there will be new installations such as a pool, new foundations or installing certain structural components. So make sure to check the requirements in your area and take the necessary steps to ensure a seamless completion.
Never Assume that Your Budget won’t Go Over Your Estimation
So you’ve done your homework thoroughly, have prepared your budget and calculated (to last dollar) exactly how many resources, labor and all the various project components will cost. However, there should always be a contingency plan in place and an over-budget budget. It’s of course, impossible to plan for every eventuality. Unforeseen circumstances and extra costs often crop up before, during and after the project starts. There are infinite possibilities of what can occur when rewiring electrics, building structures and installing plumbing. Older building renovations can reveal mold or asbestos, leaking and broken pipes or decaying and deteriorating woodwork. Realistic budgets are in fact a rarity, and often even the smoothest projects go over. There are many factors to take into consideration when working out your contingency fund, however the general rule of thumb is to have at the very least 5%, if you have a good contractor, and 15-30% without.
Don’t Ignore what the Building is Telling You
It’s important sometimes to take a step back and appreciate the structure for what it already is. Be sympathetic to its style, quirks and foibles. It is generally better to compliment them than contradict. Houses need careful consideration when it comes to renovation and whilst we may desire a floor-to-ceiling glass-fronted bedroom window, the current style or indeed location may not lend itself to this. Would an ultra-modern high-spec kitchen sit well in a Victorian building? Possibly, but ensuring that it’s done in a way that’s considerate and in-keeping with the aesthetic and capabilities, will end up increasing the value of your home. Homes can and do evolve, there are no rules when it comes to making the most of your space, but really get acquainted with your house and do your due diligence before whipping out the sledgehammer.
Don’t Think that Your Fantasy Project is Impossible
Many homeowners believe the reality of home renovation to be bleak. It can appear overwhelming and completely out of reach, especially if there are cost, time and resource restraints. But before you discount the idea as a pipe-dream, again, do your research. If you think that you perhaps can’t afford your entire modernizing project at this time, or you don’t have sufficient designs at hand to fully imagine your renovation, take your time. Do smaller projects such as window and door replacements or solar panel installation. Ask the advice of professionals – architects, interior designers, landscapers and contractors. They are skilled at making home renovation dreams a reality, sometimes in gradual stages and at more affordable rates, using methods and materials that you may not have considered.
Your home is an investment. Take the time to discover how to make it distinctively yours and give it the TLC it deserves with a wonderful and unique renovation project.