It takes more than just waking up one day and declaring you would like a home renovation, and poof, it’s done. Wouldn’t that be nice? A successful home renovation is never as easy as it may seem. It is best to go into the project with realistic expectations backed by research. 

Take a look at our 7 steps to home renovation success:

Plan, Plan, Plan

With any home improvement project, the most critical step in the process is to make a plan. 

  • Product Selection: Look into what products you would like, whether it be specific cabinetry or hardware, and start the process. Popular styles may have waiting lists. And they all have manufacturing and shipping estimates that should be considered in the plan. 
  • Work Completion Checklist: Make a master list of all of the tasks you would like to complete. Get detailed in your list, complete with drawings and measurements. 
  • Research on Average Timelines: Look into your home renovation project, and conduct research on how long a bathroom remodel or finishing a basement should take. Be sure to plan in a few extra days for possible delays in the process. 
  • Research on Costs: Before you meet with a contractor or budget for your home renovation, find out what the average overall cost should be. If you are choosing luxury upgrades, take that into consideration for your home renovation budget. 
  • Plan for Outages: During construction, you may have times where your water or power is shut off. It is better to expect and be prepared for those times rather than scrambling at the last minute. Come up with a plan for your family during those times. 

The most important part of planning is to go into the home renovation with ample knowledge and preparations for surprises that may come your way. A great contractor will be happy to work with a homeowner who has done their research. 

Research to Create a Vision

Reach out to friends and neighbors and ask about their home renovation experiences. Get advice on general contractors they’ve used, what they liked and didn’t like about them, and tips they might suggest. Talking with friends may change your initial plan if you learned from a mistake that they made. 

You can also research what styles are in right now, considering resale and trends. You don’t want to choose a style of cabinets or fixtures that are outdated or will not have replacement parts in the future. Consult with your contractor to find out the popular styles that will increase the value of your home. 

Set Goals

What would you like to gain from this home renovation? With any big commitment, you want to set goals to make sure you’re headed in the right direction toward your big-picture vision. You don’t want to get halfway through the home renovation to find out you have to eliminate the granite countertops from your kitchen renovation. 

When you are spending a lot of money on your home renovation, don’t forget to consider resale. With many remodeling projects, you invest the money back into your home to increase your home’s value. If your vision is unique, contemplate whether it would be desirable to potential buyers. Either tweak your plan or be okay with taking a loss if you would need to remodel again before you list your home for sale in the future. 

Be Realistic  

Whether you are adding onto your home with a home addition project or planning a backyard overhaul, be realistic in setting expectations that fit in with your budget. 

As the work begins, you may realize the benefits of hiring a contractor. A trusted team will already have the correct equipment, tools, and industry connections for securing quality building materials. If you also consider the amount of time it may take you to do the job on nights and weekends, a more realistic option may be to hire a professional contractor. 

Create and Know Your Budget    

A big part of the planning process is laying out the budget. This is best to do with consultation from an industry expert as there are a lot of hidden costs in home renovation projects. You may not think of checking for asbestos, rewiring electrical, or mold removal. 

A home renovation budget should include: 

  • Permits: Secure the correct licenses to get the project done correctly. Permits cost money and time. Often projects are delayed due to waiting for permit procurements. 
  • Materials: Make a list of the materials that you desire, with your highest priorities at the top. As you go down the list, you may need to alter the less-essential items to fit in with your budget. 
  • Labor: Get estimates on the cost of labor for a project your size. You can get a few different estimates, always asking for references and interviewing the contractors. 
  • Decorative Touches: Don’t forget to budget for the final touches, including furnishing the new space, new appliances, paint, and decorations. 

It is wise to add 10% for unexpected costs that may come up along the way. If you plan to be surprised with a setback, it won’t be as shocking when it happens. 

Prepare Financially

A key element to a home renovation process is deciding how you are going to pay for it. You can save up for the project or look into other options. It is always best to consult with a financial advisor before making a significant investment decision. Here are some options to consider: 

  • Cash Savings: You can put away money each month for home repair investments and use that money for your home renovation. 
  • Personal Loan: You may take out a personal loan with varying interest rates and payback timelines available. 
  • Home Equity Loan: If you have equity in your home, you can take out a loan on that equity and put the money back into your home to raise the value further. 

The only way a project can go forward is if there is money to back it. Make sure you are ready to finance your home renovation. 

Be Prepared for Everything Associated with a Home Remodel

You may think you covered it all in your remodel planning, but you may be missing some critical preparations. The construction process can be lengthy, and you need plans for alternative living spaces, renovation-free areas of the home for your sanity, and stress relievers to utilize when the going gets tough. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • Set Up a Temporary Kitchen: If you are undergoing a kitchen renovation, set up a spot in the house that acts as your temporary kitchen. You may have portable shelving for food and a sink to use in the laundry room or counter space to set a microwave. Get creative, so you aren’t forced to eat out for the project’s length (and consequently, increase your food budget.)
  • Pack Up Breakables: Construction is noisy, messy, with dust everywhere, and potential for accidents. If you have valuables around the house that you want to protect, pack them up and move them out of the construction area. 
  • Sectioning Off the House for Children and Pets: Put up gates to keep children and pets away from the construction zone for their safety. 
  • Stress: Plan to be stressed out. Find ways that you can step away and relieve yourself from the stress of your ongoing home renovation. 
  • Setbacks: When you plan for setbacks, the blow won’t hurt as badly when you discover them. Whether it be shotty wiring that the previous owners left behind or rotting wood, surprises are expected—plan for them. 

And most importantly, plan to sit back and enjoy your new space when the construction is all over, and you have your home back to yourself. When you picture that finish line, walking into a new kitchen or bathroom or basement, and enjoying all of your design choices and hard work, it will all be worth it. 

Hire a Home Renovation Contractor in NJ (and an Architect)

You can make your remodeling project go as smoothly as possible when you follow these tips. For a successful home renovation, team up with Tandem Contracting to get the job done right. Also consider hiring an architect if the project is big enough. You can save yourself loads of stress during your remodeling project by hiring a team you can trust. Contact us today to set up your first consultation and get all of your questions answered.