You love the new home you bought, but it can do for a few improvements. The insulation and wiring are a little outdated. You like the kitchen, but you wouldn’t mind giving it a small facelift.
All of these renovations, no matter how small, will need careful planning if you want them to go smoothly. You’ll have to make sketches and apply for building permits.
You’ll also need to figure out a budget for your home improvement project. The last thing you want is to get more ambitious than your wallet will allow.
We can help you map out everything from creating your project timeline to hiring your contractors. Grab your construction tools, and let’s get started.
Think About Why You’re Making Renovations
Home improvement costs can be a little out there. You shouldn’t decide to start a project unless you know why you’re doing it. Some people knock out walls to build a nursery when they’re expecting a new child.
You may want to up your curb appeal so you can sell your home later. There’s nothing wrong with making improvements to impress your guests or to increase your quality of life. Whatever floats your boat.
Figure Out Your Budget
Now that you know why you’re doing your renovation, it’s time to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on it. You want to do this before you start the planning process. The last thing you want is to get a little overzealous with your blueprints and not be able to afford any of it.
This being said, if you want to go all out with your project, there are ways to get funding for home improvements. You can take out a home renovation loan. There are also low-rate 203k loans.
If you’ve been in your home long enough, there’s a chance that its built up equity. You can cash it in to fund your project.
Don’t qualify for these options? That’s no problem!
You can talk to your bank about personal loans. You’ll be able to take out the money you need for your project. The only stipulation is that you’ll have to deal with a high-interest rate.
Whatever you decide to do, take a moment to calculate all your month’s expenses. You want to make sure that you can afford your loan payments, or your credit score will take a hit.
Make Plans and Get a List Together
As soon as you have a working budget, you can begin drawing up your plans. What you do will depend on if you’re thinking about selling your house. If this is the case, you’ll want to do renovations that anyone would enjoy such as new flooring and a nice shower.
If you plan to stay in your home for a while, pull out all the stops with your own special touches. Once you have a design idea in mind, take out a piece of paper and a pencil to draw your vision out. You’ll need a physical copy of it when you go to get your permits.
Obtain Your Permits
Getting your permits is the worst part of the project because of how long it can set things back. It could take months for you to get the okay.
It’s still something that you have to do, though. If don’t go through the trouble, it will backfire on you when you go to sell your home.
There aren’t many people who will do the closing paperwork on a house without having an inspector come in first. If the home improvements you did aren’t up to code, you’ll have to make corrections. This can result in a devastating financial loss, not to mention, it will take longer to sell your place.
Create a Project Timeline
When you get approval for your housing project, you can then sit down and figure out how long you want your renovations to go on. Do yourself a favor and account for a little wiggle room. Setbacks may happen.
Your contractor could go in a room to do their thing only to realize that they can’t delve in until they fix other damages. You might have to put off painting the exterior of your house because it rains on the day you schedule it.
You could have to tackle some of your smaller home improvement projects before you can get to the big ones.
Hire Your Contractors
There are some projects that you can DIY. If you’re confident in your painting skills, you can handle that without hiring a contractor for it. If you want to upgrade your windows to a double pane set up, however, you’ll probably need to hire a home window replacement company.
In fact, chances are, you’re going to have to hire multiple contractors. If they can’t stay on the same page, your project will suffer for it.
That’s why you need to be a little picky about choosing your companies. If you have a family member or friend that’s gotten work done on their home recently, ask them for a referral. This will give you a good list of companies that you can look up on Google.
You do want to take any reviews that you find with an internet search with a grain of salt. People who have a good experience don’t usually comment.
So, head to the company’s website as well. Here you’ll be able to read positive testimonials. Now you have a good mixture of good and bad customer comments that you can work with.
While you’re on the company’s website, go ahead and check their credentials. Businesses that have all their licenses will display it. If they don’t, you can contact them and ask.
At this point, you should have a contractor or two in mind. Call them and schedule a meet-up. Talking to them in person and observing how they answer your questions will tell you a lot about their character.
Can You DIY?
Again, there are certain projects that you can DIY. Painting your home by yourself is a great way to save money, and it’s something that you can get the entire family involved in.
The important thing is that you know your limits. If you try to tackle complicated tasks like plumbing and electricity, you could make some expensive mistakes that a professional will have to go behind you and fix. It’s also dangerous.
Throughout your project, you’re going to have contractors walking in and out of your home all day long. You don’t want to give anyone that kind of power if you’re not around. You need someone there who can lock the door behind them and let them in.
There’s also the fact that questions will come up while the contractors are working. You’re going to need to be there to answer these queries.
Sit down with the contractors to come up with a schedule that works for both of you. After all, you don’t want them coming over when you’re still asleep or in the shower.
Pack Your Home
It’s going to be hard for your contractors to move around your home and get anything done if they’re met with obstacles at every turn. That means you’ve got to declutter and pack up anything you’re not going to be using for a while.
Put your things in boxes and stuff them in storage until your project is over. If you’re planning to remodel your entire home, you might want to consider renting a storage locker. You’re probably going to have too many boxes to put in your shed.
Protect Your Children and Pets
If you’re doing DIY projects like painting, you can give your kids a brush and get them involved. It’s cute and a great bonding experience.
It’s not cute when they’re getting in the way of your contractors. There are sharp tools everywhere, and it’s hard to supervise the kids and talk to the workers at the same time.
Put up childproof gates to block your little one off from the construction area. It’s the best way to keep them safe. You’ll want to do the same thing for your pets.
Home Improvement Tips That Will Make Your Project Go Smoothly
Are you thinking about sprucing up your place? Starting up a home improvement project is a great way to add personal touches to your space and make it your dream house.
It can be a lot of work if you don’t follow the steps we’ve mentioned here. If you fail to account for everything, it will make for a frustrating time for both you and your contractors.
If you’re looking for more ways to get your project underway, we’ve got all the tips you need right on our blog.