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Three Essential Planning Steps Before You Remodel

Remodeling a home can be one of the most exhilarating experiences, particularly once the work is complete and you can sit back and enjoy the finished product. Sometimes getting to that point can be less enthralling, admittedly, as anyone who has been through a complicated home improvement project can confirm. There are always going to be some hiccups along the road to a finished project – the eventual success of your remodel will hinge, in the main, on whether those hiccups stay small, or develop into real problems.

Below, we will go into some points of planning that you have to be 100% sure of before you embark on a remodel. Some aspects of the work can, undoubtedly, change in mid-flow, but there are other parts of the job that need the certainty that can only come with prior planning – and once you have these aspects nailed down, everything else will become much easier.

Set your budget before anything else

The first step in any remodeling project is to have your budget conclusively settled – in terms of both a preferred total and a contingency amount that takes into account the possibility of complications. One of the most damaging issues that can strike a redevelopment is a budgetary creep – the more that you allow additional expenses, the more you will end up exceeding your budget. Red lines are important in any project, and getting your budgetary red lines will give you clarity on what compromises you can make going forward.

Having a set budget will also help when it comes to negotiating with any contractors. If you know and are solid on, exactly how much you are willing to spend in a certain area of the remodel, you can have a walk-away number that strengthens your hand in negotiating.

Essential vs. Desirable – knowing the difference

rain 455124 1920When you are planning a remodel, there will be some aspects of the job that are largely or entirely cosmetic, while others are structural. Naturally, these categories play a major part in prioritizing aspects of the work, and while the cosmetic aspects can be fluid, the structural ones cannot. Before embarking on the job, for example, it will be essential to consult with the likes of Mr. Rogers Windows to ensure that you are picking windows that will work in your planned remodel; you will have to speak with plumbers and electricians if the remodel involves water or wiring changes, and so forth.

Changes to the overall structure of your house need to be completed on time because they affect your everyday life, so they need to be planned and signed off on before the work begins. Non-structural changes like choosing colors can be finessed as you go, although it’s still preferable to have them solidly planned.

Have alternatives for the areas affected by your remodel

Ideally, a remodeling project will be completed on time and within budget, and will impact so little on your everyday life that the entire process breezes by without you noticing. However, reality dictates that this will not be the case, so it is essential to make allowances for the inevitable wrinkles remodeling will throw into your daily routines. For example, if you are renovating the kitchen, be aware that this could mean it’s out of commission for cooking for at least a while. Set up a “back-up” kitchen, whether this means having a microwave in a pantry area, or firing up the BBQ grill for a few evenings of alfresco dining.

Similarly, if your home office is going to be affected by the renovation, consider moving your admin work into a coworking space for the duration, or find a quiet part of your property and seclude yourself there. Use an external hotspot to provide a web connection and enjoy the view. It’s better to do this than try and find a way that you and the contractors can work around one another; that is doomed to end up as a messy compromise, and usually means that both you and they will experience delays in completing what you’ve set out to do.

Planning the essential parts of your renovation ahead of time means you can confidently embark upon the project and ensure that it is completed within the time frame you had in mind. Better yet, it allows you to have control over the budget and minimize the impact that it will have on your home life – ensuring that you get all of the advantages of a home improvement with a minimum of the unpleasant aspects.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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