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Renovation: Where should I start?

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

A renovation is an overwhelming process, especially when you are not even sure where to begin. Follow this list to guide you through the process of beginning your remodel!


1. Decide your goal.

The first thing you should do when deciding to remodel your home is figure out your purpose. Why are you remodeling? What is your end goal with your home? It this your forever home or do you want to prepare it for resale? It may not seem too important, but this decision can influence the rest of your remodeling process. If you’re looking to resell you may want to invest in areas that will give you the most return and adjust your budget accordingly, whereas if you plan on staying there for a long time, you’ll want to budget on areas that are the most functionally important to you. If you’re creating your forever home you might want to choose very stylized materials to match your dream home, but if you are looking to resell you may want to think a little bit more inside the box. It can help you decide if you want to DIY or hire a contractor to do your work because if you go to sell your home that is not up to code you may have some further issues. Ultimately, whatever you choose to do with your home will greatly impact your renovation.


2. Do your research.

When I say do your research, I mean take a deep dive. The market is very different depending on the size of your space, your finishes, and your geographic area; be sure to take this into consideration when looking at your timeline and cost. You can call local companies to get their average price on a remodel or look at multiple online sources for average prices. Be sure to investigate materials like granite versus quartz countertops to see which material works best for you. Look into the timeline of your project; how long will it take for my materials to be delivered and the renovation to be finished? Have a realistic expectation for your project before jumping into it.


3. Decide your involvement.

Now that you know the average costs and approximately what you are looking for in terms of your materials, you can decide how involved in the renovation project you would like to be. If you have the time, patience, and ability to learn the skills required to take on your project on your own, DIY is an excellent way to save money on your project. You can also hire separate people to do your project for you and manage your time and money that way. Your other option is to hire a full-service remodeling company to do everything for you. A full-service company will allow you to work with a designer to create your perfect space and manage and create your vision internally, so you don’t have to. Which ever decision you make, keep in mind the price versus time you’ll need to put into your space.


4. Create a realistic budget.

It’s finally time to officially create your budget. At this point you should know what to expect from your renovation and can set a realistic number for you to stick to. Find the magic number for your project and try not to stray from it. Look at some aspects of your renovation you may want to add if you end up below your budget or aspects you may bewiling to sacrifice if your quote is over.


5. Decide where you need to begin.

It’s time to decide where your project is going to start. By this point you know what your renovation goal is, if you are choosing to renovate for resale it may be beneficial to start on your moneymaker investments, the kitchen and bathrooms. Otherwise, focus your attention on the least functional space in your home and start there. Be sure to have a plan for essential aspects of your home while the renovation is underway like using the restroom and cooking. There are a couple of options for you to look into such as: seeing if the company supplies temporary plumbing fixtures for you while the renovation is occurring, installing the toilet in one day, only remodeling one bathroom at a time, or using a friend’s bathroom and eating a lot of take out.


6. If you’re going to hire someone, decide who you will be hiring.

If you decided your best option is to hire a professional to complete your project, make sure you choose someone licensed, has plenty of experience, and fits in your budget. While it may be tempting to go with someone without a license or with less experience because it’s cheaper, keep in mind that ensuring the project is up to code and installed correctly might be why you hired someone in the first place, if you cannot ensure that will happen then it may not be worth the added cost. Hiring someone licensed and with experience will ensure the job is done correctly and if there are any hiccups, your contractor has the knowledge and experience to deal with the issue efficiently and up to code.


7. Make choices that will last.

You are almost ready to get to work on your project, but first you need to choose your materials and finishes. When you are deciding on your materials, choose materials that will last. High quality finishes and materials may seem less important for resale, but they make a big impact, buying a house is also an investment so buyers will be willing to spend more money on high quality finishes. Obviously high-quality materials are important for forever homes as well, you invested a lot of money into your space so you should be able to appreciate it for a long time. Don’t just invest in aesthetically pleasing high quality finishes, be sure to invest in quality construction materials as well. For example, waterproofing is vital for high moisture areas like bathrooms. Investing in quality waterproofing materials prevent mold and leakage which may be an issue down the line.


8. Start your project.

Now it is finally time to get started on your project. Remember, it has to be torn apart in order to put it back together. A renovation is an expensive and stressful project, it’s okay to feel frustrated, but keep your end vision in your mind and remain patient because it will all be worth it when the project is complete.


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