A Guide to Completing a Successful Renovation Project

A Guide to Completing a Successful Renovation Project

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 A successful renovation project has several component parts to it. The complexity of the project determines how much planning must go into it. Certainly, if you’re renovating a large home or a McMansion with more rooms than you can count, then you should plan for an extensive planning process, prep time, and a renovation that takes months or a year, rather than weeks or a couple of months. For shorter projects that literally don’t cover as much ground, it’s a lot easier.

Here is a guide to how to manage and complete an excellent renovation project.

What’s Your Budget?

When you’re asked what your budget is for your renovation project, you cannot say, “I don’t know.”

If you don’t have much of a clue how much you can afford, let alone how much is allocated per room, then you don’t have enough information to start. While it’s fair to say that you may not have a good appreciation of how much a full house or apartment renovation project typically costs, you still must have a place to start.

We can tell you that multiple rooms that get remodeled often cost between around $15,000 and $60,000. There are exceptions where few - if any - major structural changes were made, and on the other end where the ‘best of everything’ was the instruction to the interior designer and the final bill reflected that. 

Once you have a budget either based on the average cost or on how much money you have already set aside for the project, you can move into the planning stage.

It’s All in the Planning Stage

A complete renovation project starts with certain goals in mind. The high points might be to create more natural light into the home, to modernize the lighting throughout the property, or to knock down a wall that separates two smaller living spaces to create one large one. Whatever it is, it’s likely that the cost of the renovation will cost more than many of the other changes and should be highlighted in the planning stage to ensure it happens.

Standalone Items

Where there’s something you want to prioritize that affects the whole property, like replacing the roof or changing all the windows, then this should be assigned its own category. They’re a high enough priority that you don’t want them to get subsumed into the different parts of the home plan and being lost in the myriad of details.

Consider Whether You’ll Need Planning Permission First

Whether you’ll have to consider getting permits for building work and planned structural changes depends on how extensive they’ll be and the requirements within your local area. Certainly, if you’re going to be knocking down walls or restructuring them, then you’ll need to factor in the cost of installing drywall. You can work out this cost by using the Porch online installation calculator.

When you have designs on creating a basement living space or making major changes to either the plumbing or electrical system, then check whether you’ll need permission first. You don’t want to make the beginner mistake of paying for a lot of work to be done (or doing it all yourself) and then having to rip it out because you didn’t get the right permits for the work first.

Plan for the Big Money Pits

A home renovation is going to cost considerably more when you’re ripping out the kitchen and completely remodeling it. When adding state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, which is commonplace when putting in a whole new kitchen, then the costs can easily double just in the kitchen part of the project. The same goes for however many bathrooms need the same remodeling, new bathroom units, and decoration.

When the roof is suspect and needs to be replaced, the costs are surprisingly high. Homeowners often don’t appreciate how much a roof costs to replace and assume that it can always be repaired, but that’s not always the case at all. A good roof only lasts so many years before it’s no longer a good roof.

With the heating, cooling, and air filtration system in the home, it’s up to you how extensive an installation you require. Certainly, there are systems from the smallest ones to huge industrial units to handle massive spaces. An HVAC install can be priced and configured to match the exact needs of your home, but one thing is for certain; it won’t come cheap if it’s any good and the same goes for the HVAC technician too.

How Old Is Your Home?

The age of your home will be a good indicator whether you’ll find extra issues to deal with when you start tearing down walls, gutting rooms, and getting into the wiring and plumbing. You’ll often find issues that were never handled before and didn’t show up with a prior property inspection because it was too far hidden inside a wall or beneath the floorboards.

Property age is a big factor in estimating home renovation costs because when you find issues at every major juncture, you cannot ignore them. They’ll have to be estimated at that time and resolved before the workers can get back to the original renovation plan. Therefore, depending on when the property was built, you’ll want to have a generous miscellaneous fund set aside to cover surprises.

Getting Estimates

An estimate is just that. It’s never an exact price unless you ask for and receive a fixed quote. Many times, you won’t get a fixed quote because, especially with older properties, a major renovation could turn up all kinds of hidden issues that were not known beforehand.

It’s completely necessary to get more than one quote for each aspect of the renovation. You may wish to get a full renovation quote from firms large enough to handle it on their own or to break the project down into the big-ticket items like HVAC systems, plumbing, lighting or window replacements, and the cost per room for other aspects of the renovations. For the most important things you wish changed, you can either get them quoted separately or just ensure they’re definitely included in the quotes you receive.

Figuring Out How Long the Renovation Will Take

You have a choice whether to attempt to have a complete home renovation completed in one go or to split out the project into major milestones and per room mini renovation projects. If you’re already living in the property and need to continue to do so, then getting things done piecemeal allows you to work on them yourself or to get people in to complete the work one part at a time. Trying to do too much too fast is going to mean mayhem for the foreseeable future. This can be highly disruptive to your business and personal life, which is worth considering.

A successful renovation project is one that is carefully considered, well planned out, with multiple estimates and a budget that’s substantial enough to handle surprises along the way. In most cases, doing a home renovation one room at a time is highly recommended when you are living in the home too. If you are attempting to have everything completed in one go, prepare to be living elsewhere for months at a time. The better you know exactly what you want, price it out, and stay organized through the project, the better the results and the easier you’ll find to control any cost overruns too.


Topics: Cost of Ownership, Flooring, Foundations, Going Green, Healthy Homes, Home Design & Plans, Interior Design, Lighting, Lumber and Structured Panels, Paint | Low VOC and No VOC, Rebates / Tax Credits, Remodeling, Roofing, Siding, Tankless Water Heaters, Thermal Envelope, Water Saving Devices, Windows


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