Everything You Need to Know Before Starting a Home RenovationCapitol Design Build
If you’re ready to renovate your house, you probably want to dive right in and get started, right? Not so fast! A home renovation needs to be carefully planned, so that you will enjoy the results, benefit from the return on investment, and avoid renovation-related losses. Wondering where to start? We’ve got some information you need before starting your home renovation, so that you can make a plan and be pleased with the results.
- Have a clear goal in mind. Are you trying to raise your home’s resale value, or are you renovating to make it more functional for your family? Maybe your home is just looking a little run down, and you want to give it a refresh. All of these are valid reasons to renovate, but you need to think about which renovations make sense for your neighborhood, and what’s going to give you a good return on your investment.
- Set your budget. Determine how much money you want to spend, taking care to set aside a contingency fund of about 20 percent extra in case something goes awry during the renovation. Be realistic about your budgetary constraints, and don’t think you need to go entirely with high-end finishes if it’s not within your means. Once you know what you want to do, get quotes from several different contractors, taking notes on the estimates and keeping track of any changes you make on each quote.
- Think about timing. If you plan to have the renovation done by a certain event, make sure to allow plenty of time for its completion. Remember that renovations typically take longer than expected, and plan accordingly. Consider the weather during the time when you are planning to renovate, so that extreme weather doesn’t delay the work.
- Do your homework. Talk to people who have had renovations similar to yours done, so that you can learn from their experiences. Look at home decorating sites and home listings in your area to get a better idea of what you want to have done and what you can combine with your primary work to enhance your home’s function or save money. It might make sense to upgrade your insulation, for example, or add additional light fixtures when you’re remodeling a room, rather than doing these things later.
- Be reasonable about how much you can do on your own. Doing it yourself can save money- sometimes. If you don’t know what you’re doing, though, it makes much more sense to hire a contractor. Decide what you can realistically and safely handle before deciding on any DIY renovation projects.
- Realistically plan for the disruption to your life. You will need to clear away your things and store them, and plan for your routine to be disrupted. You may need to relocate to a hotel for a few days, plan to order takeout while your kitchen is closed, or create a safe space for your family in a part of your home that isn’t being renovated.
- Plan for kids and pets. Keep little ones away from active construction, somewhere out of harm’s way. If you don’t have a safe space to keep your pets during the renovation, consider boarding them or leaving them with a friend or family member.
- Make a checklist. Create a master list of everything you will need during the renovation, from paint rollers to permits. List the tools you already have, so that you don’t buy new tools unnecessarily. Work with your contractor to make sure you’re thinking of everything, and draw pictures to demonstrate exactly what you need and what you expect.
- Get the right permits. Building permits are necessary for ensuring that your project is done correctly, with everything up to code. You are likely to need the sketches you’ve made to obtain your permit, so make sure you’ve correctly noted your measurements.
- Invest in a lockbox. A lockbox or smart door hardware that allows you to provide people with a code they can use to gain entry to your home will make your renovation more convenient. If contractors can get to work without you having to let them in, you will be better able to maintain some semblance of a regular daily routine.
- Expect the unexpected. Until you start pulling up flooring and knocking down walls, you won’t know what lurks beneath the surface of your home. Plan to be surprised, allowing time and money to cover unexpected expenses.
- Partner with professionals. Interview different contractors, collecting bids and comparing references. Look for someone with experience in the type of renovation you’re doing and a reputation for quality work.
When it’s time to renovate your home, Capitol Design Build can help. We’ve been performing custom remodeling since 1989 and building custom, high-end homes in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area since 1998. We serve businesses and individuals in Virginia, Washington D.C, and Maryland, meeting every need from kitchen renovation and bathroom remodeling to custom home design and building. With experience spanning many disciplines, including engineering, design, remodeling, construction, and customer service, we look forward to working with you. Feel free to shop our website, call us at (703) 436-6919, or contact us online for a free, no-obligation estimate.