Looking to give your entire home a makeover but don’t know where to start? There are a million different ways in which you can execute your home improvement project. It can be something as simple as changing the sofa, or replacing the green curtains with blue ones.
Home improvement is a vast field, and it refers to giving your home a new and unique look that reflects your character traits, as well as your mood. Each person has a different perspective when it comes to creativity, so you can design your home in several different ways. To make sure that you don’t get confused and just pick out the first option you see, here is a guide that will help you plan your next home improvement project.
Home Improvement Tips
This article contains helpful tips and suggestions that are designed to help you carry out different aspects of your home improvement plan with ease. So, let’s find out how you can remodel your house in the best way possible.
What Does Home Improvement Mean?
Home improvement refers to a project that can change the structure or design of your existing home or its components. These can be anything like the lawn, garden, garage, gazebo, patio, or deck. It may include repair, maintenance, renovation, remodeling, painting, and many other aspects, but it all depends on your imagination and creativity.
For instance, home improvement can mean swapping out your lounge chairs for a luxurious seven-seater outdoor set and replacing your old round kitchen table for a designer dining table with velvet chairs. The sky’s the limit when you are planning your home improvement projects, and it all depends on how much you are willing to spend. You can opt to pay upfront in cash or pay via your credit card.
How much you are willing to spend is one of the major motivating factors behind all home improvement projects. It also defines whether you will be able to go for that dream bedroom set that you have always wanted, or you have to make do by getting your existing furniture polished in a different shade.
With that said, let’s have a look at the methods that can help you plan your home improvement project with ease.
It is All About the Money
As is the case with everything we do, money plays a major role in your home improvement project. This is why you should plan a specific budget, which will determine how much you can and will spend on your renovation. Most people end up spending more than their planned budget without even realizing it.
Hence, homeowners should have an idea of how much money they can easily spare for their project. It should be a realistic figure that they can afford without tapping into their credit card. As a general idea, homeowners should spend roughly 5% to 15% of their home value when redoing the kitchen alone.
On the other hand, your bathrooms’ renovation or revamping shouldn’t consume more money than 3% to 7% of your home value. Following this rule of thumb allows homeowners to spend wisely and not waste $100,000 on a kitchen that is situated in a $300,000 home.
Moreover, it will also hurt you significantly when you go to sell or rent your house because you won’t get the return on investment that you envisioned.
Therefore, be realistic about your expectations on how the house should look, and carefully plan out the design or layout for each room. The more careful you are in the budget planning phase, the more you will be able to stick to your budget.
Contact Multiple Home Improvement Experts
Before you begin, it would be a smart move to get in touch with multiple home improvement professionals and share your requirements with them. They can provide you with numerous ideas and suggestions to transform your home, as well as a quotation.
Collecting numerous quotations will help you get an idea of how much it will cost for your home improvement project. Make sure to spend a sufficient amount of time on this step as it allows you to find a company or contractor that suits your budget.
Some home improvement experts say that you should get in touch with at least 10-12 contractors, even if by phone or email. Also, you should meet five to six of them in person, so that you can have a look at all of their past projects, as well as the ideas they have to provide.
When you get in touch with a contractor, make sure to ask all the questions that you may have regarding your project. These questions can include:
- How many years of experience they have?
- Are they licensed and insured?
- What is their expected timeline for the project?
- Can they provide any references or testimonials?
- Can they show their past projects?
- Will they obtain building permits or not?
You should have an effective communication process for every contractor that you come across, so you don’t have any confusion when choosing the best contractor or renovation company for your home improvement project.
Check Out Home Improvement Photos
When you are looking for the best home improvement ideas, the internet is your best friend. Just search “home improvement” on Google, and you will come across numerous websites that bring you vast libraries of home improvement photos and ideas.
Moreover, it will also allow you to get insightful design and construction advice from industry experts. You’ll also come across celebrity designers who share their wonderful home improvement advice and tips. You can also visit image and idea-sharing websites like Pinterest and Instagram.
There are various home improvement websites and forums on the web where enthusiasts share their designs, renovation ideas, and photos. You can also check out the “before” and “after” photos of their homes. This way, you can visualize how your home will look. Search for “home improvement ideas,” “home improvement tips,” “renovation photos,” “how to redo your home,” and other similar terms.
One of the key factors behind every successful home improvement project is to have a clear vision and picture of how you want your home to look once the home improvements have been completed. Since you are going to be spending a lot of money and energy on the renovation of your home, it should end up looking just like you have imagined, or close to it!
First and foremost, you can’t make a home improvement plan until you know what the end product will look like. When you have a clear picture in mind, you will be able to work from it and jot down all the details you gather.
When you get in touch with renovation experts, you should be able to clearly communicate your vision with them. This will help them understand your requirements and ideas. It will also allow them to provide you with realistic expectations, as well as a proper estimation for the project.
Once you’re able to clearly express your ideas to anyone without any difficulty, and they can also understand your vision, you know you are ready to move on to the next steps.
Set a Timeline
By now, you should have a realistic and clear idea of all the steps required to start your home improvement project. The next step involves putting all of these ideas together and applying them in the right order. You should also know what the start date of your project is. Moreover, you should also have shortlisted the contractors you want to work with if you haven’t decided on one as yet.
Get in touch with your contractor and communicate the start date. Then, ask them to break down the project into different sections and subprojects and get them to give a realistic estimate of the time required for each one. This will help you set up a complete timeframe.
If you have never worked on a home improvement or renovation project before, there is no reason to worry. Along with contractors, you can also seek the assistance of home renovation experts who are experienced in this field. They can plan out the project from start to finish and convert your ideas to reality.
When you choose a home improvement expert for your project, you can also ask them if they have worked on any other projects similar to yours. They can show you various photos of their past projects, which will also give you clarity regarding your ideas and vision.
Set Contingencies in Place
As we have mentioned many times before, it is best to be realistic when you are planning for your home improvement project, whether it is related to money or the project timeline. One thing you have to be prepared for is that construction or renovation projects never get completed in the time promised to you by the contractor, no matter how professional or experienced they are.
Starting a renovation or remodeling project at your home is quite a big undertaking, and it can be really difficult to even start them off at the decided date. There are numerous steps to a successful project. Even the planning phase can take anywhere from three to six months as you cycle through hundreds of different ideas and choices.
Next up, you should spend some time choosing the right contractor, which can also consume at least two to three months, even if you are actively pursuing candidates for the project. When you have finalized a professional contractor and decided the terms and details with them, they will share a provisional timeline with you.
However, you can’t expect them to finish the project according to the given timeline, as there are numerous things that can go wrong. There are dozens of sub-contractors and handymen who are involved in the renovation process, and everyone works at their own pace, no matter what the deadline is. The contractor often falls short of workforce or has to assign them to a different project for a few days. This can set your project back without warning.
Another factor that can cause a delay in your project is the weather. If your area is prone to excessive rainfall or other occurrences, you can’t expect work to continue when the conditions don’t allow it. There can be a lot of other expected and unexpected delays in your project.
Therefore, make sure you don’t get disappointed when your project doesn’t get completed on time. Make sure to have contingencies in place that ensure you don’t suffer any loss or inconvenience when the project gets delayed. So, hold off on any parties or gatherings in your home, and also manage your finances accordingly.
Preparation for Home Improvement
Now that you have a better and clear picture of all the steps involved in the effective planning of a home improvement project, you can apply all these steps and conclude the process. Finishing your planning is important before the renovation begins. You need to be absolutely certain on what you want your house to look like.
Before the contractor gets to work on redoing your home, you should start clearing out the space. If you are simply getting your bedroom redone, then you have to clear out your furniture and other fixtures so that the handymen can work freely.
If they are painting the house or working with concrete or other materials, it can spill on your belongings if you don’t move them. Most importantly, if your entire house will undergo renovation, you need to determine whether you can stay in the house during the process. Also, if your kitchen is being remodeled, you won’t be able to cook at home for a few days.
Therefore, you will have to make alternate arrangements for living, bathing, and eating. These decisions will depend on the level of renovation your house will go through, as well as the time it will require to complete. Referring to our previous step, if you have made alternate living arrangements, you may need to extend your stay if the project doesn’t finish on time.
Make sure you start to clear out space when you have decided on getting your home renovated so that when the time rolls around for the project to begin, you don’t have to rush anything. If you have to move out of your home, make sure to move out at least a week before the start date.
If you are redoing the entire house first, give priority to the structural renovations and get them finished first. These projects include your roof, foundation, flooring, stairs, etc. Make sure to get the electrical work done before the renovation is complete. Finishing the structural work beforehand will get the project completed much faster.
Last but not least, also make arrangements for waste removal, as there will be a lot of debris and junk when the project is underway. Make sure to discuss with your contractor whether the cleaning and waste removal will be taken care of by them, or you will have to take care of it yourself.
This concludes our guide on how to plan your next home improvement project. By following our instructions, you can take care of the planning on your own, and you will have a better time when meeting different contractors and dealing with them.
If you are not satisfied with any of the renovation companies you have approached for the job, get in touch with RenovateResidential. We have more than 25 years of experience in providing renovation, remodeling, and painting services to clients all over Boston, Massachusetts. We have a team of skilled professional contractors who provide quality results and ensure that your home looks just the way you want it to!
If you have a vision for your home improvement project, contact us today, and we will help you turn it into a reality.