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How to prepare for a home renovation

by emily

in Design & Trends

Renovating the house is an exciting venture for many homeowners. It usually signifies a new stage in one’s life when there is a need or ability to knock things down and build new additions up. People renovate their homes for a variety of reasons.

From extra rooms for the new addition(s) to the family or new floors to replace old ones, to the need for a larger kitchen for catering purposes (or because your partner won’t stop begging you). Whatever the reason, you need to prepare yourself and your home for the next few days, weeks and months involved in this renovation process.   

Cost of it all

Right off the bat, you can start preparing your bank accounts for a world of costs involved in this home renovation. Depending on the scale of your renovation plans, you might even want to consider using a personal loans calculator and taking out a personal loan for the final amount you’re going to need. Construction is no financial joke and it shouldn’t be if the safety of your home is on the line.

You’re going to want to know all the costs up front so that you don’t end up with only a half-job because you couldn’t afford the balance of work to be done or materials to be bought. Don’t work on a pay-as-you-go or renovate-as-your-mind-thinks-of-something basis. Get all your quotes beforehand and make sure to factor in those “small chance of that happening” issues into your budget as well. Be prepared. There’s no money for surprise costs.

As for going about getting the best deal, your best options are to ask friends and family who have recently renovated for recommendations or get as many quotes from as many contractors and suppliers as possible. And even then, do some research on them and read their reviews and recommendations from previous clients. Don’t go with just anyone. Renovations are a huge task and you need to know that whoever you hire is more than capable of delivering quality work.  

Building permissions

Before you can start building, you’re going to need more than the municipality’s permission. If your next-door neighbours and immediate neighbours have a “yay” or “nay” in regards to your renovation plans, their objections may affect your building plans. But only if your building matters are going to affect them and their property.

When you submit your building application, the municipality is supposed to take your neighbours and the effects on them into account (obstructing their view, disturbing the overall neighbourhood aesthetic or compromising their general safety). But, technically, you don’t need your neighbours’ permission to build and renovate your home. It’s also, sometimes, just a matter of decency to alert them and, possibly, ask them anyway.

Be clear

With all your permissions in place and contractors signed, it’s time to start the building process. Don’t leave builders to their own devices. Not even once you’ve explained to them what you want or have approved the drawings. Be a part of the process and make sure they are sticking to what was agreed. Make sure they understand exactly what it is you want with all possible questions exhausted. If they’re still asking questions by the time they’ve started building, then there’s a chance they aren’t going to get it right.

Even if they do understand, there is a chance they’ll run into unforeseen issues and you need them to be honest with you and keep you updated on their progress. Be a part of their decisions to change the plans in order to accommodate any mishaps. Yes, they are the professionals, but it still concerns you as the homeowner.

One of the most important preparations for home renovations is getting comfortable with speaking up. If you notice anything during the time they’re working, or even once all the work is done, that you’re not happy with (quality-wise), you have every right to call them back and have them fix it for you. Don’t leave it or pretend not to notice it. You’ve paid for quality construction and they should be able to deliver.

Temporary relocation

Something else you may need to factor in the cost and admin is temporarily relocating during the time of construction. Obviously, it’s dependant on the extent of your renovations and where in the house they are happening, but the safer and lower maintenance solution would be to find somewhere else to stay in the meanwhile.

Noise, nails and no-entry zones make everyday tasks rather difficult in the house and with work and/or school, it makes it a lot easier to be out of the chaos in an attempt to maintain daily routines. The closer you can be to home, the better. And try find friends and family who are able to accommodate you so as to save on costs.

It’s a huge inconvenience, so you may want to carefully consider which time of year you do decide to go ahead with the renovations and just make sure you’re prepared for the temporary changes that follow. Oh, and you should also prepare for all the dust because there really is going to be a lot of it.

Here’s to a successful home renovation.

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