Making your dream home renovations a reality takes smart planning and serious project management skills. The first step is to create a realistic plan that will guide you right through to the finishing touches. Planning home renovations is not a last minute type of endeavor. Depending on the scope of the home renovations, planning should start about 6-12 months before work begins. The following tips can help you plan your home renovation project for a smooth and successful roll-out.
Set Goals and Create a Preliminary Plan
Why are you renovating your Victoria BC home? That is an important first question to ask yourself to clarify your goals. All decisions about what to renovate and how, will hang from this goal. If your goal is to increase your home’s value in preparation for selling, your home renovations will be different than if you need to fix a safety issue or would like to make your home more enjoyable to live in. Perhaps your family is growing and you need more space…whatever it is, make sure it is clear in your mind, and understood by everybody involved. This will prevent scope creep and will keep the project on track.
Once your goal is set, follow these steps to create a preliminary plan:
- Do some free thinking about your vision and note down your ideas.
- Next, prioritize your needs and wants in a list as to what will make the most impact in bringing you closer to your goal.
- Include blueprints or sketches of the desired changes.
- Divide the project into steps, — those that you might do yourself and those for which you will hire a renovation contractor
- Research building permits in your area, to see if any are required for your renovations, but hold off on applying for them until you’ve hired a team. The CRD provides information about building permits in Victoria BC on their website.
At this point, your plan should be quite detailed, but not set in stone. The next steps will likely impact the plan, forcing adjustments.
Set a Budget
This step is where the dream can start to hit a few reality bumps, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Limitations can inspire creative solutions that are far more interesting than a ready-made fix. In any case, the first step is to decide how much you want or can spend on the home renovation.
Next, research the cost of materials and request estimates from a few renovation contractors in Victoria BC. Add in a 10% contingency for unexpected costs, and don’t forget to account for expenses such as hotels or meals out, if applicable.
At this point you will have a better idea of what it will cost to implement your plan. If your budget fits the estimate, you’re golden and can move on to the next step. If the estimate exceeds your budget, you’ll need to go back to your plan and get rid of the lower priority items and possibly modify the high priority items.
Once this is done, you can further flesh out your plan by adding as many details as you can. Never assume that others will understand what you want if you don’t explicitly state it in detail. This will ensure you get want you envision and will limit disputes and headaches.
Hire Renovation Contractors
Take your revised plan to multiple renovation contractors in Victoria BC for new estimates., but don’t choose your team based on cost estimates alone. Ask your friends and families for recommendations, but also look at professional directories and online reviews. The renovation crew will be in your home for an extended period of time and you must be able to communicate well with them and be comfortable with their presence.
You can get a sense of if it will be a good fit by asking your contractor(s) many questions. Are they knowledgeable, polite and respectful in their answers?
Be sure to ask:
- For references
- Years of Experience
- If they are licensed and bonded and can show proof
- About the payment schedule
If you are hiring multiple contractors for your home renovation project, determine who is in charge to keep the chain of command clear and avoid miscommunication.
Get a Detailed Written Estimate From Your Contractors
The written estimate should be extremely detailed following your renovation plan. Additionally, it should provide information on:
- How out-or-scope difficulties are dealt with
- The timeline: this should be broken up into phases and should make allowances for shipping and delivery of materials, clean-up and any holidays. Add wriggle room for unexpected occurrences.
- All costs
- Guarantees and warranties
- Licensing and insurance
- Payment information
Prepare for Your Home Renovation
Depending on the extent of the home renovation, this could involve a stay in a hotel or improvising a temporary kitchen or storing furniture and sleeping in a spare bedroom. Be prepared for considerable disruption to your normal routine, but if you keep the goal in mind it will make the whole process better, we promise!
Professional Home Renovation Services in Victoria, BC
If you’re still not sure on how to go about planning for your home renovations and you live in Victoria BC, give Finest Finish a call. We offer expert interior home renovation services, and can take your dreams from start to finish.