You don’t need us to tell you that taking on a massive home renovation project is – well – huge, to say the very least.
From managing the budget to managing multiple contractors – picking colours to weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a monsoon shower head – it is hard to comprehend quite how many different roles the average homeowner is forced to take on when they embark on their own version of Extreme home Makeover: Home Edition.
Yes, the going will be tough – but it will also be entirely worth the time, money and late-night Pinterest scrolling sessions when you finally kick off your shoes, sit back, and take in the spoils of your labor.
Still, there’s plenty to consider (and, more importantly, see to) before that moment arrives. Read more below.
1. Budget, Budget, Budget
We probably don’t need to tell you this – and you probably don’t want to hear it again – but you must pay incredibly close attention to your budget. There’s no use in rushing through, or putting together a brief outline that you’ll never look at again.
By the time you’re finished making your budget, you should know it inside out, upside down, and every which way imaginable. After that, you should revisit it near-constantly – and, of course, make amendments and concessions as and when they are necessary.
While it may not be the first thing on your mind, the fact remains that home renovations should inevitably lead to a discussion with your insurer over your home insurance policy. Any significant changes must be documented and accounted for – or you could run into problems if you ever have to make a claim.
The same goes if you have invested into a few new, high-ticket items for your home. From that Sebastian Herkner couch to the 85” plasma TV, your possessions are not safe until they are covered. Unfortunately, too many people continue to overlook or forget this vital step.
In this guide to personal property coverage by Lemonade, the insurer gets into the nitty-gritty of personal property coverage – and, of course, why insurance represents such an important line of defense for your most valuable items.
3. The Bare Necessities
Ripping out your kitchen? Transporting your kids’ bedrooms into an as-of-yet unbuilt annex? Replacing all three of the home’s bathrooms within a short window?
Whatever your plans, you need to ensure that you will never be without the bare necessities: water, a place to cook, a place to sleep, and a place to wash.
While the idea of ‘roughing it’ for a few days – sleeping in a tent on the living room floor, or cooking over that old camping stove you bought for weekends in the woods that have yet to transpire – may seem appealing at first, but it rarely pans out that way.
If you plan ahead, understand exactly how you will move your life around ongoing work (and know when to say, ‘let’s get a motel for two nights’) you will find the experience far more manageable.
When we think of ‘renovations’ and updates, we think of breathing new life into a tired living room – of adding a color that isn’t avocado green to the guest bathroom – of switching out the light fixtures for something a little less chintzy – or, maybe, of converting a disused garage into a home movie theater for you and the kids.
And, while these are all valid options to add to you growing To Do list, it is certainly worth sparing a thought for the less-appreciated (though absolutely vital) components of your home, which may well be due an upgrade.
When it comes to home security, there have been some remarkable advancements in recent years. From doorbells that take live video (and send alerts straight to your phone) to smart home assistants that can monitor activity on your behalf, bringing your home security into the 21st century is something you will never live to regret.
5. Prepare for Things to Get Worse
None of us embark on hefty renovation work without having a clear vision in our minds’ eyes for what we want it to look like when it’s all over. While we may well begin with a sense of openness toward changes to the plan, and results that aren’t quite a carbon copy of our imaginations, the fact remains that we have an idea, and we are working towards it.
That’s why it can feel more than a little distressing to come home from a day in the office to find piles of rubble where the floors should be, wires draping from the ceilings, doors missing from their hinges, plumping pipes protruding from the walls, and big, cavernous holes in the dry wall.
In essence, it will look worse – but that’s not to say you’re not taking care of your home. Yes, home as you know it, and may well have known it for decades, will cease to exist (with alarming rapidity), but you will have to learn to weather the storm before your vision truly starts to manifest before your eyes.