7 essential tips for starting a home renovation

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You know you want to renovate your home but you don’t know where to start, right? Well, you are not alone. Many homeowners dive into planning a home renovation not knowing what to expect. It’s only after suffering renovation accidents that they regret not having a plan. Without preparation, the home renovation process can be fraught with difficulties because, unlike building a new home, you are not starting from scratch. There may be unforeseen expenses and issues that make the process complex. So, before you head down the twists and turns of the home improvement path, here are seven things you need to know about where to start renovating a home.



1. Invest in a key safe

Anthony Masterson

If you are renovating your house before moving in and you live far away, consider investing in a key safe. You will need to hire a contractor if there are important projects on your checklist that you cannot do yourself. Remember that contractors start early, so unless you want to drive through morning rush hour traffic to leave workers inside, plan to secure a safe or set up safety equipment. smart door that allows you to provide an entry code to guests. It can save you countless hours, gallons of fuel and annoying early morning awakenings.



2. Spend time in space

Brie Williams

As obvious as it may seem, it’s essential to put off some decisions like paint colors, carpeting, and light fixtures until you’ve spent some time in the space you’re renovating. For example, the choices can be overwhelming if you want to replace a dated rug. Dense or loose fibers? Striped or no pattern? What shade of gray exactly? The answers depend on other aspects of the renovation, such as the choice of paint colors.


If you select paint palettes before the renovation begins, you should still see them on the walls. Your color decisions may change as you spend time around the house. Additionally, freshly painted walls and new carpeting can reveal that existing light fixtures aren’t illuminating the space as you expected.


If you spend a little more time before painting and retyping thinking about how everything works together in the room you’re remodeling, you can save several moments back at the drawing board.





3. Be realistic about your timeline

Annie Schlechter

Your renovation will take longer than expected, so be prepared when planning a home renovation and making accommodations to avoid frustration. For example, you might think replacing an outdated whirlpool tub and double vanity in a bathroom will be quick. Removing old fixtures can take a few hours, but finding a new tub and vanity you love can take weeks. It may take another two weeks before they are delivered. A wait to use your new bathroom within a week can turn into a six-week waiting period. Be realistic about the renovation process and timeline, and select your new updates before removing existing materials.



4. Expect the unexpected

James Nathan Schroder

All houses have secrets – in the walls, under the floors and elsewhere. A renovation can bring them to light.


For example, your contractor tells you that your floors are uneven due to an offset center joist when measuring your highly anticipated new hardwood floors. You’ll have to deal with the building inspector who missed it and get the floor joist fixed before the new material can fall out. This is just one possibility of the unexpected and why you should allow for extra time during your renovation and extra money in your renovation budget to allow for unforeseen mishaps along the way.



5. Interview several contractors

Anthony Masterson

It pays to interview several contractors and compare offers. Suppose you want to remove your water heater from an upstairs closet and install a new one in the garage. The first plumber you ask may say he plans to charge $6,000 and reroute the hot water lines, cutting out the ceiling of your living room tray. The second plumber may find it too much work for his schedule. Plumber three plans to complete the job in one day and bill $3,285 without having to reroute the water line.


You risk paying too much and not getting what you want without interviewing multiple contractors. It pays to do your homework and talk to several experts before making a final decision.


Nathan Kirkman


6. Renovate your kitchen first

Homeowners often want to know in what order they should renovate a house. It’s best to start with the kitchen, as these renovations add significant value to your home. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, real estate agents estimate that homeowners can recoup 75% of the cost of a full kitchen remodel if they sell their home. Plus, if you have an outdated kitchen, upgrading the worn space will allow you to better enjoy the space while you’re at home.


In practice, you’ll want to do the kitchen remodel first, as this job will create the most dust and debris, which you won’t want to land on new paint or finish jobs. It’s always a good idea to isolate any demolition mess by putting plastic over doors or walkways. Since a full kitchen renovation typically takes several months, you’ll want to install a temporary replacement kitchen in the dining room, family room, or other adjoining area of ​​your home.





7. Be Specific About Design Ideas

John Besler

You will want to refine your design preferences before meeting with an interior designer. Get inspiration from decorating magazines, interior decorating websites and design fairs. Mastering a design direction will help you avoid getting caught up in a designer’s personal ideas, which might differ from your vision for the renovation.


Also, keep your designer strictly on your budget. Don’t allow them to buy expensive materials and charge you for them later. If you try to meet a specific deadline, your costs will also stay low.

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