Renovations are one of the largest investments that homeowners will make in a lifetime. They are also recognized as one of the most stressful events that a homeowner might endure! With life being thrown into turmoil of flying dust, increasing financial costs, and a multitude of decisions – the stress can be overwhelming. In order to manage a renovation, there are some very clear steps you can take to reduce these stressors!
The Value of Staying in Your Home
Many people find that once they start looking at changing their surroundings, the high cost of upgrading to a new home versus investing money to upgrade their current space, are significantly different.
For example: a 1998 home with a small remaining mortgage plus a $200,000-300,000 renovation, will cost less than moving. Plus, they get to keep the neighbours and the yard that they love. Not only that, but if the investment is done with the correct professionals, there is a large return on investment, which increases over time!
So even though the stress is a financial one, it can often be one of the smartest investments you make!
Ask a Realtor
Realtors have the knowledge and experience to help you determine what size of renovation might be of the best value. They will compare to other listed and sold properties in your area.
Common advice they give is, “If clients want to get their money out of their renovations, they do not want to overspend and be the most expensive house on the block”. Realtors help provide the confidence homeowners need when determining how money could be best spent in that specific neighbourhood.
Hire an Integrated Design and Construction Team
Once homeowners have decided to proceed with a renovation, the next big question for people is where to start.
What are the possibilities? How much will it cost? Who do they hire first, the designer or the contractor?
Renovating is a difficult task, so hiring the right people to work with is key.
The qualified contractor has experience and knowledge in the construction process, as well as access to loyal and reliable trades. They handle the quoting, planning, ordering, scheduling, billing and insurance and can offer advice as needed. An Interior Designer, on the other hand, has the vision and the creativity, advanced knowledge of products and trends, and is an expert at maximizing space.
That being said, it can be difficult to work with the two different design and construction teams, as the homeowner ends up being the project manager. Also, the personalities and processes of the different teams might not agree, leading to finger-pointing and red tape.
The solution to reducing the stress of this situation is to hire an integrated design and construction company! Combining the Design and the Contracting under one roof, means you can rest easy having one group take care of all your needs.
The integrated team has a solid process based on communication and transparency, as well as an understanding of the common goal they are working towards. Having the creative ability, the structural knowledge, and access to all the trades under one roof, is truly a one-stop-shop in renovations. The best part of a team like this is that there are rarely any extra costs.
Get a Budget From a Preliminary Design
This is where hiring an integrated team has the most value. Often, homeowners put an abundance of time and money into a beautiful design, only they have the quotes come in double or triple their allotted budget.
When they hire an integrated team, they are able to have the input of the designer, contractor and trades from a preliminary design to help them make decisions on the scope. Then they can focus their design dollars on the areas that fit within the budget. This step saves time and money, and has helped some homeowners decide where they want to spend and where they can save. This allows them to move forward confidently and realistically with their renovations before they sink too much money into a design.
Move out During the Construction
So much of the renovation stress comes from the inevitable dust that arises from general construction — especially drywall. The more that you can be away from your demolished home, the easier the process will be.
If you meet with your contractor weekly or bi-weekly at a set time, they will usually have the site cleaned up for a walkthrough to review specific details. Then, you can return back to your clean, temporary living space. Some contractors specialize in completing the project while the homeowners leave town completely, this is a great option for people who trust the designer and contracting team completely.
Be Realistic and Aware
There are so many moving parts of a renovation – involving products, schedules, trades, equipment, and unknowns. It helps to be realistic and aware of the dust, schedules, changes, decisions, and issues will help to reduce the stress on clients.
Problems almost always come up; it’s just a part of the renovation world! But, by hiring a qualified expert, you are essentially hiring an expert problem solver who will remedy a situation as it arises and often come to you with a pre-planned solution. Starting a renovation with a calm, aware mind helps alleviate unnecessary stress when creating a beautiful, functional space for years to come.
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