The thought of remodeling can seem like a lot of fun when you’re looking through pictures of successfully completed remodels in magazines or when you’re shopping at your favorite home improvement store and imagining all those wonderful things being inside your own home. But when it comes down to the actual work, the fun often evaporates. To turn dreams into reality takes a lot of careful planning. Successful project management is a must if you want a finished product you’ll be happy with. Here are some tips for successfully managing your next home remodel.
Make a list
Have a journal or binder in which you document all of your ideas. This is a good place to write down a list of products you’re interested in purchasing for the remodel as well as a place to write a to-do list of things that would need to be done during the course of the remodel.
Make sure everyone’s on the same page
When a project is going to require the work of several different contractors, it’s crucial that everyone is on the same page throughout the entire process. It may be a good idea to hire a general contractor who will be in charge of managing the schedules of the various subcontractors and making sure that everyone is where they need to be and doing what they’re supposed to be doing throughout the project.
Plan like a pro
Never start a remodeling project before every aspect of the project has been planned out in detail on paper. You should finalize the design and have plans drawn up that specify every detail of the project and only then can the project get underway.
Never count on your contractors to understand your vision. When writing out your specifications for the project, you have to provide as much detail as possible. If you’re trying to explain what you want in words, some things can get lost in translation and you may not be happy with the end result. That brings us to the next tip.
Be part of the process
Many homeowners choose to live outside the home during the remodel especially if the project is extensive. But even if you’re going to be living off site during the project, you shouldn’t make yourself scarce. You should be dropping by frequently and monitoring the process just in case there is some confusion you can help catch the problem early. This will also allow for better communication between you and the contractors.
Factor in a contingency
As certain as death and taxes is the fact that there will be unforeseen setbacks once the remodel is underway. You should plan for contingencies in your budget. Set aside at least 10-15% extra in your budget to plan for those things that the contractors will uncover.
Call in the cavalry
If you’re the type of person that likes to take charge and oversee things yourself, you may choose to go without a general contractor and manage the project yourself. You’ll have to be very well organized and calm under pressure. But don’t be afraid to call in the cavalry if you think it’s going to be too much for you.