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Home Renovation Planning & Checklist
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Thursday, August 18, 2011 • Posted August 18, 2011 10:36 AM

Living outside a big city can be a challenge in a do-it-yourself renovation project, so we have some tips that might help you get started. Home renovations in general can be a complicated endeavor that can be riddled with scores of various choices and carefully thought out decisions. So careful planning can save you time and money. Home renovations are more satisfying when decisions are made up front and you stick to them. Any change during the project can cause delay, more money, and headaches. But, it still can be accomplished.

First thing as a home owner, you need to ask yourself these questions: Can I really do this project myself? Do I have all the steps and designs laid out? Do I have the equipment needed to accomplish this project? Do I know how long this will take? Do I know all the materials this job will call for? If you answered yes to all of these questions, sounds like you are ready to get started. If you answered no to some of these, I’d say you need to call in a contractor.

If you answered yes, let’s build that checklist. We will start with the planning and setting goals stage of this project. 1) Design your project. What do you have to demo, if anything? What and where will your project take place? Will you be able to achieve all of these steps yourself or will you need help? 2) Set your budget. This is very important. If you don’t have a budget, your project can get out of hand really easy. Plus, you might discover you won’t be able to do all the bells and whistles you initially wanted. 3) Establish a timeline for your project. For example, if you have to demo an area, it might take you a week to move things around, cover items, schedule dumpsters, knock out a wall, and more. 4) What materials will you need for this project? Make a list of all the materials and price them out at several locations. Don’t forget the necessary tools if you do not have them. 5) Have your plan all laid out? Still feel like you can do it yourself? If not, call that contractor before you get in over your head. If you are still confident you can do this project, let’s proceed.

The next stage is starting the project. 1) Review your plans and material list. If you have forgotten anything, now is the time to add it before you get started. 2) Demo if necessary. 3) Buy your materials. 4) Designate a safe area to store your materials. 5) Keep a clean work area and all your receipts. You might be able to take back some of the unused materials. 6) If you get into this project and are unsure of what you are doing – stop – call in an expert. 7) Electric and plumbing are more difficult for some people, so you might want to have this portion done by a licensed expert. 8) Are you following your checklist? 9) Final item on the check list – complete. Are you satisfied with the outcome? Do you still need to do anything else? Trash removed? Left over items returned? Area is clean and ready for use? Once again, if you answered yes, pat yourself on the back, and start enjoying your new area. If you had to answer with no, call in a contractor to help you determine what went wrong and how to finish it out.

Home renovations can be easy if you know what you are doing and you plan it carefully. Checklists are very important. If you have ever dealt with some contractors, you will notice how they plan things out and provide the home owner with a detailed list of what they will be doing, accompanied by a timeline. This helps everyone stay on the same page and accomplish the job in a timely manner. Having that material list can also save you many trips to the hardware store.

And for those of you who just don’t want to do the project yourself, you still need to be a major player in the design and planning phase. If you decide to use a contractor, coordination will be the key here. You still have to define what you want, how much you want to spend, what kind of products you might want to use (like granite, lights, paint, etc.), and a timeline for completion. Staying organized with or without a contractor can help you pull off any project.

For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallone

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