It is rare to meet someone who has undergone a home renovation that hasn’t complained that it took too long. Having worked on home renovation projects of varying scales for homeowners getting their house ready to sell or prior to move in or even when they’re living in the home, I have found that there are certain things that help make a project move quickly and efficiently. Whenever I see projects drag on and on for months, even years, it’s because they’re lacking in one or more of these areas. Granted, there are things that come up that are out of your control, but I can promise that if you follow the tips below, you’ll reduce your project timeline significantly.
First and foremost, Have a Plan – Sounds simple enough right? I want to renovate my kitchen or bath. That’s a start, but there’s much more to it than that. Consult with your contractor about your project and find out a realistic time frame to start and complete the work. I recommend you get a calendar and use it as a project tracker. If it’s going to take 6 weeks for example, mark what the finish date is on the calendar. Then, reverse engineer or back track everything that needs to be done and assign a date to everything. For example, Day 1 Demolition, Day 2 Remove popcorn ceiling, Day 3 electrical rough-in, etc. This will also help you know what materials you need and when. For example, if you’re doing demolition on Day 1, you’ll need a dumpster on site. If you’re hiring a General Contractor to work on your project, they will handle these details, but it’s good to ask what you need to provide and what they will provide. If you are installing cabinets on Day 30, and it takes 4 weeks to order the cabinets, that means you need to get the floor plan designed immediately so that an order can be placed and delivered in time.
Have a realistic budget. How will you fund your project? Savings? Loan? Credit Cards? A gut kitchen or bath renovation is not inexpensive. Be prepared to spend several thousand dollars even on the low end. Make a list of everything you’ll need: cabinets, flooring, lighting, appliances, fixtures, sinks, disposal, toilet, tub, knobs, and more. Also, who is going to do the work. Is this a DIY project or will you be employing professionals? If you’re going with the DIY route, be realistic about your abilities and how much time you have to contribute to the renovation considering your other responsibilities – full time job, family, etc.
Know What You Want. Do you have a particular style that you like? How do you want the space to function? How do you envision using the space? What all needs to fit in the space? In the kitchen, consider storage for all the dishes, pots, bakeware, glassware and cookbooks. In the bathroom, consider the number and kind of people using the space …