Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Home Renovation

It’s 2021 and what better way to bring in the new year than with a home renovation!  So many of us put a hold on home projects during this past year of uncertainty and distancing and are ready to make some change this year.  Home renovations can be really exciting with the anticipation of a whole new fresh space but it can also be stressful if walking into a project unprepared.  Knowing the right questions to ask and what to expect during the process can help save your sanity and your budget. So, I’m starting a series on the preparation and process of home remodeling answering all of your questions so that you’re in a perfect place to start that home remodeling project!

A home remodel is a big undertaking and there are questions you should ask yourself before you even begin considering taking the next step into design and construction.  The more you understand about your design goals and can communicate that to your interior designer, architect and/or contractor the smoother the process will be.  It will end up saving you both time and money in the long run.  Asking yourself the following questions will put you in a better position to start the renovation process and get the best results to meet your vision.

  1. What do you want to change about your home?  What is working and what isn’t?

Examining your space as to what is working and what isn’t will help you to zero in on how you want your home to function.  Look at your lifestyle and your daily routines and consider how they could be working for you instead of against you.  Is it more space that you need or a change as to how your layout is working?  These questions will help you to determine whether you’re looking to build an addition or perhaps change the layout to function better. 

2. What is your budget? 

Now that you understand how you want your home to function and what needs to change, determining a budget can play a very large factor into what you want or can tackle in your home project.  Do you take on several rooms at once or phase over time?  Renovation costs can widely vary depending on the space, materials and finishes and the professionals that you employ.  When deciding on a budget for the remodel, don’t forget to add an amount for unforeseen issues.  We recommend adding another 15% as a cushion for anything that can unexpectedly come up during the construction process.  Understanding budget and keeping the plan in check is paramount in remodeling.  Consider an interior design professional familiar with construction that will help you walk through costs, present you options on budget, and ultimately save you money preventing mistakes that come up when you go it alone.

3. What are your must-haves and what is on your wish list? 

Start thinking about what you cannot live without and what you would like to include.  Having a list of priorities is a great way to help in the budgeting process too.  When it comes to having to make a decision between that high-end luxury appliance or adding more cabinetry in the kitchen it’s a good idea to know what is important to you.

4. What is your plan for the future of the home, will it support aging?

Do you plan on staying in your home 5 years, 10 years, is this your forever home?  It’s important to think about how long you plan on remaining in your home to weigh the investment.  If you plan on moving in a few years, does an addition make sense or should you focus on changing the floor plan to meet your needs?  Remodeling a kitchen and bathroom can be a great investment when selling your home but knowing where to put the money into the investment can make all the difference.  Is this your forever home; will you be going into retirement in this home?  Consider updates that will accommodate aging and will make your home safe and comfortable for years to come.  Universal design is for everyone regardless of age or abilities but more and more people are incorporating elements of universal design as a way to live independently in a home they will love and cherish for many years.

5. Will you be living in your home when construction starts?

Depending on the size of your project and what rooms are affected during construction you may want to think about your accommodations during the process.  Living at home during construction can be very disruptive and adds a lot of unwelcome stress.  Do you have a space in the home that is separate from the construction or do you have family you can crash with during the process?  Don’t forget to think about budget when considering your options.

6. What is your timeline or schedule for the project?

When do you want to have your space finished?  Can you realistically get the project done in the time that you need to have it completed? Construction times can vary greatly depending on the scope of your project.  Think about your timeline and then be sure to discuss this with your designer and contractor right away to create a realistic construction schedule and to keep the project in check along the way.

The bottom line is that a home renovation can be a really exciting time but it can also be stressful if not carefully thought out.  Having the right tools, asking questions and working with professionals that understand the process will help your transition be successful and even enjoyable!

Stay tuned for the next part in the series…. Questions to Ask Your Contractor

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