Check List for Making Your Dream
Home a Reality – Love Where You Live!
Let’s Get You Started On Your Dream Home Renovation – Planning a large home renovation project can be a daunting, frustrating, time-consuming task. You want the results to be worth the time and money!
Horror Stories – Unfortunately, we have all heard about Renovation Nightmares. So how can you avoid renovation pitfalls? PPR has put together a Checklist of Phases and Strategies to avoid most of the surprises:
Phase 1 – Start Planning Your Dream – Allow Plenty of Time!
Make Your Wish List. What are your – and your family’s – wants and needs. It’s OK to think out of the box! What are your priorities? Consider what should happen ASAP and what can wait.
What do you want the Renovation to Look Like? Think through the Size, Design and Style of Your Dream. Walk through the existing space and visualize the changes.
Will the Renovations be a Sound Investment? Are the anticipated renovations a good investment given your home’s location and the compatible values in the area? Grapple with the question, “Should you stay and renovate or should you move?”.
Meet with Family and Significant Others. Discuss what each party is looking for with a renovation to meet their specific needs. How will they deal with the inconveniences? How can they assist?
Create a Great Preliminary Design. Consult with an architectural designer and engineers to look at all of the possibilities with no commitments to utilize their services.
What Can You Afford to Spend? Consider how you will fund your intended renovations. Note – While many advisers will recommend a cushion of 10%, for the sake of your sanity we suggest 20%. You will not want to be forced to cut corners or compromise on code compliance when costs increase.
Plan Your Financing. If you’ll need financing, research: the opportunities, rates, requirements, and timelines.
Check Your Calendars. What is your timeline for the renovation? Are their times during the year – or events on your schedule – that will be compromised by the ongoing renovation. Remember – Renovations often take longer than expected!
Organize and Declutter. This phase can take a month or more! You’ll need to clear work spaces as well as other living spaces that may be affected by the renovation. Determine what should stay, what should be given away and what goes to the trash. Decluttering and organizing services can make the job easy! Remember – Protect your valuables during the renovation period when many people will be in and out of the house.
Plan for Problems and the Unexpected – Expect the Unexpected. You can expect cost increases, delays from trades people, equipment breakdowns, supply shortages, and system problems. Working with a Project Manager(PM) can substantially reduce unexpected surprises. The PM can be your onsight eyes and ears – Your WatchDog!
Phase 2 – Renovation Planning – Being Prepared!
Talk to Your Insurance Agent. Contact your insurance agent to help make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of coverage you have in place for your renovation project. Your PM will make sure the various trades carry needed coverages. Once the renovation is complete, consider having your agent evaluate your coverage again so you can be assured it fits your needs.
Begin looking for an Architect & Engineers – Good article on working with an Architect – https://www.realhomes.com/advice/how-to-work-with-an-architect
Make sure that you and your Architect are in sync with your style and design desires – Your Aesthetic!
Here’s a Link to why you may need an Engineer(s) – https://www.bestructural.com/when-should-you-hire-a-structural-engineer/
Make sure that the Engineer, Architect and Project Manager are introduced and get together early in the Planning Phase.
Begin looking for a Project Manager – Finding a Project Manager with whom you can work closely with is essential. They’ll not only be your eyes and ears for the term of the renovation – Your WatchDog, the PM will be on the front line of communications with the other professionals, trades and suppliers.
Why a Project Manager(PM) and not a General Contractor(GC)? Unlike a GC, the PM is loyal to you and only you – they vet the best of trades available and help select the best materials from all available sources! The PM works with you, the Architect, the Engineers and other Professionals to assist in creating the Plans, timelines and Budgets to meet your Needs and Price Points! The PM is your WatchDog!
Select the Architect, Engineers and Project Manager. Working with carefully selected Professionals will provide you a comfort zone and save you time and money. In addition, the city and other public entities will appreciate your working with professionals and expedite project approvals.
Schedule Group Meetings with your Architect, Engineers and Project Manager. Make sure they fully understand your – and your family’s – Dreams and Budget as they begin Designs, Estimated Costs and Timelines.
Schedule Another Meeting with Family and Significant Others. Review the status of the renovation with all involved parties. Get their input and keep them in the loop!
Interview and Select Design Professionals (If Desired). They can assist you with the selection and coordination of interior design and furnishing decisions. They will help to determine and hone your aesthetic. Allow yourself one to two months to choose everything. While you are shopping for tile and hardwood floors, your Architect, Engineers and PM will finalize construction drawings, the budget and complete the details required for permits and approvals.
Create Spaces for Yourself and Family – Don’t Forget the Pets. Select rooms that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos. Equip the areas with whatever you might need to keep your sanity for the duration of the renovation. Check with the Architect and PM to assure that at least one full bathroom will always be in service. Determine when and for how long the kitchen will be out of commission? Remember that the power, water and HVAC for periods of time.
Staying In Your House? Determine if you and your family will be forced to find other living quarters during phases of the renovation. Make the arrangements!
Inform Your Neighbors. Renovation projects create noise, dust, traffic, road-side parking and other potential disruptions for your neighbors. Letting them know your renovation schedule will reduce potential problems and keep the peace.
Phase 3 – Getting the Renovation Underway! Don’t Miss a Step!
A Forensic Home Inspection is a Diagnostic Must. Before starting the renovation you’ll want to make sure that the existing structures and systems are in sound and in good order. The Forensic Inspection will go far beyond more common home inspections and uncover problems that could occur during or after the renovation – Early Detection!
Have a Floor Plan Created. It is well worth the time and cost to have a floor plan created for the entire house. You can avoid critical and often costly design mistakes when armed with a floor plan. Your PM will provide each of the trades a floor plan giving them needed measurements and marking the location of wall, fixtures, etc. The floor plan will also be a valuable tool as you begin planning furnishings and their placement.
Here’s a good question to discuss with your Architect, Designer and PM provided by HomeAdvisor — “Figuring $80 to $100 per square foot, does each square foot in the plan truly ‘earn its keep’? Can wasted square footage be turned into usable living space or eliminated? Could more storage and closets be added throughout the home? Does the design take best advantage of the views, maximize the natural light, and offer privacy?”
Secure Required Permits . Permits are generally required in most municipalities, permits are critical to helping avoid having to redo work. Your PM will check on the regulations, codes and inspection schedules to assure you are in compliance. Your PM will also work with the various trades to assure your projects are in compliance.
Schedule “Pulse Meetings” with your PM. It is extremely important to keep open lines of communication with your PM. Remember – – The PM should be your eyes and ears on the renovation project – Your WatchDog! If you have questions or concerns about any phase of the renovation project, the quality of workmanship or the tradesmen involved, the PM can answer your questions and take action when necessary. When you have suggestions for additions or changes to the renovation plan, the PM will work with you – and the the Architect if necessary – to determine the added costs and impact on completion dates. The PM will also keep you posted on the status of all renovation projects as well as the budget and timelines. The PM delivers Peace of Mind!
Determine the Demolition Required. Before the new construction begins, old structures may need to be removed. Demolition will vary project by project, but will include everything from: Pulling up carpet, Taking down wallpaper, Tearing down walls, Removing old pipes, Pulling old wiring, Cutting a hole in the roof, etc. Some demolitions can be accomplished in a few days while others may take much longer. During the demolition, all workers and the PM should be looking for indications of mold, lead paint and other toxic materials. If toxic problems are found, the PM will take all proper actions and keep you informed!
Determine the Utility Requirements. Electrical – The Forensic Inspection Professional, Engineer and PM will determine if parts or all of the house needs to be rewired. For those who are installing new appliances or find they will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. The PM will need to work with your utility.
Gas Lines – Gas lines may need to be updated or moved if you are remodeling a bathroom, a kitchen or adding heating systems.
Water and Sewer Lines – Your renovation may be a good opportunity to update water and sewer lines – they’ll be scoped during the Forensic Inspection. Replacement pipes are not only more sturdy but also allow water and sewage to flow more quietly. It’s wise to replace pipes before new flooring and walls are installed.
Renovation Oversight. The PM, or you, should be onsight during the entire renovation and inspect all work as it is completed by various trades. Tradesman should be paid in full until their work is inspected and approved. No walls, floors, ceilings, etc. should be installed until the systems and structures behind are inspected and approved! An advantage to having a PM is that they can be onsight as your eyes and ears while you go about your day-to-day activities!
Keep Renovation Records, Documentation, Invoices, etc. With the assistance of your PM, you should keep a file of all invoices, information provided by professionals, warranty information, instructions, etc. In addition – It will also be wise to keep a photo record of the entire renovation process from start to finish. This can be extremely important for insurance purposes, when selling the home or for walks down memory lane!
Finalize Household Arrangements. Now that you know when the renovation work will begin, the PM, or you, should make arrangements for dumpsters, storage containers and booking a hotel room for the days and nights when you and your family may need to stay outside the house.
Inspect and Review All Deliveries. The PM, or you, should inspect all deliveries and invoices to assure that the deliveries: (1) Match what was ordered (2) The price is correct (3) The quantity is accurate and (4) That nothing was damaged.
Unfortunately, as many as 20% of all deliveries will have a problem. These problems can cost time and money! Another advantage to having a PM is that the PM will not only be responsible for the inspections but also rectify the problems. In addition, when there is a problem with deliveries, the PM will adjust the trade’s timelines as required. It is costly and frustrating to have trades onsight without the needed materials.
Keep and Update Timelines for the Projects and Trades on a Daily Basis. The timelines for the various trades are interdependent upon the completion of each phase of a project by other trades – as well as the delivery of required materials. In addition, the projects may require the scheduling of multiple trades to complete that phase of the project. Trades must work together! Unfortunately, when one trade falls behind in their work – or the required materials are not available – the timelines will need to be updated and distributed.
Plan the Cleanup Processes – Ongoing and at Completion. Working with your PM, develop a plan for dealing with all the dust and debris on a daily basis! The PM will assure that the trades keep their work areas clean, their tools organized and that they keep passage ways open as best possible.
Conclusion – There is a great deal of planning that goes into a home renovation. Whether you’re doing room-by-room updates or gutting the entire house from the ground up, you’ll need to utilize trained professional and carefully vetted trades at each stage!
A Project Manager will help complete each of the required steps to make your dream home become a reality. The PM will be your eyes and ears – Your WatchDog – focusing on Quality, Timing, Costs and Meeting Your Expectations! Your PM will provide a unique vision and a hands-on approach to your renovation that will help your project run smoothly to bring you the Home of Your Dreams!
Are you a Home Owner, Potential Buyer, Real Estate Investor Planning a Renovation/Remodeling Project?
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Email Phil Eide – firstname.lastname@example.org — Text/Call – 216.577.5579