10 Tips to Help You Power Through a Home Renovation

At the end of any home renovation is an exciting, new-to-you space the whole family can enjoy, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be disruptive snags or important considerations to take care of along the way. In the excitement of making decisions regarding new wall colors and bathroom faucets, it can be easy to forget to go through the proper procedures before you even begin to tear off the baseboards. 

For a smooth, successful renovation process from start to finish, this guide can help you take care of important business every step of the way.


1. Have a Game Plan


Those who undertake a home renovation are typically people who have the can-do attitude, hours of experience as an amateur online researcher through topics across the spectrum such as “what is Thrive” or “best neighborhood potluck recipes” and excellent problem-solving skills. These traits, along with a healthy dose of perseverance, come in handy when it’s time to envision an end goal for your home renovation. 

Whether you want to increase the resale value of your home or aim to make a more beautiful, livable place for your family, consider your objectives for the renovation and plan accordingly. This will help to direct your efforts toward investment returns or functionality depending on your ideal outcome. 


2. Research Renovations


Before you make any firm plans or get your heart set on any particular changes, it’s wise to do your research to discover exactly what different renovation projects involve. In addition to looking online, reach out to family or friends who have taken on various renovation projects to discover what went well during the course of their renovations and what challenges they faced before completion. The information you discover during this phase could inform big choices you make down the road that can save you valuable time and money. 


3. Determine Your Budget


Renovations can be expensive, especially the further along you go in the process and confront unexpected costs and incidental expenses. Make a realistic budget that considers the basic expenses you’ll need to cover as you makeover your space, and be sure to leave room for extras in case you need them. As you look over your finances, consider cheaper alternatives that can create the same look you’re after without eating significantly into your overall budget. 


4. Set a Time Frame


While you may want to have the renovation completed by the holidays, cutting it too close in the fall could leave you without a gathering space when the time finally comes. Give yourself enough time to go through the proper sequence to get the job done right, and save a few weeks of wiggle room in case of unexpected delays.


5. Decide What to DIY


If you might consider yourself a fairly handy person, it can be tempting to take on more than you can handle on your own in order to save money. Some projects can be done with a little planning and personal elbow grease, while others are best left to the professionals. Take a look around and determine whether it’s worth it to hire a contractor or third party to manage bigger tasks, and save the easier ones for your own to-do list. 


6. Prepare Your Space


A renovation takes time, which can make the rooms of your home relatively unlivable while you’re in the middle of a home overhaul. To make the most of the time during renovation, it’s a good idea to plan useable space ahead of time.


Before you get started with updates, be sure to pack up your belongings and move them to a safe location. Make sure you can still perform your daily routines regardless of where you have to relocate while your house is under construction. It may be helpful to relocate bigger pieces of furniture to an off-site location such as a family member or friend’s basement or a locked storage unit. 


Get ahead of all your needs, whether you’ve taken on renovation jobs by yourself or have hired help, and establish a central location for tools, plans, checklists, manuals and other relevant gear. This can be as simple as one area of the room you’re working on or as complex as an entire room set up as a temporary control center. 


Make sure any room that’s about to see any manual labor has been adequately cleared, prepped and primed before the first sledgehammer comes in. Get a good idea of where demolished fixtures will go after disassembly, and prepare any flooring or other areas with protective covers. 


7. Install Safety Precautions


Children and pets can get incredibly curious about home renovations, but a construction zone is no place for little ones or four-legged friends. Talk with your children ahead of time to let them know where the safe zones in the house will be, and install baby gates or pet fences to block off danger zones. If necessary, ask friends and family to take children or pets while contractors are in the house to ensure safety and comfort for the whole family.


8. Establish Failsafes and Backups


Power outages, water shutoffs and plumbing problems can leave you without power or running water until the problem is resolved. Invest a portable generator and fill up the bathtub and sinks with water if you know any valves will be shut off or any potential problems could arise. 


9. Pursue Permits


In order to ensure your renovations meet fire and safety codes, building permits are a crucial step in any home remodel plan. Leave enough time in your renovation schedule to ensure you can follow the proper permitting processes and obtain necessary clearances before you make changes to your home that you will have to rip out and redo because they don’t meet safety standards. 


10. Handle Cleanup


Renovations are a messy business, which is why cleanup should be considered a part of the daily routine. It may seem like a good idea at the end of a tiring day, but leaving a sawdust-covered floor and tools scattered around the room will only extend the process and make it harder to get started when it’s time to hit the ground running in the morning. 

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