5 Keys to Being Successful with Your Home Renovations

A number of commonsense things go into successful home renovations, such as checking your finances before you draft a renovation plan and having this plan laid out in detail before you purchase a single nail. In addition to these, there are some things that you can’t afford to overlook if you want your home renovation to come off without a hitch.

1. Check your city’s regulations on renovations.

Most major renovations need a permit, so getting a permit is top priority when you plan to do work on your home. The city or the county where you live may have regulations about what kind of changes you can make to the interior and the exterior of your house. For example, in some places, home owners are not allowed to put up backyard fences higher than six feet. Or, your city may have an ordinance limiting the use of your garage, so make sure you know what these are before you transform it into a den.

2. Get a good contractor.

Unless you are going to do all the renovations yourself, you will need a contractor, specifically one who specializes on renovations. Get someone who has done a lot of work on the type of home you have. You should only hire a contractor who has been in the business for at least three years, and this contractor should come with good referrals from friends, neighbors, and people you know. When you interview your prospective contractors, ask about their experience, their current and past projects, their license, their professional association memberships, and their insurance. Visit at least one of their projects and don’t be shy about checking their credentials.

3. Make sure your contract says it all.

If your project’s size requires the services of a contractor, make sure you have a detailed contract stating what the contractor is legally bound to deliver and when this is supposed to happen. The contract should contain the project specifications and the payment schedules. Here’s a tip -  renovators with sufficient working capital rarely need more than 10% of the total job as their first payment. At least 25% of the cost of the total job should be held back until the renovation is complete. This is the best way to guarantee that the contractor will return to finish all the details.

4. Make sure your materials make the grade.

The worst thing you can do is to spend money on renovations without making sure all the materials you use are of good quality. Here is where you may have to do a lot of homework. Take note that your research should go beyond paint colors or the finish on your counters because you need to be certain that the not-so-visible hardware for your remodeling project will withstand years of wear and tear. Surf the web and visit sites like for a better grasp of what type of hardware you should buy. Some DIY sites will also give you good tips on nails, screws, nuts and bolts; sometimes these will even specify the size and the make of the pieces you need for specific purposes.

5. Make way for the renovation.

Once your plans and your budget are set, and you are ready to start work, there is one last thing you need to do. You need to make way for the renovation. This means you need to pack away items such as paintings, china, and other valuables so that these are kept safe while work is going on. If you have important or fragile pieces of furniture, you may want to pack these away too or put them in storage. Apart from this, you need to cover your floors, protect your glass cabinets, chandeliers, and light fixtures. If you are remodeling your kitchen, it would be best for you to put up a temporary cooking station; this way the work can go on unhampered, and your meals can be prepared in peace.

A home renovation is an undertaking that can easily go south, and that will mean serious disappointment for you on top of a lot of time and money wasted. You can avoid this by planning your project carefully, by sticking to your plan, and by keeping track of project milestones. With due diligence, renovating your home will be an exciting journey with you looking forward to changes that will make your home exactly the way you want it to be.


Image Source: Flickr Commons

Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley

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