My husband, Anthony, and I lived in seven houses in four metropolitan areas – updating, building and renovating along the way – before moving our family to a small town in rural Oklahoma to start our own construction business.
Anthony has worked in construction for 12 years, and we are currently in the middle of renovating an old farmhouse that we purchased two years ago.
With all the things we’ve learned along the way, I wanted to share with you five things you should know before tackling a remodel.
- EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
While you can estimate cost and timeline for completion ahead of time, you never know what you’re going to find when you start tearing down walls. Depending on the age of the structure and how long it has been since last occupied, know that there may be unforeseen delays.
- IT WILL COST YOU
Materials are expensive. Most people have no idea what things really cost. In addition to material cost, you have to factor in the cost of labor. This varies depending on the trade and where you live.
- KNOW YOUR STYLE
Do your research ahead of time and know which style suits you if you are planning to live in the home once it’s complete. If you plan to sell the house once it’s complete, knowing how to appeal to the masses is important.
- TIME IS MONEY
The longer a project takes, the more it’s going to cost you. Of course, you may encounter unexpected delays as mentioned earlier, but knowing when to schedule your subcontractors and keeping change requests to a minimum is key to staying on track.
- IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS
Don’t be afraid to hire a general contractor. A reputable contractor can give you an accurate cost estimate before the project begins. They have knowledge and expertise on structural requirements and code requirements, allowing them to anticipate possible delays ahead of time by walking through the home and listening to your vision for the space. Contractors can often get better pricing on labor and materials, and they know how to schedule subcontractors efficiently to ensure the project is completed within a certain amount of time. Although it adds a percentage to your overall cost, hiring a contractor can actually save you money in the long run.
In the age of HGTV and DIY projects, you can easily get yourself in over your head by trying to tackle a project that is out of your league. Inexperience can lead to mistakes that you may or may not notice before it’s too late.
If you’re considering a home renovation, know what to expect ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.