Jill Hippe Evolo Design Cincinnati OHSo you think you want to manage your own home renovation project? Consider this carefully when beginning a remodeling project: Can I afford to hire a professional? Can I afford NOT to hire a professional?

Home Renovation is a Challenge

Home renovation projects are wrought with decisions, limited by budgets and challenged by design constraints. There are contractors to meet and sub contractors to schedule. Then there is managing the unexpected that every project will encounter. There are also all those personal inspections to confirm quality work on details seen and unseen. The uninitiated sometimes believe they can do this. Then the challenges begin.

If you intend to take on these challenges, check out these tips on how to manage home renovation project decisions that you will be required to make.

Home renovation tips

Build in a time cushion. Many home renovation projects will take longer than
anticipated. You are at the mercy of many variables, i.e., subcontractors who
don’t show up at the appointed time, material that didn’t arrive when needed,
and unexpected structural issues that need resolution. Deadlines that are too
narrow will create anxiety and take the joy out of your project.

Check references. Get a read on how potential subcontractors worked around small
children and pets. Was work site left clean and tidy after each day’s work.
Determine the accuracy of original timelines and if planned schedules were met.
Ascertain if the job was satisfactorily completed, how post completion issues were
resolved, and what the experience felt like. Avoid sub contractors who may do good
work but put the homeowner through construction nightmare in making it all happen.

Prepare for the unexpected. Items uncovered once construction is underway may force
mid home improvement project corrections. These may force added costs. An unreliable
sub floor may require repairs or replacement. Wall interiors may be hiding unexpected
wiring or HVAC runs that need to be changed. Other aspects of the home may need to be
brought up to code that were not factored into the original scope of work.

Take a deep breath. Do not allow your own impatience to get in the way of proper
selections and job details. You are going to be party to hundreds of decisions,
many of which you were not equipped to make alone. So, you cautiously yield to the
expert on site, the subcontractor. In measured tones, you question and continue to
ask about options. The relationship will be tested, so have one. Trust and straight
talk are needed when you are making this level of investment in any home renovation.

Making selections is serious business. You will be challenged by what you don’t know
and what you are having shoved at you from all directions. Create little homework
assignments geared to the things that matter most to you, i.e., granite counter tops
may not be as good as manufactured counter tops base on what you find most functional
and beautiful. Same with stainless steel appliances, where wonderful new products
provide interesting and rich looks that rival the old steel standbys. Sinks also do
not necessarily need to be stainless steel as there is a wide collection of options
that offer uniqueness for your kitchen.

Avoid abusive sub contractors. Not showing up at the designated times or completing
phases as planned has a cascading effect on the entire project. Since you may be
acting as your own home renovation project manager, take charge. Inspect to confirm
that your expectations are being met. If certain sub contractors cannot be trusted
to do good work and on time, dismiss them from the job. This is your home renovation
and after you have communicated your expectations to all, you then become the enforcer.

These are just a few thoughts of various things you should consider. Doing home renovation yourself is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some enjoy the experience, know what to expect and possibly have good tradesmen they could rely on. So what if the went 4 months longer than expected. At least you got the new kitchen, even if the process seemed unbearable at the time. The project may have had nearly two man months of down time due to over extended sub contractors. You waited for material or equipment to be delivered. The renovation sequences was thrown out of sync because one sub became a missing link in the chain and everyone else was stalled.Thinking ahead, on your next big project, there just might be room for a professional project manager who will become you, bringing their expertise and reliable subcontractors to the table. So back to the original question, when considering Home Renovation, can you afford NOT to hire a professional?

 

Topic: Home Renovation

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