Everything you need to do before a home renovation | homify
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Everything you need to do before a home renovation

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
country  by Architekturatelier Biermann, Country
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Considering renovating your home? You are certainly not alone, as most people daydream about changing their houses’ layouts and/or adding some new rooms. However, it is also true that most people don’t know the first thing about planning a renovation project. 

How about you? Are you aware of what you need to consider one year before the project starts? Do you know how long before you need to contact professionals to get the ball rolling on your renovation? 

Yes, a home renovation can feel like a daunting task, but by taking all the right steps before the project starts, it can proceed most smoothly.

Here’s how to go about it…

12 months before: Get inspired

Start thinking about the type of renovation project you want to tackle. Browse through magazines, websites (hint: homify has plenty of inspiration!) and look at other homes to see what you like (and what you don't like). 

Start saving now!

Let those ideas percolate for a few months.

7 – 9 months before: Decide the scope of your project

Apartment Renovation Kitchen by Paul D'Amico Remodels
Paul D'Amico Remodels

Apartment Renovation

Paul D'Amico Remodels

Set up 'wants' and 'needs' lists. Ballpark the renovation costs based on square metres. 

Have you decided yet which type of renovation you'll be opting for—a bathroom remodel, a kitchen do-over, perhaps a master suite addition? Costs vary significantly depending on the scope of the project (like a remodel versus a renovation).

Now is also the time to start deciding what professionals you will bring on board—architects, contractors, interior designers, landscape architects, etc.

Start pricing those materials you'll be needing: fixtures, lighting, appliances, furniture, etc.

6 months before: Set your budget

Hehku Cucina Range Classic style kitchen by Hehku Classic

Hehku Cucina Range


Talk to your bank about financing options and find out what your options are in terms of a home equity loan, home equity line of credit, cash-out refinancing, etc.

Regarding those professionals you're sizing up, get quotes from at least three different contractors.

Add at least 10—20% contingency into your overall budget. If your budget is a bit tight, maybe rethink some of those items on your 'wants' list?

5 months before: Hire your team

Basement Orangery on London townhouse Modern conservatory by Westbury Garden Rooms Modern Wood Wood effect
Westbury Garden Rooms

Basement Orangery on London townhouse

Westbury Garden Rooms

Of course you will choose the quote which best fits your budget, but be careful: you don't want a contractor that cuts corners just to save some money. Talk to some previous clients and read online reviews. And it is your utmost right to check the contractor's paperwork, like a license, liability insurance, bond, etc.

This is also the time to set up meetings with other necessary designers or specialists you'll be needing for your project.

4 months before: Finalise your schedule

By talking with your team of professionals, determine how long the project will take, then set the start and end dates.

Sign the relevant contracts, but double-check vital items like the project details, deadlines, payment amounts and schedule, fine print, etc.

3 months before: Finalise all permits

Lifetime Vinyl Shutters in a Bathroom Classic style bathroom by Thomas Sanderson Classic
Thomas Sanderson

Lifetime Vinyl Shutters in a Bathroom

Thomas Sanderson

Determine what type of permits will be needed. Typical ones for general renovation projects include:  

• Structural changes.

• Additions.

• Plumbing.

• Electrical.

• Fencing/exteriors.

• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

• Windows. 

• Utilities.

Remember to communicate with your contractor about who will be acquiring permits.

2 – 3 months before: Finalise materials

Guest Bedroom Modern style bedroom by Clean Design Modern
Clean Design

Guest Bedroom

Clean Design

Place orders and set up delivery for the relevant materials, such as: flooring, cabinets, lighting, fixtures, appliances and furniture.

Unless you're a seasoned DIYer with renovations, we advise you to rely on expert designers, decorators and project coordinators to help you complete your project. After all, these professionals know the steps when it comes to planning, designing, ordering, providing access to fabric and flooring, etc.

1 month before: Plan living arrangements

New Home Before Wedding. Wimbledon, SW19 Modern kitchen by TOTUS Modern

New Home Before Wedding. Wimbledon, SW19


It's getting close now! Now you need to be level-headed about how that renovation will be disrupting your routine. 

Will you be without a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom? Will your pets need to go live somewhere else for the duration of the project? Should you put in some work leave while the project is underway?

1 – 2 weeks before: Prep the house

Move the furniture and clear the renovation space. Seal off any closets or food cabinets to protect against construction dust. Follow up on material deliveries to ensure you don't get any nasty surprises.

Start day

Traditional Conservatory Rustic style conservatory by Westbury Garden Rooms Rustic Wood Wood effect
Westbury Garden Rooms

Traditional Conservatory

Westbury Garden Rooms

It's finally here! But no reason to be stressed, for you have taken all the necessary steps and are meticulously prepped. 

Now, take a deep breath and think about how fantastic your new home is going to look!

To ensure that your renovation project is 100% lawful, have a look at: What do I need to know about planning permission?

Planning a home renovation? Share the details with us...
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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