Home Renovation Tips

How do I make a home renovation plan?

Planning is an essential part of the renovation project that needs to be shared amongst every contractor, subcontractor working in the project and might also be required for some legal procedures.

So, there is no way you can miss out on planning. Now getting to the real question of ‘how to get your renovation plan drafted?’

Well, You can do it yourself depending on the type of work you do and your budget. Or hire other tradespersons to do it, which is the common practice.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of home renovations.

Do I need to put out a plan for a home renovation?

No matter how big or small your project, you must have a renovation plan set down on paper!

I can almost hear some of you saying “But I’m only doing some small internal modifications/renovating a bathroom/removing a doorway, why would I need a plan for the renovation?”

The answer is: You must put out a plan for the successful building experience. The more planning you do up-front, including getting your ideas on paper, the easier the next stags will be.

Plus, I GUARANTEE that you will save yourself money by being organised. Subcontractors, tradesmen, and suppliers will want to work with you if you are organised. If you’re not, you will quite literally pay the price in terms of money and time.

Unfortunately, suppose the people you are looking to work with on your project get the slightest hint that you are unorganised. In that case, they will factor this into their pricing to compensate for the extra running around and organising that they will need to do.

HOW TO PLAN A HOME RENOVATION

Home Renovation Tips

BUILD A DETAILED HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT PLAN

The first step in a remodelling project is to develop a plan that clearly states the goal for your renovation and includes designing inspiration and an outline of the work that needs to be completed.

Your project plan should also include:

  • Blueprints or sketches of your finished project.
  • A list of needs and wants for your project.
  • Project steps divided into DIY steps and steps that will require a professional.

At this point in planning a home renovation, investigate local zoning regulations and permits. Make sure your neighbourhood is zoned for your remodel (some renovations like garage conversions are not allowed everywhere) and find out if you’ll need a permit. If you are completing a project that will change the structure of your home or the use of a room, you will most likely need a permit. Wait to apply for permits until you’ve hired a team and built a project timeline.

WORK OUT A BUDGET

The first place to start when planning your renovation is… BUDGET! How much money you want to spend will determine what you are able to do – are you simply doing general pretty up with a new coat of paint, or are you doing a full-blown remodel? When we started, the first thing we did was work out how much money we could afford to spend, factoring the cost of the property and how much we had/wanted to borrow. Because we are doing a full remodel, with a new level and a complete overhaul, straight away we knew that the budget would be tight, and we would be doing everything we could to create bespoke-inspired style on a budget. That’s the bit I’m most inspired to share with you!

Your budget should include the costs for permits and building materials, labour costs and the cost of decorations or cosmetic touches.

To build your budget:

  • Decide how much you want to spend and finalise financing. Set aside at least 10% of your budget for unexpected costs.
  • Request cost estimates from professionals.
  • Price out all required materials.

If your cost estimates do not fit in your budget, use your home improvement project plan from step one to eliminate project elements that are a lower priority. Request cost estimates from multiple contractors to find the best option for your budget.

Planning for a new look of your house? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions is here to help in your home renovations.

Determine Your Scope of Work and Timeline

The very first thing you’ll want to do is assess the scope of your remodel. What projects are you going to tackle? Is this a kitchen renovation or a complete house flip? Estimate the size of the renovation and then do a walkthrough of each space. As you walk, write down everything that needs to be done in each room from drywall repairs and painting to updating electrical wiring, fixtures, and lighting.

Start with your dream list — everything you could possibly consider remodelling. It’s much easier to start with that larger list and downsize than to plan for a smaller renovation and add more later. Even with a perfectly crafted dream renovation list, you’re bound to find new things to add as time goes on.

After you know all of the areas you want to address in your home renovation, you can start to construct a rough timeline for each project. Now is a good time to think about which tasks must be done before others. For example, if you’re doing a complete renovation, you’ll learn that A/C ductwork gets done first, then plumbing, and last electrical, based on the size of the materials being fit behind the walls.

Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to figure out how much of the work you’ll be doing yourself versus hiring out.

Once you have your budget and team in place for your remodelling plan, it’s time to put together your timeline. First, choose the desired start date, or if you’re hoping to have it completed by a specific date, work backward from that date instead. Sit down with your contractors to determine the length of time each portion of the project will take. Discuss which steps of the remodel need to be completed first, how long they will take and which project portions can be completed concurrently.

Additionally, be sure your timeline:

  • Includes time to clean out the project area.
  • Allows for the shipping and delivery of materials.
  • Accounts for any holidays your contractors may take off.

Use a calendar to mark out each step of the project. Set a completion date that includes a few days’ worths of wiggle room for unexpected issues. Confirm with your contractors or team members that the timeline is realistic and keeps you within budget.

GATHER INSPIRATION

Now, the fun part! Time to put together some ideas for how you want your space to look and feel once it’s done. To do this, we spent time putting together ideas and pulling imagery that reflected both the structural elements we wanted to see as well as the decor. My main focus at first was the decor, but it was great to be guided by Ben through structural things like space and orientation. I created some mood boards and have added to them throughout the process, adding DIYs, landscaping ideas and pretty much everything that inspires me.

CREATE & REFINE YOUR SCOPE

The next thing we did was to refine the ideas into actual elements that we wanted to see, designing the space and the elements that would be in it. This became a bit of a wish list for the house, which is essentially a scope of works. At this point, it’s a good idea to get an idea of the broad costs associated with your plans, and one way to do that is to get in touch with a builder or consult an online guide. For us, the original scope came in over budget (hello renovating!), so we tweaked some of the things we wanted and focused on our key priorities like light, space and yield. This stage will often be a process of going back and forth, but it’s worth it to get it right.

DESIGN THE SPACE

Once you’ve finalised your scope, it’s time for design! Depending on the project, you might need detailed drawings like layouts and cross-sections. You can develop drawings for using an architect, but that said, depending on the scale of your renovation, you don’t always need drawings. The bigger and more complex the project, the more you should consider drawings. A builder can often do a renovation for you without them just going by eye and communication – although in this case you often won’t get the perfect finish (but it might be worth it if your money is tight). Luckily for us, Ben and his team created drawings for the new design in literally no time, admittedly taking the headache/cost out of the process and meaning we could condense this stage into just a few days. They created plans (flat layouts) and elevations of the whole house and even sketch up (real-life) models of the outside, bathrooms and kitchen/living/dining space in a very short amount of time. *You may have to submit your drawings to the council/authorities at this stage, something we didn’t have to do because the house had an existing approval on it – something that was both a blessing and a curse.

PICK YOUR TEAM

Chances are you’ve already been in touch with a builder in the previous stages, and that person might be the perfect fit for you. If not, at this point it’s a good idea to work out who you will need, depending on the tasks that need doing, and whether you will manage them yourself or have a builder manage the whole team for you. If you can, contact a few with your plans and get a number of itemised quotes so you can compare. If you can see some examples of their work that will be handy too, so you can compare the finished product with the costs. My mum found the builder when she was walking one morning, she saw a heritage house being renovated with some really nice details on it, and luckily his sign was out the front. Voila!

Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.

Hire Contractors

Next, in your home project planning, you’ll need to hire your team. Don’t choose your contractors on cost estimates alone. When interviewing and selecting your contractors, also consider:

  • Years of experience: A contractor who’s been doing business for a long time makes them a safer bet than one who is new to the business.
  • Contracting license: Make sure your contractor has gone through all the steps needed to obtain any required certifications specific to their line of work.
  • Certificate of insurance: Contractors should have workers’ compensation and liability insurance for the type of work they perform.
  • References: Request and call references. This is a great way to make sure your contractor isn’t just good on paper.
  • Payment schedule: A reputable contractor won’t ask you to pay the full price upfront, and the Better Business Bureau advises not to. However, it’s important to discuss payment terms before construction begins. In some cases, it’s better to spend a little extra to get someone you’re comfortable working with.

If you are hiring multiple contractors for a job, determine who is in charge before the project begins to avoid confusion or slowdown later.

Completing a DIY project? During this step, make sure you have the expertise and support you need to complete the job without hired help, including confirming the help of friends of the family for when your project starts.

GET A FINAL COST BREAKDOWN

Whether you’ve secured the builder already or are planning to compare quotes from a few, you’re going to need a detailed cost breakdown of what you’re planning to do. Because we were planning a full scale remodel this break down was huge, and we needed to go through each item to review price, this time taking into account the broad cost of fittings and other details. Again, the budget was quite tight, so at this point too we dropped a few things off our list and tweaked the materials.

Clean, Purge, and Demo

Home renovations are a lot of work! Here is an in-depth home renovation checklist to effectively organise your home renovation.

The demolition phase is when the renovation begins to take shape. Careful planning before you start swinging is a must! Be sure to talk to your contractor (if applicable) before beginning to be sure of what, if anything, should remain intact. Pay careful attention to protect floors, walls, light fixtures or any other parts of your renovation area that are not being replaced.

Take this opportunity to clean and purge the space. Do you have old pots and pans you throw into the back of the cabinet and never use? Are the curtains in your living room falling apart? Take the time now to get rid of those eyesores and headaches so that you can be sure you’re able to fill your new space with only the items you love! 

Tips for Planning a Home Renovation

Ask Your Contractor Plenty of Questions

Once you have a potential list of contractors, interview them and obtain rough quotes for the jobs. If you don’t like the personality of a contractor, don’t hesitate to move on. This is someone you’ll have to work closely with, and if your personalities clash, it could turn ugly!

If you have a bad gut feeling about someone, trust that and move on.

It’s helpful to get at least two quotes to see how drastic the variation in pricing may be from company to company. After reviewing two quotes, if you find there is a large gap between them, consider getting a third quote to figure out what a median standard might be.

When planning your home renovation, don’t be afraid to quiz your contractor about every step of the process.

Find out their professional opinion about your:

  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Other contractors
  • Materials

That being said, stick to your plans as much as possible. Don’t let a contractor force a more expensive product or service on you unless there’s a good reason for it. Just use their expertise to validate your choices and prevent serious mistakes.

Plan for Problems When Renovating

Even the most detailed home remodelling plans go awry. Don’t let it get you down. Be prepared for delays and issues by setting aside a chunk of your budget for unforeseen costs and allotting a few extra days in your project timeline. This will prevent stress and overspending during the renovation and will help you stick to your plan in the end.

Complete Structural Projects First

When you’re planning a home renovation, make sure you’re prioritising any structural projects first. If your roof, foundation or an electrical system needs improvements, be sure to complete those before spending money on general cosmetic changes.

While a kitchen renovation might improve your day-to-day life, a leaky roof could destroy your new kitchen if it’s not addressed at the first sign of a problem.

Plan Ahead for Waste Removal

Don’t wait until your contractor is piling concrete in your driveway to think about waste removal. Include the cost of getting rid of debris in your budget and make sure you discuss plans with your contractor before the project begins. Decide who is responsible for finding a waste removal solution for construction debris, what it will be and where it will be located during the planning process.

When planning a house renovation, it can be tempting to skip to the exciting stage of choosing new paint colours, fixtures and fittings. Still, for any renovation to go smoothly, these are several tips in planning before you begin.

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