It happens to all of us…we are in the grocery story, getting ready to check out and then it happens. You are trapped in line waiting your turn and you start perusing the magazines; everything from fashion to Southern Gardens and Home. Hmm, that staged shot on the cover looks great. Your mind goes straight to that kitchen you need to update, the flooring you said you’d replace when you moved in 7 years ago, the light fixture that your great-grandmother might mistake for her own in your entryway. You need to update and renovate.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind once you decide to take the leap:
1. Make a list of what you want to change.
Look at websites and magazines to get inspiration for the redesign. Write down what you like and why you like it, and look online and at your local home store to get a price estimate. Once you know what you want to change, prioritize your list by ranking each item in order of what needs to get done first. Refer to your list through the project to help you stay on track.
2. Consider your resources.
Time, budget, and energy. When deciding between an update and an overhaul, take into consideration the amount of time, money and energy that you’ll have to dedicate to the project.
3. Set a budget.
Once you figure out how much you can spend, subtract 20% to 30% from this number and set it aside for contingencies.
4. Sketch it out.
A rough sketch of the layout of the space will help you narrow down the fixtures, cabinets, storage options, and any other additions you’d like to incorporate.
5. Measure everything more than once.
It may sound persnickety, but taking the time to measure things twice will help you to ensure that you don’t need to make costly returns or corrections.
6. Replace the underlayment.
If you’re ripping up flooring and fixtures, consider replacing the underlayment. Not only does this allow you to start fresh, it also gets rid of any water damage, which commonly occurs in humid environments.
7. Reduce the impact of the renovation.
Move your stuff over to a room that’s not being remodeled before the work begins. That way, you won’t have to hunt for items hidden under drop cloths or cover your favorites in any construction ‘dust’.
In the end, keeping these simple steps in mind when tackling any renovation project will maintain your budget and your deadline. And, of course, always consult a contractor.
Danielle MacCarthy, REALTOR