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  • Andrew Bargen

Three Tips for Planning Your Successful Renovation

Updated: Jan 5, 2019


Poorly planned renovations can be overwhelming and unnecessarily dramatic. Insufficient planning could be the reason such projects make good reality TV shows! However, like many things in life, with the proper knowledge and preparation, renovations become a lot less intimidating. Here are a few tips that will make your next project more enjoyable.



His and Her sinks set in a custom cherry wood vanity.

Budget One of the biggest fears for a homeowner when undertaking a renovation is cost overruns. While you may not foresee every extra cost, you can mitigate the risk considerably by starting with careful planning and experienced professional opinions. This planning best begins with a budget. It should contain a contingency amount, generally 10 to 20 percent of your total budget. Having these funds set aside will reduce your stress should necessary but unforeseeable work arise.

Another benefit to setting a budget early is that it helps you obtain good value. Having a firm number will help you prioritize the essential aspects of your project, which will increase the final quality by allowing you to spend your budget on what matters.

"While you may not foresee every extra cost, you can mitigate the risk considerably by starting with careful planning and experienced professional opinions."

Scope Once you know the size of your budget, you can start outlining the scope of the work. The project goals should be clear. Significant complications can occur without them. Therefore, determining why you are renovating is an important step in shaping the project. Renovations could occur to replace outdated decor, upgrade inefficient systems, or repair damage. Understanding the reason for your project will also indicate the depth of the improvements. For example, is painting enough or does drywall need to be replaced? In addition, consider your plan for your home. Are you concerned about getting a return on your investment? Are you planning other improvements that may be affected by this project? Answering such questions will also help you determine the scope of your project.


Vinyl plank flooring with trim painted in situ.

Contractor Consultation Discussing your project with your contractor in the planning stage is a great practice. When you involve an expert opinion, you ground your expectations in reality. A contractor who understands your dream will be able to recommend necessary improvements to the scope of your project. Examples include adding prep work or planning for potential issues such as water damage in a bathroom.

"When you involve an expert opinion, you ground your expectations in reality."

With the scope of the work set, your contractor will be able to verify whether or not your budget is reasonable. A great option is to split the renovation into stages if the anticipated cost for the project exceeds your budget. Some projects may be simple enough for your contractor to provide a rough estimate immediately. It is important to remember never start the work without a signed, written quote that clearly outlines the scope of the work, the timeline, and the final price.


Starting projects may feel intimidating, but these tips will lead you down the path to success. Happy Renovating!

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