What's the one thing you don't want when planning a large home improvement project? Too many surprises. Coordinating your own home renovation project is as rewarding as it is challenging, and achieving your desired result starts with having a plan. Our real estate agents have some key tips to help you take charge of your next home improvement project, and get results that you'll enjoy for years to come.
- Use Lists to Stay Organized and Develop Your Plan
Every detail matters, and planning a large home improvement project is much easier when you keep your thoughts organized. That's why it's so important to keep track of your thoughts by creating lists throughout the planning process. These lists will include your big picture plans, but also all of the little things that you want to make sure that you communicate to your contractors.
- Be Prepared to Invest Time and Energy
Successfully managing a home improvement project requires an investment of time and energy, even if you have great contractors helping you along the way. So if you want to handle the details yourself, make sure to set aside time to devote to the project. If the time investment is too much to fit within your schedule, you can always hire a project manager to lighten your load.
- Create Detailed Specifications for Your Contractors
Never assume that your contractor will know exactly what you want, especially when it comes to the little details. If you want a specific color of the grout in the bathroom or a certain type of knob for the kitchen cabinets, then be sure to make that clear. The specifications document that you provide to your contractor should cover everything that you want to be done in detail, from the start of the project to the finish.
- Finish Your Plan Before Starting Your Project
Planning on the fly is stressful, and can lead to impulse decisions that you later regret with more time to reflect. That's why it's critical to have your project fully planned out before work begins, so you won't have to make big design decisions on tight deadlines. Planning ahead also makes it much easier to budget for your project and maximizes your options.
- Build in Time for Materials to Arrive
Even in the best of times, building supplies and custom design elements take time to arrive. The past few years have seen unprecedented disruptions to supply lines, which can make wait times even longer. So if you want custom cabinets, custom lights, or a specific type of flooring, plan ahead so that you won't have to wait on supplies when the project is ready to start.
- Leave Room in Your Budget for the Unexpected
No matter how well you plan, unexpected issues can arise during home improvement projects — especially for older homes. Depending on the size of the project, building a 10 percent buffer into your budget can help you adapt to unexpected costs.
- Be Prepared to Provide Feedback and Answer Questions
Even if you provide very detailed specs, your contractor is likely to have some questions for you to answer and choices for you to make throughout the project. Be prepared to provide feedback as needed, and keep lines of communication open with your contractor.
Still, searching for a home that you can customize to your heart's content? Shop for D.C. homes for sale with the help of our knowledgeable, local team. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Washington, D.C. area.