Perusing Pinterest and Houzz for home renovation ideas can be quite fun, but when it comes to actually create the space you’ve been dreaming of, project management during a remodel can be a daunting task. With planning and organization, however, a remodel involving a number of contractors can easily be managed by any homeowner. Thinking of renovating but not sure where to start? Houzz put together a list of top tips and tricks for keeping track of things.
1. Lists are Essential
Whether it’s a written on a physical piece of paper or kept electronically, one can never underscore the importance of lists when it comes to tracking a project. This will ensure no details are overlooked and provide a comprehensive outline of “your scope of work, or specifications,” which can then be shared with the builder and other relevant contractors for clear and consistent communication. And prior to beginning a remodel, these lists can prove helpful when sending out bid requests and meeting with different companies.
2. Consistent Communication
When working with a number of professionals from different companies, it can help to outline one document with all of the tasks and who will be taking care of what. Once complete, “give a complete copy of the specifications to all of them, so they’re all aware of what everyone is doing.” A schedule can also be a great tool, so that everyone involved knows who will be on the site and what they will be handling on any given day. As Houzz outlines, “with prior knowledge that a partition wall will feature some lighting, for instance, the builders will know to leave the stud frame open for the electrician to run the wires through before it’s boarded up and plastered over.”
Once you have finished a list of the main specifications, it’s a good idea to create sub-lists that address each piece individually. So, while you may generally outline that x number of lights will be installed within a ceiling, the lighting specification “will detail where they are to be positioned, the type of bulb, the hardware finish,” etc.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan
All aspects of your project should be finalized prior to the start of construction, which will alleviate stress for all parties involved. Take the time to write specifications, have plans drawn up, and make decisions regarding finishes and appointments. Planning will prepare you for answering the barrage of questions your builder might present you with: “which tiles do you want on these walls? Where do you want these wall lights? What color do you want on the baseboards?”—even the smallest question can feel overwhelming if you haven’t give a project enough forethought.
5. Be Prepared to Wait
When ordering appliances, products and materials, it is necessary to understand what the lead time on a given item is. Sometimes furniture can take a few months to deliver and it can be a real disappointment when you’ve taken the time to hand-select something only to discover “that it will take too long to be delivered, perhaps time you can’t afford.”
6. Budget with Flexibility
There will undoubtedly be an issue or two that pop up during the remodel that you were not prepared for. Though you won’t be sure what it will be, you can prepare for it by buffering a contingency of 10 to 20 percent on top of your budget, especially if you live in an older building: “who knows what condition the walls are in behind those kitchen cabinets before you rip them out? Or what may be lurking underneath that carpet when you pull it up?”