renovating 101

Happy new year everybody, and welcome to our first blog of 2016!  Though January may not be the best time to begin home renovations (at least for us east coasters), it is a great time to begin preparing for them.  Generally when we discuss a reno with our clients, we notice they'll often underestimate the cost, time, and ease of the project they're about to embark on.  Today's post will share a few of our best tips to help you begin planning for your renovation, and to understand what to expect when you renovate!

Let's start with the very obvious- renovating your space is really exciting, but it can also be really stressful.  Knowing what to expect in the upcoming months will help to alleviate some of that stress.  Planning is key, and will help to manage any false expectations you may have.  Below are a few of our best tips for anyone about to renovate:

  • It may take a while to find your ideal contractor.  There is often a check-list of criteria you want your contractor to have: availability, a quote within your budget, if they have good reviews, etc.  Once you find the perfect contractor, be prepared to wait a few months for your appointment because they may have a wait list for any new clients.
  • It's costly!  You might see this one and think "duh", but shelling out your money can feel really overwhelming, especially if all you see for a handful of months is in-process work.  Breathe.  Keep reminding yourself it will be worth it in the end. 
  • Have some extra savings for unexpected costs.  We always suggest you set aside 15-20% of your total budget for any of the following unforeseen expenses:
    • Unexpected structural damages like termites or carpenter ants, mold, foundation issues, etc.
    • Accidental damages to appliances, tile or materials, etc.
    • A change of heart/ upgrading initial purchases to more expensive or nicer options.
  • Get ready for boxes, boards, and buckets, floors and openings covered with plastic, and protective fabric inside and/or outside your house.  Your home will also be messy, dusty, and loud.  It takes a team to do this type of work, and their equipment will be left out!  Hopefully if you embrace the craziness, you'll be able to find some excitement and humor in the chaos.
  • Will your renovation allow for you to remain in your home, or require you to stay in a hotel, or with your friends/ family for part of the time? Knowing you may be temporarily displaced will make this transition much easier, as well as help prepare you for any potential hotel costs.
  • Plan for microwavable meals, cooking on a plug-in burner, or eating out/ ordering in.  Getting creative with your food can make renovations a bit like glamping; are you up for the challenge?
  • You may run into delays due to weather conditions, items or materials on backorder, your contractor running long on their previous project (or yours), etc.  If you are prepared for these small set-backs, you will be able to move through this process more freely.
  • Renovations are not quick.  Depending on the size of your project, your reno can last anywhere between a few days, to a handful of months, or more!  Good work takes time, and expecting a quick job will definitely make the process unnecessarily frustrating on yourself.  Remember, good contract work is an art; it requires patience, skillful craftsmanship, and time.  Let your contractor do their thing, and you will be happy with the results.  

Your contractor wants you to love the final product- a client's referral is always the best thank you!  Now that you have some of the tools you need, go forth and begin renovating!


If you'd like to work with M&P Design Group on your upcoming renovation, click here.