If you have never been through a renovation before you may be in for a bit of a shock. While the prospect of a new space is exciting and energizing, there is a lot that goes along with the project. It’s not that you can’t handle it, and you’re right to feel a bit nervous or apprehensive…it is a huge investment, and a lot of time and energy. Being prepared and aware of what to expect when renovating your home will take a lot of the stress off of you…
Decisions….count on hundreds of questions and decisions that you will have to make as you go through the process. Most will be up front as the design takes place before the construction starts. However, as the project moves along there will be surprises, changes to product or different ideas that you or your designer may find. Numerous change orders will be done up and costs on those change orders may add or reduce the budget… just know it will fluctuate as you go…
Dust – As much as the contractor will mask off the space and use the heavy duty zippered walls to confine the mess of the construction zone, the finer dust will always escape and will gather on every surface of the home. Fight the urge to need to clean, and keep in mind it is a construction zone…the dust will be back in seconds. Great cleaners and a furnace blow out are a must after the reno is complete.
The highs – There will be many of these throughout the project. It could be little things from demolition of the cabinetry that you absolutely hated, seeing the natural light through the newly installed windows, the new walls getting fresh drywall, or the very end when it all comes together. These are the moments when it’s worth all the effort and what makes everyone breathe a bit easier throughout the project.
The lows – These are the unexpected surprises…don’t get us wrong, we would love it if everything ran smoothly with no hiccups but we would be dreaming. Surprises from old electrical needing replacement, mold, funny plumbing, new building code requirements that need to be met…the list can go on. They are lows for both you and the contractor as they generally add time and money. You can hope to avoid them but better to be prepared for it to happen. Keeping some extra $$ in the budget to cover those moments is smart.
Noise – If you are planning on living in the home while it’s being renovated you can definitely expect incessant noise. Banging, drilling, saws, compressors, etc. If there is a chance to move out during a reno it is highly suggested. If you think ‘it couldn’t possibly be that bad’, speak to someone who’s lived through it…you’ll see.
Delays – Timelines during renovations are always fluctuating. Generally they end up being completed within a month of the original timeline, however there are hundreds of factors that can shift the schedule. Simple, unavoidable issues such as bad weather, people getting sick, equipment issues, delays in product shipping etc. There are also delays based on some of the changes/decisions that are made through the process ie. If the client changes their minds on product or the scope of work, those hidden surprises behind the walls, etc. It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay on schedule but things happen. As long as you are prepared for adjustments they won’t send your steps level through the roof.
Budget – This is generally the most stressful part of it all. Renovating can be the second highest cost in your life second to buying the home itself. Contractors will generally put some allowances in the budget to help with those unexpected changes o r costs that may come up. Change orders on the other hand on product or scope throughout the project are generally additions not reductions. It is suggested to plan for 10% above the original budget just to keep your stress level down and allow for some surprises or ease the hit of that lovely Italian tile that you find mid way through and can’t live without.
The punch list – These are the one or two last details that need to get done before you can call the project complete. They are also generally the ones that take the longest to complete. Whether it’s a damaged fixture that needs replacing or being shy a few tiles for the backsplash, you’ve hit the point of just wanting to be done and these will seem to drag and drag. Be patient! These details will complete the space and in a few months you won’t remember how long it dragged because you will love the space so much!
Renovating is an experience that you will love and hate and the same time. As long as you have an open mind and can prepare yourself for some of the moments you may hate you will get through it and will love the result no matter what.