Checklist for House Renovation | Prepare Before You Begin
Whether you’re renovating just to freshen up your home, or you’re renovating to sell, you have to have a plan. From inspection to completion, Flooring Masters is here to help you create your checklist for house renovation quickly and easily so you can get to crossing items off of that list as soon as possible. In addition to this checklist, you should identify where your priorities are, the limits of your budget, and a deadline to completion. With these 4 items on your checklist for house renovation, things will run smoother, and be more predictable. However, don’t be rigid in your planning. The unexpected always pops up during every remodel. It is important to manage expectations and be adaptable. Compromises are unavoidable.
The very first step before the first phone call is identifying your priorities. Do you want to get rid of that old, scratched up bathtub immediately? You should renovate the bathroom first. Are you merely looking to do what is necessary to sell quickly? Speak with your realtor about where your priorities should be. Once you have identified and ranked them on paper, then you have to identify what you can’t live without.
Can’t Live Without
Everyone who is renovating has a few things that they absolutely must have. Maybe it’s a big, whirlpool tub that you can stretch out in? Maybe it’s a fenced in porch to enjoy Summer evenings? No matter what it is for you, these need to be identified, and put onto paper in your plan so there is no questions or compromises.
You know what you need out of your renovation, now you have to see what you can spend to get it. This requires a lot of research on the costs of the house renovations you want, and getting estimates. There is going to be a lot of work put into your budget, but this absolutely has to be done. You don’t want to run out of money right before acquiring your new tub, vanity, and toilet. Not budgeting can leave you with rooms that you cannot use, or rooms that you risk ruining by using them before they are complete.
In the case of preparing a home to put it on the market, more research must be done on the Return On Investment (ROI) for each project. On average, renovations get about a 70% return. But if updating your bathroom is keeping you from being able to sell your home, and the home has gained 20% value, it’s a great investment. Be sure to evaluate all financial variables when budgeting your remodeling projects.
We all set deadlines for a reason. Without a deadline, the work goes on forever. Once you have your plan and your budget, get estimates from contractors and ask them how long the projects will take. This will help you set an accurate deadline. For big remodeling projects, use a calendar to coordinate scheduling with all of the different trades that will be improving your home.
Find Existing Rooms That You Love
There are millions of photos of renovated homes, remodeled rooms, and amazing designs all over the internet. Find the ones that you love that fit within your budget. Use these to guide your decisions for purchasing materials and guide your contractors toward the end result that you want.
Call In The Cavalry
You’ve got your plan, your budget, your designs, everything you need to accurately communicate what you want from your house renovation. Now it is time to call the professionals. For larger projects, hiring a General Contractor that will pair you with a Project Manager will save a lot of your time and energy. However, you also sacrifice some of your agency. If you want to stay informed and in control, remodel one room at a time, and work with each of the trades yourself.
How to Find the Best Contractors
Ask friends and family for recommendations. Someone you know having a good experience with a contractor builds immediate trust. Getting a phone number off of the side of a truck in your neighborhood works too, but you absolutely have to ask for references, and check out their online reputation. Always ask for references and make certain that the company is licensed, and insured. Acquiring licenses and certification means that they are invested in their work, and will stand behind it. If you are having trouble getting referrals from friends, checking the Better Business Bureau and Google reviews to verify a contractor is a great place to start. Next, look at their accreditations and certifications. Thanks to the internet, it is easy to verify that a company is operating honorably today.
Once you have identified reputable companies, call them in for estimates on your project. Every company does things a little bit differently, and has a different feel. Be sure to ask a lot of questions. The better informed you are, the better your decision making. Compare the pros and cons of each company, and trust your gut. A company that feels like family is going to be a much better experience than a company that came off as cold.
Once you know who to hire for each part of the renovation, call them for contracts and scheduling. Remember to be mindful of your deadline when working out the schedule. If you are acquiring some of your own materials and haven’t done that yet, now would be the time.
How Do You Prepare For Your House Renovation After Scheduling?
You need to prepare the room for the contractor. This means taking everything out of it. If you have space in the basement or garage for these things, great! But you may need to rent a portable storage container for this. Especially if you are renovating multiple rooms at one time. If you are renovating multiple rooms, make temporary living arrangements with friends or family. It will be much simpler for you to be away than to sleep in a torn about house that you can’t cook or shower in.
If you are only renovating one room, but it is the kitchen, you will need to create a temporary kitchen of some sort to avoid eating out all the time. Move the fridge into the garage or use a mini fridge in the basement. The utility room works well for this because there is a sink. Otherwise you will have to do dishes in the bathroom, or use paper plates and plastic utensils.
Be sure to take photos before the work starts. It is a wonderful, warm feeling to go back and see what the house looked like before remodeling started. Also, it is a good idea to take photos of any work you are curious about, or unsure about. Document everything just in case it may be useful later on. Sometimes there are discrepancies, and photo evidence helps to resolve these.
When Your Renovation Starts
Be available, and check the work frequently. Make certain that all of the leaders of the companies working on your home have your contact information. Take a look at their work as it progresses, ask questions, and bring up anything that may have been miscommunicated. These things happen, and will be fixed. It’s better to catch it during versus after. Be patient. The unexpected will happen. Things will require more work than anticipated. There will be rain delays. As the project is finishing up, make a punch list of any small things that you notice so that it is taken care of before everything and everyone are packed up and gone.
Steps During House Renovation
Now that you’ve crossed every item off of your checklist and scheduled the renovation, its good to know what to expect and in what order. Whether it is a single room or the entire home, the steps of renovation stay the same. We have included these below so you can have a greater understanding of the process.
What to Expect When You’re Inspecting
After you have put together a plan, but before you start to renovate, have your home inspected. This is especially important if you are remodeling your home to put it on the market. A professional inspection ensures that your foundation, supports, and other vital components of your home are safe. Renovating a house with cracked walls, separating supports, and a sinking foundation is a terrible idea.
After planning and inspection comes the demo. Plan to not be able to use that room for a few days. If it is the kitchen, you will need to set up a temporary kitchen in the garage, basement, or utility room if you want to be able to eat at home. During demolition, things will be dusty and noisy and surprises will be uncovered where new problems must be solved by you and your contractor.
You’ve Been Framed
Now that demo is done, if you planned to move any walls or take them out, now is the time. In addition to adjusting the framing, now is the easiest time to change or update plumbing and electrical. Not having drywall in the way will make your plumber and electrician’s jobs much easier.
Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC
After the walls have been moved, but before they are drywalled, it’s time to run new ductwork, electrical, and plumbing. No drywall to fight with means that these projects will run much faster, and save labor hours on your budget.
Insulation and Drywall
Once the HVAC and other systems have been updated, insulation goes in the newly framed walls, and drywall goes up.
Trim and Windows
After drywall, windows are replaced, and trim is installed. Window sils, wainscoting, baseboards, quarter round, and all other trim will be installed at this point. If you are renovating a bathroom, exhaust fans will be installed during this step as well. Vent covers will be added to the new ductwork.
Subfloor and Supports
Now it’s time to replace, repair, and level the subfloor. Also, if floor joists need to be repaired or adjusted, it is much easier before other projects are started. With proper supports and a level subfloor, installing your new flooring will go much smoother. But wait on the finished flooring until the other parts of your project are completed to avoid damaging them.
Finished Walls and Fixtures
After the subfloor, but before new flooring, you may choose to paint the walls and hang pictures. However, most people wait until everything else is finished for this step. Painting is easier with less worry about paint hitting the floor. Fixtures such as toilets and new tubs are installed unless it is necessary to wait for new flooring. Such as in the case of a step in shower where the tile flows seamlessly from the bathroom floor into the shower.
With all of the other renovations complete, it is time to install the flooring without worrying about it being damaged by the other work.
Once You’ve Marked Off the Last Item on Your Checklist for House Renovation
Once your home has been renewed and all of your furniture and furnishings are back in place, take some time to enjoy what you have accomplished. Be sure to add “Finished” at the end of your checklist for house renovation, and take the time to enjoy crossing that last task off of the list. Have some friends over to show your newly remodeled home off and celebrate the finished product.
If you have crossed the first few items off of the list, and are looking for an experienced flooring and remodeling contractor to help you design and remodel your bathroom, basement, or flooring throughout the house, please email us here, or call us any time at 812-944-6383 for a free estimate!
About The Author
John Raisor is a former carpenter and current creative and copywriter.