The idea of remodeling / renovating your home is exciting and has you bursting with a bunch of ideas and possibilities! You’ve seen home décor magazines, interior décor websites and pinned away one too many design dreams. But before you launch head on into the renovation process, wouldn’t it be wise to plan, integrate your thoughts, prioritize and have a clear path ahead?
This is exactly where a checklist comes into play! It’s a great tool to have before you embark on the tough and time consuming remodeling journey.
Here’s how to build a foolproof yet simple checklist.
- Gather, Prioritize and Edit
Gather all your ideas and collate them in a way that you and your family can see, evaluate and discuss. Putting down all ideas on paper is the best way to go forward! The next step is to prioritize keeping time and budget considerations in mind. And this is where you need to edit, edit and edit!
Have a realistic assumption of what you can achieve and what needs most attention within the given time frame and budget. At the end of this exercise you should be clear and confident of the scope of your renovation and the areas that you plan to tackle.
Needless to say a budget is one of the important components of any renovation process. It is crucial to have clarity on the components that you plan to tackle in any renovation and budget all of them into your plan.
A list for all the key elements in any space like flooring, ceiling, painting, lighting/electrical work, plumbing, décor and soft furnishings to the finishing touches should be made with a ballpark budget for each.
Once you have a ballpark budget, allow for a comfortable variance either way depending on specific material choices, unplanned costs and project delays.
- Design plan
Once you have your budget ready and the areas that you plan to work on in the renovation process, its time to make a detailed design plan that you can then share with your designer and contractor.
A detailed design plan should focus on unmet needs and the issues leading up to the renovation/need for renovation and thereby the areas that require remodeling to fit your current needs better.
The plan should involve room wise/area wise details and renovation needs, timelines, budget and finally the expected outcome of the remodeling.
- Interview and Finalize
Once you have a detailed plan in place, its time to shop around for a competent interior designer and contractor. While a lot of interior designers might have their own contractors, there are also some like myself who are open to working with a contractor the client might have identified.
Once you have gathered references/ made inquiries/ completed your search its time to put down the names and edit the list down to 2 or 3 top contenders.
Set up an initial meeting and take your time to assess each of the designers/contractors. Ask questions, evaluate their past work and never shy away from speaking to their past clients. I always urge my prospective clients to speak to my past clients to help them understand how the design process and what expect.
Once you have made your decision always make sure there is a mutual contract /service agreement that is signed between you and those involved and all details are agreed upon before you commence the project.
- Implementation check ins
Once you begin the renovation process, I recommend having a timeline sheet with your service providers and making sure you personally have regular check ins if possible to check on the progress.
This way you can always use the predetermined timeline as a benchmark and evaluate the progress made. There may be setbacks and issues that come up along the way and you will have to budget for that in terms of time as well as cost, but the check ins are very helpful in making sure you and your designer/contractor are on the same page.
- Completion walk through
Once the renovation process has been completed, it’s important to have a thorough walk through with your designer/contractor prior to the project handover.
Consider walking through each room and checking all parts including lighting. plumbing, carpentry , woodwork and the finished look of all other elements. If you may have any concerns this is the best time to raise it and have it resolved.
I hope this checklist acts as a helpful tool while you work through your renovation. Renovating your home is an exciting process, provided you plan the details and stick to your estimated time and costs.