1) Money, money, money: Always plan for and expect overages. Have a contingency budget of at least 10%. If your project costs $200,000 – plan to spend at least $220,000.
2) For the longest time: Take the estimated time to completion and add a third. If you’re told 3 months, plan for 4. Know delays aren’t usually your contractor’s fault. Contractors are at the mercy of subcontractors, inspectors, and city permitting processes.
3) Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated: Expect daily calls and emails from your contractor with problems and questions. At times you will feel like it’s never going to end and it’s just one problem after another – but it does end eventually.
4) You can’t always get what you want: I believe in making your dream list and going for it, with the recognition that you’re not going to get everything. When you have to trim, focus on what you need to live comfortably in the house. Leave out things that can be easily done later without much disruption, like landscaping or decks. I recommend prioritizing systems, kitchens, baths, painting, and refinishing floors.
5) Where did our love go: Renovations can strain relationships – with your spouse/partner, children, and definitely with the various people directly involved. At times you will feel very angry and frustrated. Take a deep breath and remember everyone is doing their best.
So why would anyone do this? I think most people are very satisfied with the end result – and there are many good reasons for renovating. Just know what you’re getting into and if it’s right for you. Contact me to learn more!