How to prepare for a home renovation project

Poised for a home renovation project but unsure where to start? Follow these essential steps to make sure you’re properly prepared and the process runs smoothly from start to finish.

Planning the project

Create a budget

It can be easy for home renovation projects to run away from you in terms of price. Start the process by creating a clear budget which includes your maximum spend and can be updated with material and labour costs as you go.

Be realistic with your spending limit to ensure that the project doesn’t push you into the red. You’ll need to track your payments along the way and adjust accordingly to stay within budget.

Insurance and permits

Make sure that your project is within legal limits, and if necessary seek permits well in advance. Significant changes are likely to need approval – this includes loft conversions, conservatories and extensions.

Given the nature of the work and the equipment used, home renovations carry an element of risk. You should take out a home renovation insurance policy for financial protection should your property be damaged or in the event of theft or injury.

Finding your contractor

Not all contractors are made the same, so it’s worth asking friends in your local area to help with finding your contractor. Trust word-of-mouth recommendations from previous customers over vague online reviews and where possible ask to see pictures of completed projects.

Remember that while you’ll want a good deal, quality is the most important consideration if you want your renovation to look as good as new for years to come.

Deciding on your design

Identify your priorities

Deciding on a design that works for your lifestyle and will elevate your property starts with identifying your priorities. Whether you want to make a room look bigger, modernise your interiors or refit a space so it’s suitable for a specific purpose, your priorities must direct your project.

Research and discuss

Conducting independent research will help to strengthen your understanding of what works and why in home design. Browse the internet and dedicated magazines to see examples of excellence and read interviews with designers explaining the reasoning behind their choices.

You should also discuss your design ideas with your contractor. Their professional input will be invaluable, especially in advising what is or isn’t possible and the best materials for your project.

Set a clear timeline

Finally, remember to set a clear timeline with your contractor. This is especially important if your home renovation is time-dependent such as building a nursery for a baby on the way or creating an office before you start a new job.

Keep communication channels open throughout the process to ensure that the work remains on track and ask for clear explanations and possible workarounds in the event of delays.