3 Rules Every Homeowner Should Know Before Starting a DIY Renovation
As a homeowner, you probably have a never-ending to-do list that likely includes things you’d like to do to improve your home. You might even have a plan to do some of the work yourself. While renovations can be exciting and even fun, keep in mind that you’re also assuming a lot of responsibility. There are many things to keep in mind, such as the planning, budgeting, and ensuring safety is a top priority. Read on for three rules every homeowner should know before diving in to ensure DIY projects go as smoothly as possible.
Be Proactive, Confident and Patient
When you’re renovating your home, you need to know what you’re doing, and you should also be comfortable with doing it. Without this confidence, the chances of making dangerous mistakes will increase. However, it’s not always possible to prevent mishaps along the way. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are educated and prepared before beginning any project.
For instance, if you’re renovating your kitchen and new appliances are part of the plan, you’ll want to pay close attention to the load they will put on your existing electrical circuit. This could realistically mean updating your power circuit breaker as a precaution, or you may need to update it once your new appliances are up and running. If you’re wondering how you can tell if your system is being overloaded, be on the lookout for frequent breaker tripping or areas on the panel being hot to the touch.
It’s also important to have patience when renovating. Oftentimes mistakes or accidents happen simply because the project was rushed, or important steps were skipped over. If you’re operating on a timeline, do yourself a favor and give yourself a buffer zone just in case you run into snags along the way. You’ll thank yourself for this later, regardless of if you wrap things up earlier than expected or end up needing additional time.
Be Flexible and Realistic With Your Planning
Having a solid plan before heading into something as major as a home renovation is a must. Not only will planning keep you on track, but it will also help you to establish a sense of ownership over your project. However, it’s also necessary to be willing to bend along the way, making changes as necessary. You might even come to a point where the renovation is too much for you to manage. Every scenario will be different, so keeping an open mind is important.
Maybe you have decided to tackle a bathroom in your older home that never had proper ventilation. What would you do if you found extensive water damage upon installing an exhaust fan? This can be a fairly serious issue that needs attention from a water damage restoration professional. Would you be prepared to hand over the reins as well as pay for the contractor’s time? What would you do if the damage had spread to other parts of your home? These are good questions to ask yourself before digging in.
Other common scenarios that demand flexibility could be finding a crack in your home’s foundation or realizing a wall you planned to remove was load bearing. You might plan on a whole-house project of installing crown molding only to realize that the logistics are not realistic for your current situation with your schedule, materials and tools needed, or available storage and workspace.
The takeaway? Planning is essential, but it’s not always the be-all. It’s up to you to determine what’s working and what isn’t.
Build Off of Your Vision
When planning a renovation, chances are good that you’ve been looking around for ideas and inspiration. You might also be feeling a little inundated with everything that’s out there simply because there is so much. There’s also the question of style and what will make the most sense for you and your family not only now, but in the future as well. Since renovations can be very time consuming and expensive, it’s important that you know what you ultimately want. You want to create a vision. This could save you from the frustration of wavering later on in the process.
It may also be beneficial to meet with a professional designer to gather some objective feedback, especially if you’re on the fence about some things. This could also mean the difference between a renovation that surpasses your expectations and one that falls flat.
Taking on a home renovation is a big step to take as a homeowner. It can be exciting, nerve-wracking, frustrating, and rewarding. Putting a lot of effort in before you begin the work will be invaluable. Doing plenty of research, honoring safety, planning, and considering the what-if situations will be helpful in keeping you on track and headed towards your goal.