5 guidelines to start your constructing project right

Preparing for your project is essential, and getting some basics down on paper is a good place to start. You may discover that you had a totally different goal or intent then your partner…or that your budget won’t stretch as far as you’d like.

It’s better to know these thing upfront, so you can adapt and redirect.

1.) Know the scope.

What parts of your home will be included in your renovation or redecorating?

Before you bite off more than you can chew, consider how the scope will affect your budget and your lifestyle. Will you be surrounded by construction and sawdust for 9 months?

If you do one or two rooms at a time, will you finish within an acceptable amount of time? Once you decide on the scope, you will be more effective at creating a realistic budget.

2.) Plan your budget

Figure out how much you can afford to spend, especially if you will be doing your home in stages. It’s really unfortunate when the budget is blown on the first few rooms, leaving nothing left for the next phase.

Most people don’t work out a budget because they’re not sure what things cost. You don’t have to detail your budget down to every minute item, but you need to know a ballpark, total amount you would be comfortable spending. Once you start shopping and receiving quotes you will have a better handle on what you will be able to do with the amount allocated.

Remember to work your resources as well. Call around, get estimates, and ask your friends who have renovated recently…what are some safe numbers to plug into your budget?

And finally, do not be misled by the dollar figures used on design shows. Remember, that “$1,000” budget did not include design fees, fabric workrooms, labor costs for craftsman and actual retail prices for construction costs, furnishings or accessories.

3.) Plan your timeline

Sometimes you need to do some homework first…like the average lead-time for a sofa you’ve had your eye on, or the current workload of your painter. A lot of people are really surprised how long it can take to finish a project, and wish they had started sooner.

This step is mandatory if you have a firm deadline, such as a party or family coming in for the holidays. You don’t want to find yourself backed into a corner and throwing money away on overnight shipping and overtime fees or limiting your design choices to the Quick-ship category.
5 guidelines to start your constructing project right

4.) Assemble your crew

Who will be working on your project? Are you a do-it-yourself type? If so, make sure your skills are up to par with your project plans. Make sure you have the adequate tools and resources to make your dream a reality, and confirm that all members of the household are on board.

Doing the work yourself should save a lot of money, but it is a big commitment that will effect the entire family. Don’t underestimate how that can put a strain on relationships or even your performance at work.

If you plan to hire professional help, make sure you have a realistic notion of quantity and cost of outside labor. Be sure to obtain several quotes from tradespeople to make sure you’re getting a good value. Check all references and weigh the value…remember that it can be cheaper to hire the company with a higher cost, but better references.

5.) Know what you want

Be sure to know exactly what it is that you want from all your time, money and hard work: A formal showplace for guests and entertaining? A comfortable retreat for relaxation and hobbies? A home where the kids and dogs can be carefree?

Think about your wants, and think about your needs. Remember that your vision might be completely different than your partner’s. Discuss, listen and come to an agreement or compromise that will make you both happy.

Your reward will be a finished product that reflects you, that serves all your needs and supports your lifestyle.