If you’re considering renovating your home, you’ll do a lot of research about how to complete the project, the most economical options for labor and material, the timetable you should plan on, etc. What you might not realize, however, is that there’s a lot that needs to be done before a renovation even begins.
Draw It Out
Before you even meet with a contractor or go to the store, you need a clear idea of what you want your finished project to look like. Take the time to put pen to paper and create a rough draft of what you hope to build or renovate. It can just be boxes and lines on a piece of graph paper, it doesn’t take advanced artistic skills. If you want to be more precise there are computer programs that can create a floor plan based on measurements you input. This will give you a very accurate and to scale model of what you have to work with.
Matchy Match Your Architecture
You may have always dreamed of having a Queen Anne Victorian with vinyl siding, but mixing architectural styles is rarely a good idea. Check with a contractor before doing something drastic with your home design. You’ll want to make sure it matches the existing home and the surrounding neighborhood.
Get Permits, Licenses, And Permission
For more extensive projects, you actually aren’t allowed to go wild and crazy with your home’s structure. There are codes and permits you legally need to meet and follow. Jackie Craven, an architecture expert, explained, “The building permit assures that the remodeling project meets local building codes and safety regulations. If you live in a historic district, the permit also assures that exterior changes to your home are in keeping with neighborhood guidelines.
Predict Potential Problems
One good rule of thumb is to set aside 5 to 10% of your budget in case of unforeseen problems. Even better is to know what problems you might run into and how much solutions to those problems would cost. That way you can be more specific in your budgeting and be on the lookout for those problem areas. Of course, there will always be issues you don’t predict, so overestimate your discretionary budget if you can.
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