How to Manage Any Home Renovation Project Like a Pro

homerenovationIf you are making renovations to your home, whether they’re large or small, don’t think you have to leave during the project to avoid the mess and stress. You can maximize efficiency and minimize your family’s discomfort with these project management tips that will guide you through the process.

Before you begin, have your home appraised; this could change your renovation plans. And if you’re thinking of selling, having your real estate professional in on the appraisal may be worth the effort. The appraiser and the Realtor will be assessing your home for different qualities.

1. Define the Purpose.

Your reason for renovating could guide the entire project. For example, if you’re updating to put your home on the market, you’ll need to research comparable homes to make sure your project doesn’t exceed the return on investment. This might also mean you’ll be working with a smaller budget and firmer deadlines. Defining your purpose will set the tone for all decisions involved.

2. Budget.

Organize your budget, and determine what the project should cost. Compare this to what you actually have to spend. Price out the project with every desired update included, and then determine which features are realistic and which you are willing to forgo. It would be wise to have an emergency buffer to account for unexpected costs as well.

3. Determine the Decision Maker.

Decide who will be making all of the decisions and why. If you and your spouse choose to make the decisions jointly, add in deadlines for each decision to keep the project moving. If you have trouble making a decision, measure it against your goals, and the choice will become clear.

4. Define.

The most important part of the process may be defining the scope of the project. While the purpose aims to fix a problem, the scope defines the ideal results. Having a clear, defined scope (in writing!) will make decisions easier, budgets more accurate, and time frames more realistic.

5. Prioritize.

Make a list of all updates, with the highest priority item at the top and the lowest at the bottom. Ask yourself, “If this were the last step in the process, what would I be willing to give up to get this feature?”

6. Research.

Do a little research into which materials are readily available and how much they cost. For big-ticket purchases, you may want to know the life expectancy or durability of the material.

7. Outsource.

If you don’t already have a working relationship with a contractor, ask your real estate professional, friends, and family for referrals. Make sure you ask for credentials, like licenses, designations, and proof that they’re insured.

8. Define Deadlines.

At this point, you’ll be able to set a realistic deadline for the entire process, but also consider setting mid-project deadlines. Think of each component as a mini project.

9. Stick to the Schedule.

The role of the project manager is to oversee all of the work and enforce project deadlines. Make sure that whoever is doing the work understands that they should make the project manager aware of any issues that are not consistent with the agreed-upon timeline so you can adjust accordingly.

It is important to understand (and accept) that, no matter how much planning is involved, not all projects will run smoothly. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and choose wisely by using this list of questions to ask when choosing your contractor.