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How To Plan For A Large Home Improvement Project

Sunday, April 2nd, 2023 by Aaron Stull

How To Plan For A Large Home Improvement Project - Image 1Are you considering a large home improvement? Are you looking for advice on how to plan for it? This paper will give some general advice that may be beneficial for you.

Home improvement projects can be a great way to add value to your property, create a more comfortable living space, and make your home more functional for your desired needs. However, tackling such a project can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you don't have a plan in place. To ensure that your project is successful, it's important to plan ahead and consider all the factors that will impact your project. In this paper, we will take a look at how to plan for a large home improvement project and what steps you can take to ensure that your project runs smoothly. Interested? Please keep reading.

Step 1: Define Your Goals and Priorities

The first step in planning any home improvement project is to define your goals and priorities. What do you hope to achieve with your project? Are you looking to add more living space to your home, create a more functional kitchen or bathroom, or simply update the look of your home? Once you've identified your goals, you can prioritize them based on their importance to you. Although most do this in the form of thinking or dialogue between interested parties, we suggest writing this down. The notes need not be elaborate, but committing it to writing will not only gain clarity between multiple parties, but it can easily be given to vendors during the initial bidding phase to ensure that all contractors are extending estimates on an “apples to apples” scope of work. This will also reduce differences of expectation. I cannot stress how beneficial this is.

Some projects will not be easy to identify in great detail what you are looking for, especially in matters of repair. For example, foundation repair is a need and not a want. As such, you may not write down tangible things you want, but rather a feeling or desired outcome. Many of our customers look for “peace of mind” or “maintain property value.” As long as you get clear on what you want, the odds increase that a contractor will be able to meet those needs.

Step 2: Set a Budget

The next step in planning your home improvement project is to set a budget. It's important to have a clear understanding of how much you can afford to spend on your project before you start. You'll need to consider the cost of materials, labor, and any other expenses that may arise. If you're not sure how much your project will cost, it's a good idea to get estimates from contractors or other professionals who can provide you with an accurate cost breakdown.

Repair projects are sometimes more difficult to assign a budget for. For example, if a foundation wall is collapsing and you got multiple bids to fix it and they are all around the same number, then that is what is needed. In these cases most professional contractors will have financing plans and other avenues for payment.

Step 3: Create a Project Timeline

Once you've established your goals and budget, it's time to create a project timeline. This will help you keep track of important milestones and deadlines throughout the project. Start by identifying the start and end dates of your project, and then work backwards to identify key milestones such as when materials need to be ordered, when permits need to be obtained, and when specific tasks need to be completed.

Step 4: Determine the Scope of Work

The scope of work refers to the specific tasks that need to be completed as part of your home improvement project. This could include things like demolition, framing, plumbing, electrical work, and finishing work such as painting and installing fixtures. It's important to have a clear understanding of the scope of work before you start your project, as this will help you identify the resources and materials you'll need to complete the project.

Professional contractors provide a lot of help in this area. We have all heard the stories about contractors leaving a job for days/weeks at a time, only to finish months later than planned. This is usually a dangerous sign. Most professional contractors are more concerned with their schedule than most customers and will be very forthright about timelines and deadlines.

Step 5: Hire the Right Professionals

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to hire professionals such as architects, designers, contractors, or other specialists. When hiring professionals, it's important to do your research and choose someone who has the experience and expertise needed to complete your project successfully. Be sure to check references, ask for examples of their previous work, and get estimates from multiple contractors to ensure that you're getting a fair price. 

The right contractor is almost never the cheapest. Read this article for a more detailed explanation on why you rarely want to hire the cheapest option. (Click Here)

Step 6: Obtain Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your home improvement project, you may need to obtain permits and licenses from your local government. This could include building permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits, and other types of permits or licenses. It's important to obtain all necessary permits and licenses before you start your project, as failure to do so could result in fines or other penalties.

Step 7: Prepare Your Home

Before you start your home improvement project, it's important to prepare your home for the work that will be done. Insist on a pre-project walk through to discuss all of the particulars regarding the protection of your home. Consider access, parking, dust and other aspects specific to the nature of the work.

In closing, I hope this paper availed some insight on how to prepare for a large home improvement project.

About the author
Aaron Stull is a second generation foundation repair specialist from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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