Guest Post - 6 Effective Ways to Organize and Prepare for a Home Renovation

6 Effective Ways to Organize and Prepare for a Home Renovation


On paper, a home renovation seems like a pretty simple undertaking. You are aware of everything that needs to be done, know your home like the palm of your hand, and have a pretty decent timetable in mind, right? It is only when you roll up your sleeves and start the actual work that you see how terribly wrong you were about all three of these things. How can you, then, solve this problem, and prevent the next renovation from, once again, disrupting your family life?

The importance of good preparation

One of the main reasons why so many renovations break the budget or simply drag out way longer than you intended is because we often fail to pay attention to certain things such as permits, insurance, lack of available materials, and the sheer fact that the design takes some time. Each of them can spawn new problems and delays. So, if you want to have a seamless remodel, you better put some effort into preparation. Here are a couple of tips that will help you.

Make a rock-solid budget


The point of a good budget is to give you a clear insight into the necessary costs and prevent the excessive spending. The items this budget should cover are:

  • Available funds

  • The condition of your home

  • Size of the renovation area

  • Value of the required labor and materials

  • List of priorities

If you can, put all this in the form of a detailed spreadsheet for the sake of transparency, and include the column where you’ll be able to track the actual costs against the estimated ones. Also, don’t forget to put aside money for unforeseen expenses. Things like window coverings, light fixtures, and other small items will always escape your mind. Once you’re done, start the acquisitions as soon as possible.

Think of the schedule in advance

Now that you have your budget in place, you’ll need to make a detailed schedule that will be based around the renovations you listed as priorities but leave enough room for optional works if the remaining funds allow. It is very important to include contractors in this planning, see what you can do yourself, and leave room for unexpected delays. Also, do your best to schedule most of the works while your kids are at school so they have enough breathing room while they’re home.

Prepare the necessary paperwork in advance

This applies both to you and the contractors. As for the contractors, they will need to provide you with their license and liability insurance that will cover the workers’ compensation coverage in case of an accident. On the other hand, the contractors will find it much easier working for you if you have all the necessary permits, conduct a professional building insurance valuation and, in turn, pay the appropriate insurance premiums.

Create a work contract

This is the best way to have a good night’s sleep once things finally kick into motion. A work contract should cover the deadlines, scope of the projects, payment schedules, payment amounts, and, generally speaking, provide the sense of assurance both to you and the contractors. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you are asked to include some terms like preventing the children from accessing the site while the works are in progress. These regulations are in the best interest of your family.

New Kitchen

Declutter your home

This is the crown jewel of all preparations, so do your best to pack as much of your belongings as you can into sealed and marked boxes and move them out of the way. Also, it is a good idea to remove mirrors and pictures from the neighboring walls, move the plants outside so they don’t end up damaged, and leave enough swing space for workers. While you are doing this, see that your family's routines are not impeded. Create the layout that will suit their daily workflow.

Have an honest talk with your children

Some kids find renovation works fascinating and love the change of pace in their lives. Others don’t handle the changes so well. Your job will be to sit with your family, present them with the changes that will temporarily affect their lives, and tell them what they can expect. If your kids are having difficulties with coming to terms with this, try showing them how your home will look after remodeling and include them in the decision-making process to make them feel more important.

Here you go, six important steps that will help your family handle the renovation in a much more seamless way. You will have to put a lot of effort into research and have a couple of long talks with the contractors, but all this hard work will eventually pay off. Remodeling rarely goes without troubles, but at least give yourself the privilege of choosing how and when you are going to address them.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger, DIY enthusiast and sustainability buff from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor on several interior design, real estate and eco blogs, always on the lookout for new ideas and the latest trends in these fields.