Renovation Resolutions


Congratulations! You and yours have made it through the Gregorian calendar year of 2016, and that really is something to be proud of. Now is the time to take stock in our accomplishments, look forward to the new year, and make plans for what we want to accomplish - which may include renovating your home. Yes, just like 2016, parts of your home might be outgrown, outdated, or just out to get you. Be smart with your renovations by following this simple guide to manifesting your homeowner resolutions into reality.

Resolve... to Do Your Homework

Renovating and remodeling any home comes with a fair amount of work and investment. It isn't only aesthetic tastes that you are trying to fulfill - it's about safety and functionality, as well. That's why it's important for you to sit down and ask yourself what you want your house to look like by the end of this project, and be realistic with how much you can afford to get done. In order to do this properly, you need to do your research. Whether you plan to bring in a contractor or dust off the old sledge hammer and saw blade, it's imperative that you know what you are doing or you risk throwing a lot of money away for a ruined project - and even worse, lowering the value of your home.

Resolve... to be More Sociable

Unless you plan on doing the renovating and remodeling yourself, you need a licensed contractor on your side. And if that's the case, you need to be sure that you and your home remodeler get along swimmingly. Partnering with someone who you can't trust or even like cannot only cause you emotional stress, but financial pains if you don't see eye to eye. This is not to say you need to be best of friends with your contractor - best of friends don't necessarily need legal contracts that outline price and payment, necessary permits, how changes in the production would be handled, acknowledgment of the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule, timetables, and other important information that you should absolutely get with any contractor. But at the end of the day, your contractor needs to trust that you trust them to make the right decisions for your home. Without that trust, your renovation is a bust.

Resolve... to File Your Paperwork

Paperwork is only ever fun when it's origami, but alas, it is necessary, especially where construction is concerned. Every city and even certain neighborhoods, depending on their respective Homeowners Associations, has limitations on the types of renovations available for certain properties. Any and all major remodeling should be cleared legally before proceeding, or you could be fined and be forced to tear apart your remodel.

Resolve... to Look at Calendars

If you've ever wandered into a neighborhood where major construction is happening on a home, you've probably done so during the middle of summer or late fall. This is when more renovations are statistically likely to occur. But this isn't necessarily the best time to renovate your home. During seasons where high-intensity home remodeling seasons, supplies run out faster, deliveries get slower, and frustrations run higher. Do yourself and your contractor a favor and try to schedule your home renovation during a contractor's business lull. This will vary from area to area and business to business, but generally the earlier in the year the better.

Resolve... to Get Your Hands Dirty

Many people, when faced with home renovations, would ideally love to leave the keys with the contractor and check into a hotel until the whole thing is over. But that's not an option for most people. If you're looking to save money during a renovation, get involved in the project with sweat equity. Helping with demolitions, painting, and sweeping sawdust can have a big impact in the long run - the cost for a construction crew to handle clean up every day can cost you up to $200. Save your wallet from starvation - get more involved with the renovation.

Resolve... to Work Smarter, Not Harder

To paraphrase the words of Aubrey Drake Graham, it's imperative that anyone doing remodeling work starts from the bottom. And starting from the bottom means measuring everything so you don't run the risk of running out of material, or having far too much. It means mapping out everything for the new space so that you know what is going where and don't risk trying to fit a couch through a door way. It means doing the floors first, and painting last, and covering those finished floors as soon as possible. It means saving your receipts so that, should anything not work as was expected, you don't lose your money in the process. It means being thrifty, not cheap, and trusting yourself with the purchases you make. It means acknowledging the job is difficult, but you don't need to make it more difficult.

Resolve... to be Environmentally Conscientious

Remodeling a home will create a fair amount of trash, but don't be hasty with your waste. Habitat for Humanity and other like-minded organizations are always looking for materials in which to help further their cause. Donating renovation items that you otherwise would have thrown out can not only help the less fortunate, but reduce the trash in our landfills and potentially provide you with a tax deduction, useful for paying off the cost of your home remodel! And furthermore, feel free to use one of Habitat's ReStores to supply the materials for your own remodeling. Be aware that some contractors will not work with refurbished materials for legal purposes, so if you're working with one, make sure to talk to them about this avenue. Learn more about renovation recycling at http://www.habitat.org/stories/8-things- to-donate- when-renovating

Resolve... to be More Flexible

Look, remodeling is a difficult job. Anyone who tells you to otherwise hasn't had to do it before. But just because something is difficult doesn't mean that it shouldn't be pursued. The challenges that you will experience remodeling your home can run anywhere from discovering your house doesn't have the plumbing infrastructure to support a second bathroom or having the project delayed by months, but it's imperative that you remember that even the best laid plans can experience hiccups. When faced with problems with your remodel, acknowledge that you tried your best to prevent whatever happened, or if not, resolve to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future. And once you've done that, look for solutions. Adversity is an opportunity for greatness, and your home can be something great if you allow yourself to roll with the punches that a renovation can bring.