By Renée Biery

listen on apple

listen on spotify

listen on google

Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

Featured on the Show:

 Click HERE to download Renee’s Construction Management Workbook

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • Having the right team, at the same time

  • Keeping a realistic budget and schedule

  • Understanding what it’s like to take on a home project

  • Staying on top of your progress

In this episode, I want to talk about the 5 biggest mistakes I see in renovations. 

These aren’t in any particular order. But, I’ll start with – Not having the right team at the beginning of your project. What does that mean, “the team”? Most of it really depends on what size of the project you’re taking on. But you want to make sure that the team starts together at the same time.

Say you fall in love with a particular architect’s design. You’re 2/3rd of the way through, you found a contractor, everyone you think you need to get the job done. Then someone mentions the interior. That’s when I get the call. Everything is set in stone, I’m looking at drawings for the first time – drawing’s from 6-7 months ago. I might come in and see where the design could be changed to benefit the homeowners, that an architect, looking from the outside in, might not think about. If you want to make changes, that could force the architect to make unexpected adjustments, potentially pushing your project back. If you have your interior designer, and your whole team from the beginning, you don’t have to try to change and adjust as you go, making it much less stressful for everyone.

The second mistake I see is, Not having a realistic budget. How do you come up with a realistic budget? Research. Lots and lots of research. This may take some time, but trust me, doing this in the beginning, will save you lots of stress. And also, make sure you’re being honest with your team. Remember, this is your team, you are a part of it. The more honest and open you are, the more functioning this team will be. It’s a give and take. You have to communicate. which makes it so important that you have the right team for your project. Meaning, you have to like your team. You have to get along with them.

Thirdly, Scheduling. This isn’t always your fault, but it becomes your fault because you agree to it. Things take time in the construction world. Lots of time. So, to get around this you have to once again, communicate. If you need your project done by a certain time, you need to let your contractor know. That way if they can’t get it done by that date, a good contractor will let you know that that timeline is too tight. Another thing to consider is time of year. Don’t plan projects when your kids will be running around the house more, (summer) or you will be gone on vacation. You might think it will be easier with you being gone, but really, you need to stay up on the progress and be there if they have questions. If you want to get this project done right, you need to be around, simple as that. You’ve probably waited a long time to have this done, wait until it’s the right time too.

Fourthly, Being unrealistic about how a job will go. You need to understand that if you are about to take on a large project such as a kitchen renovation, it is going to take a long time. It would be unrealistic for you to think you can eat out and feed your family with takeout for every meal the whole duration of a kitchen renovation. Trust me, you will get sick of that. Instead, you need to prepare for how you are going to eat and feed your family. My suggestion is to set up a mini kitchen area in another part of the house for the time being. (Ideally the garage.) Things are going to come up, parts may run late, a million things could happen. Large projects take time, so make sure you are fully prepared for your lifestyle to be disrupted for a while, and for your project finish date to get pushed back, maybe multiple times.

And lastly, Staying on top of the progress. This is critical. If you don’t stay on top of the project, you will end up with a humongous punch list. (Which I talk more about in the episode!) Or, they move on and you’ve lost them. Trust me, trying to get your contractor to come back after they’ve cleaned up and moved onto the next project is going to be a a huge headache for you and the contractor. So, this is for not just you, but to be fair to the contractor as well. By just simply checking in on your progress 10 minutes a day, you can save yourself a whole bunch of problems.

I hope that gave you something to think about and will help you better prepare to take on your next home project!

Like this Episode?

follow the podcast

want to be a guest?

Fill out the form on the inquiry page under the podcast tab and we'll get in touch with you!

leave us a review!

We love hearing from you about your thoughts on the podcast, you can leave a review on apple!

You can find us anywhere! Click the icons to find us on the podcast platform you use!