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Are you considering doing some renovating in your Des Moines home? Whether you’re upgrading your home to sell or doing some renovations to better accommodate your lifestyle, there are some things you’ll need to know in order to be prepared during the process.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Renovating or upgrading can be a slippery slope of wants versus needs, so make sure you create a realistic budget and stick to it. A common mistake people make when planning home projects is their eyes become bigger than their wallets. For example, a couple might plan to replace their countertops with wood but then decide they want marble or granite even though that’s out of their budget. Your budget should be realistic to what you can actually afford and should have a contingency fund as well as money for incidentals to cover unforeseen issues and expenses.
Your Deadline Shouldn’t be Strict
Unfortunately, with upgrades and renovations comes unexpected surprises, such as additional things that will need repair, the inability to get materials, or lack of manpower. If you’re expecting everything to be done in two weeks, maybe be prepared for it to take a month. If you’re planning to have your project complete by a certain date, start it earlier than originally planned just to allow yourself a buffer. It’s better to go into it expecting it to take a month and be pleasantly surprised when it is done in three weeks than have it run over. A good thing to keep in mind is hope for the best but expect the worst.
Expect Dirt and Dust
It’s best to go into an upgrade with the understanding that you won’t have a clean house until everything is complete. With construction comes dust and it will get everywhere. Certain items in the home will also be displaced, causing clutter in even non-construction zones. Basically, your home might be dysfunctional during the renovation, so be prepared to go with the flow and keep a sense of humor about making coffee in the bathroom or getting ready for work in the garage.
References Are a Must
If you’re planning to hire a contractor, do your homework. Ask the contractors to provide you with references as well as a copy of their liability insurance. Don’t simply rely on testimonials – talk to their previous clients, ask all of the pertinent questions, and request to see photos of their work. There are a lot of very qualified contractors out there, and you want to make sure you’re hiring one of them.
Don’t Forget Permits
Obtaining permits may seem like an unnecessary headache, but skipping this step can be disastrous and a huge delay in finishing your project. The reason permits are required for certain projects is to ensure your home is structurally safe and meets fire safety requirements once your renovation is complete. If you proceed without the permit and the code inspector finds out, you’ll be forced to remove anything that is not up to code as well as anything that blocks the construction underneath, such as drywall if plumbing needs to be inspected. Lastly, if you add an addition to your home without a permit, that square footage will not be recognized when you go to sell the house. It may take extra time to obtain a permit, but in the end it’s well worth it to maintain your peace of mind.
Renovating a home if far from an easy and enjoyable process, however, once it’s done you are left with a home that better suits your lifestyle, and an increase in value. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can save you a lot of stress and tension. Be prepared, stay with friends if the dust gets unbearable, and enjoy every moment once it’s complete as it will all be worth it in the end.