When you mention that you plan a renovation project, everybody suddenly has an opinion or a story to tell you. Most of these will be horror stories, of projects that got completely derailed and of home owners that never recovered after making a mess of their remodeling project. It makes sense to learn everything you can possibly learn about renovation before you risk your own heard-earned savings – but the tales of a friend’s friend won’t be teaching you too many valuable lessons.
Hit the Old Fashioned Bookstores
Unfortunately, in the age of information, most of the information available is unreliable. Pretty much everything you hear and everything you can find on the internet is not quite trustworthy. So, when looking for a complete and foolproof guide to renovating your home, go to those dusty and old fashioned bookstores and libraries and get a few volumes on this topic (or go online and buy the electronic version, to keep up with the times).
There are many good prints out there, that cover the topic in great detail. Make sure you get one that caters to your needs – those for real estate developers, for example, may be worth browsing in the hope of finding some insider’s secrets, but they’re probably not too interesting for you as a home owner.
Become Time and Place Sensitive
The problem with the books and manuals is that they’re too general, and, most often, outdated. Technology – especially the one used in construction – moves at tremendous speed. So, now that you have a general idea as to what’s involved in a renovating project, start researching the latest trends and the latest hype for your neighborhood.
Even if you’re not interested in keeping up with what everybody else is doing, this is still a good way to start bargain hunting – some materials you like or need may be available for cheaper rates because it’s not a good year for them, for example. Visit a few trade exhibitions, if they’re available locally, and check out the latest offers.
Start Making Lists and Albums
You should now have a reasonable idea as to what’s feasible and what’s not in the world of renovation – so you can start adding the details to your particular project. Your image of the perfect house has probably been adjusted quite a few times along the way – which is perfectly normal, and it’s better to make the necessary adjustments now, when everything is still in your head, then when it’s made of bricks and mortar and costs a lot of money to adjust.
It’s absolutely vital that you write down all the ideas you have and you take pictures of what you want. You will need to have all the details before you can start calculating your budget – and you absolutely much have a very good estimate before you actually start moving a single piece of furniture out of the room. The worst mistake you can make in a renovation project is to jump ahead into the project without having a very clear idea of your budget and of how much financing you can get in case things spiral out of control.