How to Properly Plan a Renovation Project? 4 Troubles to Avoid

Be Renovative - project planning architech, helping to make house / apartment renovation simple, practical and fun

No question that everybody wants to have the house of their dreams. Porcelain tiles or carpet in the living room, open American-style kitchen, nice and spacious bathroom, special and cozy painting in the bedroom, a laundry room with machines that will dry and aerate clothes and not leave them smelling bad. 

Building the perfect house from ground zero is one way to go about realizing your dreams. Renovation is another approach that is used by the majority of people.

When it comes to renovation, no matter how different the dreams are, the troubles seem to always be the same. Empty and cracking floor, paint that starts to peel, pipes that burst, doors that do not open. 

There is yet another category of troubles that comes during the project.  Bricklayer disappeared, wrong material was purchase, walls that cannot be taken down, the new ladder is too steep, and more.

When you start thinking about a renovation project, that alone can bring up a shivering feeling. In this article, we try to help you with tips and information for a troubleless project! Let’s take a look at some of the common renovation project troubles and add a bit of humor to how we look at them. 

This will, hopefully, encourage you to plan better, make smarter choices and thus take control over your renovation endeavor. And have you ever been through any of these troubles already? If not yet, this is a great start …you can still avoid them!

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Trouble #1: No more money in the middle of the project

Most common cause

Planning errors. You didn’t plan or thought that you didn’t need too much planning done for the project. This is a serious mistake. 

You could have gotten carried away by how the project progressed. You were going to do one thing and then you have decided to change your mind and do something else. Or you could have decided to spend just a little bit of resources on this special part of the project that was not part of the original plan. Your money ran out and the work is not even close to being finished.

It can also be

The house (or apartment) was full of invisible problems and, when the work started, they all started to reveal themselves. The project quickly started to get much more expensive than you ever imagined.

How you could avoid it

Planning and staying within the budget. The best way to know what you can do with the money you have is to plan. You could have also asked technicians or an architect to make an assessment of the house before starting the renovation project. 

Read also: Why hire an architect for a renovation project? How much does it cost? – in this article. And, How not to waste time and resources on a renovation project? – in this article.

If the assessment report said that there could be potential problems, you could already better prepare yourself and, for example, set aside a money reserve.

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Trouble #2: The mason is gone

Most common cause

Usually, when the mason disappears (and we are not talking about any personal problems) it is because he has already received the payment in full (or most of it) and decided to give some of his work time to another project. Often, not much, just a few days. 

After all, why to keep other projects waiting that long? This could apply to plumbers, painters, electricians, carpenters, usually most of them, honestly…

It can also be

Another reason why the mason could abandon the work and disappear is when he does not know how to continue the project and provide the service that you have asked to do. He is afraid to tell you in order not to spoil the relationship. May sound unrealistic, but this can also be the case.

How you could avoid it

One way to control the project is to sign a contract and agree that the payment will be done when the project (or a stage of the project) is delivered in full. And never pay any amount of money in advance. 

At the time of discussing the contract, you could also agree that you will be accepting the project in stages. And that the work can continue when a specific stage is approved. Not that the project is only reviewed at the very end and the work team has delivered something that you did not expect – either the quality is not good or not the right work has been done. 

You can also talk to somebody, who already used the services of this mason and have asked about the quality and speed of the projects that have been performed in the past by the same team. (What? You didn’t take any references???). 

And if the mason comes back, be careful not to pay until the work is fully finished to your satisfaction.

Be Renovative - happy construction worker, helping to make house / apartment renovation simple, practical and fun

Trouble #3: This renovation project never ends

Most common cause

Lack of planning. You may have failed to decide exactly what was going to be done and/or got carried away when the work has started. You could have been increasing the scope of the project when it has already started. 

Or you forgot to organize the best sequence for the activities (what to do first, what material needs to be available and at what stage of the renovation). Then everything is delayed and the renovation project seems to never end.

It can also be

That there were some not so positive surprises hidden in your house. And then the project that initially seemed simple became more laborious.

How you could avoid it

You could plan it better. Planning helps you decide what you want and what you can do, with the time and money that you have. And after you make these decisions, you have to stay focused on the plan and not deviate. 

In addition, you can better inform yourself about the works that you want to perform and hire a well-qualified team (a professional construction engineer or an architect) to evaluate the house well before you start the renovation project.

Trouble #4: This project will lead to a divorce…

I hope not. Take it easy.

Most common cause

There are so many troubles in the project and the discussions are so heated that you are getting into a disagreement with your other half. 

You probably didn’t plan and make the necessary decisions before, nor did you agree how you would do this if one of you have suddenly decided that this project cannot continue without this one little extra detail. 

It is very difficult to make new decisions without having the proper references.  The dream of the renovated house is becoming a nightmare. This is classic renovation trouble.

It can also be

That this renovation project is just a pretext. But that’s not usually the case. As soon as the couple solves their problems, their feelings come back. Calm down and breathe.

How you could avoid it

The couple should plan what is to be done during the project, see how much money will be spent and discuss expectations of each other in detail. 

A construction professional could also help. Hire an architect to show you what the renovation would look like (drawings, budget, and plans).  Make a cost estimate and planning that will help minimize the risk of surprises. Spend enough time and dedication to make critical decisions about what the renovation project would look like, what will be done and will not be done.

An afterword

After reading the above, knowing about troubles that could take place, are you still eager to start your project and work towards your dream house?

There are more great tips on this site that could help you plan better, hire the right professionals and avoid common mistakes. 

Read also: How to properly plan a renovation project? and avoid troubles – in this article. And, How to plan on a limited budget? – in this article.

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