What is the difference between building and renovating? If you are building your house, it means that you are constructing your house from the ground up on an empty lot. On the other hand, renovating means that you are changing the home that you already have. Whether you are building or renovating, you should be prepared to make plans, spend money, and devote a considerable amount of your time.
If you don’t know where to begin or what to expect, follow our seven practical tips for a hassle-free home construction or renovation:
- Define the project scope
If you plan on building your house, you should think about what kind of home you want and how much money you can spend. Would you like a bungalow or a multi-storey house? How many bedrooms do you need? Make a list of everything that you need and start from there!
On the other hand, if you are just renovating an existing home, you should decide on which areas to include in the renovation and determine the extent of renovation in each area. Do you plan to just update the space or do you want to completely change everything in the roonm?
Knowing what you want will be helpful when you talk to designers, contractors and suppliers. A well-defined project scope can get you more accurate quotes, a faster workflow and prevent extra charges for add-on works later on.
- Hire an architect or interior designer
Always consult an architect or interior designer before starting a home construction project! Since design professionals know more about building materials and methods, they can help you save on time and money.
If you want to pick the right architect or interior designer, you have to do your research. You can ask family and friends for referrals and check out the work of the design professionals featured on Real Living.
- Choose a contractor
What is the role of a contractor? The contractor will assist in executing or implementing the design plans from your architect or interior designer. He or she will lead the team of carpenters, electricians, and skilled workers for your dream home. Usually, your architect or interior designer will have a trusted contractor that they can work with.
- Approve plans and specifications
Prior to the actual construction, your architect or interior designer will present design plans, swatch boards and material specifications. Always double check if you are satisfied with the design and get the estimated construction costs from your contractor. You might have to compromise to get the design that you want while staying within the budget that you have.
If it is necessary, you can request for revisions and adjustments at this stage. To avoid additional costs, you must understand and approve plans and specifications before you enter the construction phase.
- Have a pre-construction meeting
For an ideal schedule and smooth workflow, a pre-construction meeting is a must. You can arrange meeting with your architect or interior designer and contractor to discuss the construction plans and target dates. This will help you so that you gain a better understanding and set realistic expectations with regards to the project.
- Keep in touch during the construction process
During the construction process, the team may need your approval to fix unexpected issues and make last-minute changes. In line with this, you should be ready to answer your architect or interior designer’s calls and consistently visit the constructuon site. Regular visits will also help you monitor the quality of work and construction progress.
- Make a punch list
A punch list is a list of items that have not been completed, in need of repairs, or unacceptable in terms of quality or workmanship! Towards the end of the construction process, you must inspect the entire space with your architect or interior designer and contractor to identify the things that must be addressed.
Once these final tasks have been completed, you are ready to enjoy the comforts of your newly built or newly renovated home.