10 Tips for Renovation
1) Find the most suitable construction company that will implement the renovation.
This is the most important step. Nowadays, you don’t want to waste your money trying to find “specialized teams” that will perform the various construction tasks individually. It is advisable to have a more holistic approach. You should turn to a construction company with specialized engineers, especially when dealing with a renovation that requires a sizeable budget.
2) Do not hesitate to ask for the whole package
Shop around and pick the right professional. This requires your spare time and it is vital as you must trust the person that will be inside your home for some time. Do your homework. You should visit at least two construction companies in order to choose the best one that will perform your renovation, taking into consideration the following:
• Plans & Photorealistic depictions (Do not be afraid to request them, it is their obligation to show you the final result)
• Detailed financial offer (Attention: compare the quotes, review its materials and its description carefully. THE LOWEST OFFER IS NOT necessarily the right one)
• Project Schedule (Time is money; make sure to get your project started on the right foot and in a specific time frame. You surely would not wish to postpone moving in your beautifully restored home.)
• Contract (Request a written agreement that will save you time and money. Timely and effective communication is vital.)
• Personal contact (In the end of the day it all boils down to the human relationship. You do not want to turn the whole thing into a nightmare. You and the constructor will spend several hours together. You have to be fair to one another and most of all concise. The company has to be reliable and inspiring.)
3) Do not delay your decisions
Plan ahead. Choose the materials, colors and layout from scratch. This might sound trivial, but these are details that cause delays and generate extra costs. Do not change your mind (at least not often). The reprogramming of worktasks and materials will ultimately come at the expense of your pocket.
4) Do not renovate without a plan
Most renovation projects of apartments, flats and houses require an engineer work that will intrigue your aesthetics and create a nice design that would fit your style. Many tasks and objects interrelate in space and when you design in a 2dimension plan, problems appear punctually. There will be unexpected quirks and your constructor, who has to be experienced, will include them in the plan and therefore in the project forecast. The first thing you need to do is “demand” an integrated 2d plan of the project.
5) Do not judge a book by its cover
The photos of furnished apartments and houses found in magazines, blogs etc, apart from the fact that are being processed electronically and totally retouched, they are also really minimalistic. A living room that is 30sqm with just table in the middle with no other furniture or storage spaces is not functional for your everyday life. In other words, do not let the aesthetics guide you. Often it is just a trick for commercial purposes. Give your home the taste and the style you want, without compromising, make sure to allow and forecast the tough routine (Cleaning, sweeping, tidying etc), maximize your space serving your purpose.
6) Do not miss the forest for the trees
Sometimes the renovation of an apartment seems to require only a change of sanitary ware and tiles (ie intricacies seen with a naked eye). Do not miss the big picture, you have to consider the details, but also focus on the big picture, which is to have a living space that is functional. Several flats – apartments require a total refurbishment, a deeper restoration with an emphasis to the plumbing, heating and electrical installations. There are some repairs that need to be done promptly, fix all superficial defects, because the problems that will arise in the future from normal wear and tear will cost you the double and will be cumulative.
7) Do not stay and live within the flat during the renovation works
It might sound daunting, especially when there is no alternative. Whilst your flat is being refurbished, to stay in the apartment can only prove to be an unnerving experience. During renovation dust, dirt, debris, noise will be just a few of your irritations. Apart from the above, it would also be hazardous to your health due to pending tasks. (eg bare electrical wires). Such a decision would only be interference to the tasks that are under construction and it would not be pleasing to your mood and to your relationship with your engineer.
8) Trust your engineer and let him choose your property materials
It might seem to be obvious that if you choose to bring your own materials, you will save money, but this would not be the case. Initially, the engineer can get better quotes and find better deals than you. He can provide a materials’ warranty and also save you time in dealing with deliveries and collections. Moreover, the materials can be delivered in time.
9) Set your budget
It is very important to put a cap on the money you wish to spend for your renovation and set your minimum and maximum budget at an initial stage. 9 out of 10 people decide to spend between 10% to 20% more money than scheduled. If you follow the advice No3, you will have a very small deviation of your planned budget.
10) Check the quality of the renovation
Prior to getting the keys of your refurbished apartment make sure that you check whether your property is structurally sound. Examine the facilities of the apartment and go through the details of your agreement to ensure that everything works perfectly and is delivered as promised. Remember that this control would save you of future regrets and unwanted tensions.