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How to prepare for a renovation

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Summer is a good time to get your house up to scratch and get started on that renovation you’ve been thinking about for so long. Modernising your kitchen, transforming your bathroom or renewing your floors are some of the renovations that have a significant impact and will make a lasting change to your home’s appearance. But it also involves some inconveniences during this time: the need to coordinate various labourers (bricklayers, electricians, marble workers, etc.) and the risk of overspending your budget. In today’s post, we give you seven tips on how to follow your renovation through to the very end and to make it a real success, no matter how ambitious it may seem. Take good note of them because you’ll need them.

1. Take the time to plan your renovation

Reforming your home is an important project that requires planning to avoid surprises and annoyances. The time between spring and autumn is ideal for construction work as it is neither cold nor hot and certain jobs will take less time to dry.

 

But also think about your schedule, about the time you can dedicate to it and the time that least disrupts your family life. If you have someone you can trust, maybe you can leave your keys with them in August so that the dirtiest jobs can be done while you’re away.

2. Decide who is going to be in charge of the project at home

In all families, there is someone who leads the way when it comes to home renovations and improvements. It could be the person who most enjoys it, the most understanding or simply whoever controls the budget. Regardless of whether it is him or her, the main thing is to have a common vision about the objective and the expected result. Many problems arise due to interpretations that differ from what we want to achieve and when the work is complete, it’s difficult to resolve.

 

To visualise the end result, you can work with a detailed plan, computer graphics or renders, mood boards with styles and textures and even inspirational photos from Pinterest. All these tools are valuable in reaching a consensus about what to expect from this reform.

3. Decide whether to live at home through the renovation process

Another aspect to negotiate with the family is if you’re going to be up to living at home while the work takes place. If it is a minor renovation that will be over and done with in a couple of weeks, you might be able to get by and live in the least-affected part of the house in that time. But if the renovation lasts for months, it could turn into a real nightmare. It’s also hard to live at home during construction if you’re changing the house’s entire flooring or you’re going to redo your kitchen…

 

Weigh up whether it’s worth moving to a family home or renting an apartment for a couple of months. You have to keep this accommodation cost in mind when you’re drawing up your budget. Ask to include a penalty in the budget if the reform is going beyond a reasonable margin.

4. Recruit a professional

At this point in the article, you will have realised what you’re getting into. And unless you’re an architect or a building engineer or fancy a daring challenge, the smartest thing to do is to let a professional take over.

 

Our advice is not to scrimp when it comes to managing your renovation. This is an important job, so for the renovation to be carried out in good time and correctly, a professional has to step in. Don’t take on the task yourself just to save some money. Project management is probably the best spent money when carrying out a renovation.

5. Spend time choosing finishings and qualities

When you’re drawing up a briefing of what you need and assessing the budgets of various professionals, you can start investigating finishing touches and qualities. This is a process that goes alongside looking for inspirational photos on Pinterest and reaching a consensus on the final result of the renovation. You can start it alone and then continue with your chosen professional once you have made your decision.

You’ll get a good head start and the architect or contract on the job will thank you for providing such clear ideas. You will also know more about prices and resistance of wooden flooring, counter-tops, screens… and you will be able to decide which part of your budget you want to dedicate more money to.

 

Many brands have great showrooms where you can spend a Saturday morning. There you can see large-format materials, touch them, feel them…. They also have 3D tools to simulate the appearance of your kitchen, bathroom or house facade. This is why we talked about reaching a consensus on the end result that we’re looking for in our renovation…
We love Cosentino City in Madrid, because it is spacious, you get high-end treatment and it’s right in the city centre. Also, if you’re lucky, you might find yourself at a cool event with people from the sector, where you can learn a lot and sign up for a cocktail.

 

Cosentino has showrooms like this one in Madrid spread out all over the world. So look for yours if you’re not in Spain.

6. Ask for a detailed estimate of both time and money

The choice of the professional who is going to make the reform implies the acceptance of a budget. Ask for a breakdown on the different jobs or labourers who are going to participate in the renovation, how long each job will take and the order in which it will be carried out, and what amount corresponds to labour and materials. Remember to include the project management and the possible penalty in the event of delays over what is reasonable.

 

The budget will also include payment conditions. It is likely that you will have to pay a percentage at the start for the collection of your materials. Divide the payments into three or four parts, always leaving a percentage of between 10 and 20% for the delivery or review of finishings.
The estimate will also help you when you want to apply for funding from the bank for carrying out the renovations. This is why it is important that it is done well and is realistic for the job and your ability to make repayments.

 

And ask for a receipt for every payment that you make! This will be the best guarantee for complaining on the spot or later if things have not turned out the way you hoped.

7. Don’t give up at the end: the final stages are important

So, you’ve endured the entire renovation and even though you’re very happy with the result, you’re probably exhausted. You won’t want to know anything else about skirting boards, switches, water outlets or porcelain tiles for quite some time.

 

But don’t give up! The final stages are important and what you leave unsolved now will end up driving you mad. You’ll see these little imperfections day after day and it will be a reminder of what you didn’t solve at the right time.

Save some energy for the finishing touches stage and be ruthless with the architect or builder. And of course, save that final payment until it’s all perfect.

 

You’ve got this far, so now it’s time to take a good holiday! When you get back to your recently renovated home, you’ll see the result with fresh eyes and you will understand that it was well worth the effort.

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