It’s not a good idea to rush a reno

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate -

Who says a ren­o­va­tion needs to be con­tin­u­ously worked on un­til it’s fin­ished? Ren­o­vat­ing in stages is a sim­ple con­cept that might work well for home­own­ers who can’t af­ford to do the whole project at once.

But be­fore you read this, you need to de­cide if you’re the type of per­son who sees projects through to the end, or if you’re some­one who just can’t stick to a plan. Be­cause if you are some­one who has good in­ten­tions but has left a bunch of half-fin­ished ren­o­va­tions in your wake, this ar­ti­cle will only add fuel to the fire of pro­cras­ti­na­tion, and is not for you.

There is one other thing you need to know: Only cer­tain kinds of projects should be at­tempted in stages, which are the non-es­sen­tial rooms in your home. When it comes to com­pletely ren­o­vat­ing, lets say, the main bath­room or the kitchen or the roof, there’s no room for mess­ing around and pro- long­ing the job. You need to get it done, ef­fi­ciently, be­fore you have dam­aged your house - or your re­la­tion­ships.

But the con­cept of work­ing in mul­ti­ple steps works well for fin­ish­ing base­ments, land­scap­ing projects, or any­thing you can stand to live with, un­fin­ished, for, pos­si­bly, months on end.

If you have to go one step at a time, you and your con­trac­tor will need a plan for each stage of the project. You should also have an ex­tended sched­ule you can re­al­is­ti­cally stick to, but that’s also flex­i­ble. This can take some of the stress off your bud­get, and al­low your con­trac­tor to take on other jobs in the down time.

That’s one ad­van­tage of work­ing on a project and then step­ping back from it, wait­ing for a while and then at­tack­ing it again when you have the money. Don’t for­get: It’s only a ren­o­va­tion. You don’t have to run your­self into the ground, racing to get it done, or bor­row­ing more money than you can man­age to pay back com­fort­ably.

If you are too highly mo­ti­vated, you can some­times catch ‘Get-it­done-itis’. It’s not a bad thing to have, un­less some­thing un­ex­pected re­veals it­self: knob and tube wiring, or plumb­ing in need of up­dat­ing, or hid­den struc­tural prob­lems that need to be fixed. If the only plan you’ve got is to get the ren­o­va­tion done in one big step, th­ese un­ex­pected items can’t get ad­dressed prop­erly. Some­times they get left un­done - which is a huge mis­take, in my opin­ion. You’re much bet­ter off stop­ping and re-as­sess­ing what needs to be done, even if it means de­lay­ing the fin­ish­ing of your ren­o­va­tion for months. You never want to sac­ri­fice safety for looks. Don’t let your ren­o­va­tion be­come some kind of race, and all the fo­cus is on the fin­ish line, and not nec­es­sar­ily mak­ing it right.

So what do I mean by stages? Let’s take the ex­am­ple of a laun­dry-room ren­o­va­tion. The project can be bro­ken into man­age­able steps that al­low for work to stop at log­i­cal places, and then eas­ily start again at the beginning of the next step. It might take six months to get through all 10 stages, and the func­tion of the laun­dry op­er­a­tion was never in­ter­rupted. Be­cause the project was spread out over half a year, all the costs were also made more man­age­able. Ten stages for this one project: 1. De­mo­li­tion: re­mov­ing old dry­wall on walls and ceil­ing and non­struc­tural fram­ing, and bin dis­posal

2. In­su­la­tion and re­fram­ing: in­stalling Rigid foam in­su­la­tion and new stud walls

3. Wiring and plumb­ing up­dat­ing: done by li­censed trades, with all nec­es­sary per­mits. Repo­si­tion­ing cop­per pipes and elec­tri­cal out­lets

4. Dry­wall and mud­ding, in­clud­ing build­ing bulk­heads around HVAC duct­work 5. Prim­ing and paint­ing walls 6. In­stalling vinyl floor­ing 7. In­stalling new ap­pli­ances, util­ity tub and faucets

8. In­stalling drop Ceil­ing and light Fix­tures

9. Paint­ing and in­stalling base­boards and trim 10. In­stalling laun­dry cup­boards And hav­ing a plan that’s flex­i­ble can al­low for un­ex­pected de­lays. In the case of this project, if there are sev­eral un­ex­pected steps, and cor­re­spond­ing costs, like if the ex­ist­ing plumb­ing and wiring need to be up­dated, the li­censed trades are able to do this work in just a day, without in­ter­rupt­ing the laun­dry. But rais­ing the funds to cover the ex­tra costs might add sev­eral weeks to the planned fin­ished date.

The de­liv­ery of the new ap­pli­ances has to be co-or­di­nated with the date for af­ter the in­stal­la­tion of the new floor­ing. This is im­por­tant, so the new laun­dry ma­chines won’t re­quire mov­ing af­ter they’re put in place. What­ever the project, try to make sure the stages don’t over­lap, and make more work for your con­trac­tor by re­peat­ing steps. You and your con­trac­tor have to be in agree­ment and work well to­gether to tackle a project in stages.

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