When you decide that you want to fix up your home, you generally want to get started on it right away. You can just see that new, improved house in your mind and can’t wait for it to become a reality. However,whether you’re intending to do it yourself or are hiring in contractors, home improvement can be a lengthy and complex process. Unforeseen complications can lead to further delays, which can be enormously frustrating when all you want is to be sipping a cool drink in your fixed-up den, job done. Setbacks and holdups can also cost you more money, as well as testing the patience of your family. Thankfully, following these five tips can help you to avoid delays and keep your home improvement job as close to on schedule as is humanly possible.
- Plan ahead
Getting started on a DIY job straight away, while you’re still fired up with enthusiasm, can be a disaster if you haven’t properly planned out exactly what you’re going to do and what tools and materials you’ll need for the job. So just hold your horses, sit down with paper and pad, and work everything out thoroughly before starting. With bigger jobs, this means sketching out a budget and a time schedule. Make sure you order in any parts and materials you’ll need well in advance too, as these may become unavailable, resulting in further delays. Also, make sure you’ve applied well and early for any planning permits you’ll need. Taking your time at the start will save you a whole lot more time once you get underway.
- Don’t make it up as you go along
With a big home improvement job, every aspect should be clear before you start.Once you’ve decided where the plumbing or the new staircase is going to go, stick to it. Switching horses in mid-stream, so to speak, can only result in delays to your schedule and going over-budget. This is especially true if you’re bringing in contractors who need to know exactly what is expected of them before they start. Changing your mind about one aspect halfway through could require them to go back and re-do another aspect they’ve already completed.
- Take care of your physical health
If you’re going to be doing all or some of the work yourself, then make sure to protect yourself from injury and exhaustion by taking basic precautions. Don’t attempt to lift physical loads that are beyond your ability, or to use heavy power tools you’re not experienced with, and don’t work with electrics without proper training. You should also wear the proper clothes for the job. This may mean gloves, boots and a hard hat. Copper fit clothing can also help protect you from straining, and you can get copper fit compression wear such as sleeves and back support to protect vulnerable areas of your body when reaching, lifting, or carrying.
- Be prepared for unexpected difficulties
When you schedule your home improvement project it’s going to be on the understanding that everything will run smoothly and no unexpected outside forces will suddenly interfere. Sadly, this may not be the case. All kinds of unexpected occurrences can throw you off schedule, from inclement weather, meaning you can’t work outside, to previously unnoticed issues with your home, like subsidence or unpredictable wiring. Give yourself some leeway of at least 20% in your budget and your schedule for unexpected problems. If you finish on target, then great, but if not, then at least you were prepared in advance.
- Follow best practice with contractors
If you’re going to be bringing in outside contractors to work on your home improvement, make sure they come recommended. Ask friends and search for reviews and comments online before committing, rather than going for the cheapest quote. This may slow you down in getting started, but should save you from needing a rescue renovation. Also, get everything in writing before you begin, including receipts for jobs as they’re completed, and don’t pay for unfinished work. If they don’t get the full balance of payment unless the work is completed by an agreed time then your contractors will be more likely to get it done and not contribute to further delays, for instance by taking on another job at the same time as the one they’re doing for you. That said, paying to bring in professionals rather than doing everything yourself will almost certainly speed the project up, and will generally help to avoid delays all round.