6 Important Questions To Ask Before You Start Renovating

Father and son repairing a damaged fence

Renovating is not an easy process, which is why the more organized you can be going into it, the better it will be for everyone involved.

To that end, below are six important questions to ask yourself before you start your next renovation project. Read them over to help yourself get clear on the important details.

1. What are your goals for the space?

Before you can get started renovating, it’s absolutely essential that you take the time to get clear on your goals for the space. Essentially, you want to think about how you intend to use the space once the renovation is over.

For example, maybe you’re looking to create a kitchen that’s well-suited for entertaining or a guest bedroom that also functions as a home office. Keep in mind that there are no wrong answers here. The key is for you to ensure that you ultimately get what you need out of the finished product.

At this point, don’t worry about focusing on the potential roadblocks that might make your vision hard to achieve. Simply look at what your ideal outcome would be.

2. What do you like about the space you have now?

Once you have a clear picture in your head for how you intend to use the space after it’s finished, the next step is to take a detailed inventory of the room as it is now. Start by listing the things that you like about it and that you would want to make sure stick around.

In this instance, you might say that you like the character that your old, wood floors bring to the room or that you think the traffic patterns in the room work particularly well. Whatever you choose, you may want to write these answers down, so that they stay fresh in your mind as you start to redesign the space.

3. What do you want to change about the room?

Now, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin. This time, as you take an inventory of your current space, focus on what you would like to change about the room. Again, there are no limits here. You’re still in the idea-gathering phase, so feel free to dream.

Here, you might wish that you had a double-sink vanity in the bathroom or that your kitchen had a more open floor plan that would enable you to keep an eye on the kids while you’re cooking.

As you might be able to guess, you’ll also want to write these items down in a list. They’ll be particularly important as you move forward with your renovation because these are the issues you’ll want to solve.

4. How much can you realistically afford to spend?

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of how you would like the space to function. With that in mind, the next step is to start to wrap your head around a realistic budget for the project. Be honest with yourself about whether you have sufficient funds to do the project as-is or if it makes more sense to save up for a while.

If you need some help running the numbers, sites like Home Advisor are a good place to start. They can help give you a price range for the work. Then, if needed, you can use that number to set your savings goals.

5. Should you hire a professional or go DIY?

More likely than not, the size of your budget will also determine whether you decide to hire a professional to do the job or to invest in a little sweat equity. However, in this case, you’ll also want to think long and hard about whether or not you have the skill set needed to do the work.

A word of caution: It’s really important to be realistic about the scope of DIY work that you can handle. It can be extremely costly and time-consuming — not to mention frustrating — to get halfway into a renovation project and realize that you’re way in over your head.

6. What is your design style?

Finally, you’ll want to take some time to consider your design style. This will help you be prepared for when it’s eventually time to pick out materials. However, it may also help to give you a few design ideas along the way.

If you already have an idea of the style you have in mind, start looking around for the materials that you like. While you may not use those exact ones in your finished product, they’ll help you to visualize the finished space.

If you’re not as clear on your design style, take some time to look at some design inspiration. You’ll eventually land on a style you like, which will be helpful for articulating your vision for the final product.

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By Tara Mastroeni / July 20th, 2020 / Categories: , / Tags: , ,

Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.