HomeownersNeed More Space January 17, 2022

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Renovate


Considering a home renovation? It can be thrilling to upgrade your house with updated appliances, new fixtures, or perhaps even a new floor plan. In any case, renovations require budgeting, coordinating designers and contractors, and often a good chunk of planning. It’s a big investment. And with 2022’s supply chain issues, it could be unusually challenging. Here are the 5 key questions to ask yourself before launching a renovation project.



1) How flexible are you with your budget and timeline?


Supply chain disruptions are affecting all industries, but building materials have especially long turnarounds. You may face steep shipping costs, long delivery timelines, product outages, or all three. For all those reasons, renovation projects are more expensive than usual. You may need to pay extra for the products you want — or wait longer to get them.


And of course, the arrival of materials must align with your contractors’ availability. Getting your new tile delivered doesn’t matter if your flooring company can’t do the work for months (or vice versa).


Therefore, make sure that your budget can handle some unexpected costs, rush fees, and potentially some alternative materials so the project can proceed. At the same time, plan as much as possible so you’re not facing key decisions in the middle of the timeline. It’s helpful to have a clear vision for the renovation rather than relying on contractors or vendors to give you a bunch of options.



2) Can you book the right people at the right time?


Many contractors have limited availability, whether due to labor shortages or simply being overbooked due to high COVID-era demand for home repairs and renovations. Sadly, many businesses were also forced to scale down their operations. Your local carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, etc. may be stretched quite thin. Even if you’re ready to start the renovation soon, they may not be able to accommodate you.


Also, the shift toward the gig economy, especially during the pandemic, means that more people have started doing construction work — even if they’re not qualified or experienced. Always vet your contractors thoroughly and check their references. It can be helpful to book a project manager to coordinate your entire team, especially if their schedules don’t all align.


3) Will you be able to stay in the house?


Before renovating your home, consider whether you can continue living in the house during the project. As timelines tend to be longer, what used to be a weekend project could now take weeks. Longer project timelines often now take months. It’s possible to go without your garage or spare room for that long. Your kitchen or bathroom? Definitely not. 


The first step is to figure out how long the project will take, given the current supply-chain and availability issues. Would you be able to endure the frequent noise and lack of functional space for that long? If not, consider whether you have another place to live (friends or relatives) or if you could afford a rental or an extended-stay hotel.



4) What are your priorities for the renovation?


Home renovation trends for 2022 are focused on eco-friendly construction, renewable energy, and outdoor living spaces. If any of these elements are part of your renovation vision, act now to procure sustainable building materials and solar panels. There is a lot of demand, and it can take time to obtain materials such as natural insulation and VOC-free products.


Other trends revolve around refinishing kitchens and bathrooms to be more comfortable, open, and convenient. Rustic kitchens, custom cabinetry, glass showers, and easy-clean vinyl flooring are all in vogue. Renovation offers more customization options than ever before — but be sure to order your materials well in advance!



5) Are there any rules or permit requirements for my project?


Finally, be sure to cover your bases in terms of code requirements, permits, any HOA regulations, and so on. Few things are worse than spending money on materials and labor only to find that you’re in violation and need to wait longer to gain the necessary permit.


As a general rule, most home additions will require a permit, especially if you live in a historic area. These include changing the fundamental floor plan of your home and building an additional story or outdoor structure. Always check, as your project may be subject to expensive delays, fines, or revisions if you’re not meeting local codes.


Wrapping Up


Home renovation projects are on the rise as people have discovered their homes’ potentials during a lockdown. When planning your renovation project, brace for any timeline or budget modifications that may arise due to supply chain issues and labor shortages in 2022. That all said, home renovation is an exciting and worthwhile investment any time, and this year will be no exception! Happy renovating!