10 Tips On How To Renovate Your Condo Like a Pro
With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting people’s health and routines across the world, most are continuing to stay at home for the foreseeable future. What better time, then, to start thinking of ways to improve your situation in your condo. Fortunately, there is no shortage of aesthetically pleasing photos on Pinterest and life-changing renovation stories on TV, to motivate you to start your own home makeover.
A condo renovation is a huge undertaking. Between trying to keep up with the schedule, budget, condo corp rules, and a thousand other things, it can feel like another full-time job. That doesn’t mean it is far from impossible, though. A remodeling can go more smoothly if you know a few insider tricks. Here are ten home renovation tips to help you manage a home improvement project like a pro.
10 Condo Renovation Tips to Keep in Mind
1. Read the guidelines
The first thing you should do is visit your property manager to ask about your condo’s home renovation policies. Since you are renovating a condo unit, your condo corporation will have specific rules on design standards, work schedules, and construction bonds. You will also have to ask which walls, columns, and fixtures can be removed or opened without affecting the building structure. Your condo will also require a permit before you begin any form of work.
Checking your condo policy will guide you in planning the logistics of your home improvement project. You need to make sure you do not get cited for violations such as noise complaints and renovating without construction bond.
2. Develop your vision
The key to a successful renovation is to plan the process every step of the way. Start by visualizing the end goal and then looking backward to map out what you should do to get there. Divide your entire renovation project into sub-plans based on each area of your condo. Then, make a list of must-have features and low priority items. For example, you want to remodel your kitchen. Your primary priority might be to install a cooktop, oven, and range hood, while a new backsplash might be a secondary priority. Once you have a clear picture of the completed project, you know you are ready to move on to setting up the budget, logistics, and work timeline.
3. Stick to a budget
Decide on how much you want to spend on renovation and refurbishing early on in your planning process. Aside from new furniture and décor, your condo renovation budget should include the costs for building permits, materials, labor, and professional fees, if you are hiring a designer or architect. Don’t forget to set aside at least 10% of your budget for unexpected expenses.
To keep costs down, request cost estimates from multiple contractors and suppliers to see what works best with your budget. If the cost estimates run higher than your allotted number, eliminate items from the low priority list or check for alternatives. Maybe you can find a similar elegant lamp in a thrift store.
4. Create a schedule
Once you have listed down all the things you need to do to turn your idea into reality, you need to list them chronologically. Get an ideal start date in mind, then ask your workers to estimate how long each task should take and which tasks can be done simultaneously. Then, layout the time frames based on a sequence that will work best. Ask yourself, is it better to rework the electrical wiring or paint walls first? If you have never planned renovation before, get advice from your contractor or friends who did the same home remodeling.
5. Paint a picture
A paint job is the easiest way for you to upgrade the look of your space. Need to open up space? Paint all adjoining walls, trims, and doors the same color for a continuous visual flow. If you want a pop of color in your plain walls, paint one wall with your favorite shade for an accent wall. But before you paint walls, do as the pros do and patch up cracks with a joint compound for a smoother finished look.
6. Measure twice, cut once
Like in any project, it is best to follow the carpenter’s golden rule: measure twice, cut once. This will ensure that you get the desired results without wasting your time, effort, and money. When buying furniture, measure the space you are working with to make sure all items can fit in the area. Take your furniture dimensions and tape off the areas they will occupy, that way, you have a good idea of how much furniture you want to take in.
7. Move the eye, not your fixtures
During the course of remodeling, you will find out that some fixtures cannot be moved. Meaning, you have to leave that toilet where it is, and a second sink is only possible if you are willing to spend more. The easier route is to reorient how the eye looks at a room. Redesign the space to blend away the unwanted features and draw the eyes to more beautiful elements.
Take this easy bathroom remodel formula, for instance: install a glass shower panel, all white fixtures, and white tiles. Then use a bold vanity sink and mirror combo as a statement piece to define the bathroom. Alternatively, you can get a plain vanity, but put up a stunning accent tile if you prefer to emphasize your walls.
8. Build up, not tear down
For high-traffic areas like the kitchen, check out what can be repaired before you tear down and rebuild. If you can still salvage the tiles and cabinets, wax the tiles and reinforce the cabinets. You will be surprised at the huge difference basic condo repairs can do.
The same thing applies to furniture. You can transform an old sturdy couch into a trendy lounge by reupholstering and adding some well-placed pillows. You can also repaint or draw patterns on old dressers, coffee tables, and nightstands for an easy facelift.
9. Work with professionals
If you are going the DIY route, remember that there are some things you cannot and should not do solo. Unless you are an actual professional, it is smarter – even cheaper and safer – to leave the electrical and plumbing works to the experts. Hire skilled workers who have years of experience, a good record, and positive customer reviews. Ask friends, neighbors, and property manager for their recommendations.
You can also opt to hire a contractor for the entire project, so you have someone else to manage the workers and deliveries. Do insist on a detailed contract that finalizes the project costs, deliverables, and construction timeline.
10. Stay flexible
Honestly, despite best efforts, no home renovation ever goes exactly as planned. Snags and delays will always present themselves at the most inconvenient time. It might be important matters like your imported furniture getting stuck at customs or needing to postpone construction due to quarantine restrictions. It could be simple stuff like curtains that do not match the wall paint. The best thing you can do for yourself – and your blood pressure – is to accept that difficulties are inevitable and cover your bases as much as you can. The more leeway you allow, the easier it will be to deal with setbacks.
Preparing for a home renovation can be tricky. There can be too many moving parts to keep track of. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The key is to plan ahead and get organized. When you are ready to plan your next home remodeling, make sure to add long-term maintenance and family comfort to your considerations. They’ll help you set realistic expectations.
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