Planning for the Renovation

by Park Wine Country Group 10/06/2019

You’ve been binging on HGTV and DIY network every weekend while you save up your money and you’re ready to take the plunge. Your agent tours you through several potentials and there it is … the perfect corner lot, the mediocre house with the awkward layout, chopped up floor plan, aging kitchen, and dated bathrooms. It’s just waiting to reveal shiplap behind the cracked plaster, original hardwood floors under the stained and dusty carpet, and other treasures you can only dream about until their uncovered.

You make the deal … now it’s all yours. Where do you go from here?

Find the right professional
Ideally, a contractor with renovation experience toured the property with you, casting a professional eye over potential problems and exciting possibilities before you made the deal. If not, engage one now. Renovations require specific knowledge of structural issues like which walls to safely remove giving you that open-concept floor plan and which might be load-bearing. Experienced pros know when to call in an engineer to determine whether to expose the beams or if the wiring needs pulling. 

Make a plan
As with any project, make a basic plan before you start. Unlike new-builds, however, your plan might be more general until you’ve removed walls and studs, discarded old cabinets and fixtures, and revealed the location of existing drainpipes, wiring, support structures, and other hidden gems. With everything visible determined, it’s time for demolition. Just know that with a renovation, once demolition starts, plans can change. A supporting beam here, an unmovable drain there, a hidden chimney under that plaster … could derail your perfect original plans. When that happens, a pro can help you figure out what do.

Don’t underestimate time
Watching a 57-minute renovation on television might give you an unrealistic expectation of how long it might be until your home is ready. After all, you don’t have a trove of assistants ordering cabinets, changing out flooring samples and visiting showrooms to cull through items for you. Choice fatigue (the inability to choose between too many choices) can stymy a project for a novice.

Normal delays, hidden issues
You’ve planned, then modified the plans after the demo, selected, deselected, then re-selected the cabinets, flooring, and fixtures. Now it’s time to get approvals and permits. Moving a project through the approval process in your municipality could be smooth sailing or rife with delays. Your professional contractor should help you navigate this process, but waiting for a permit can add days, or weeks to a project.

In addition to the normal delays, your demolition may uncover other issues that require remediation. These include lead, mold, asbestos, termite damage, shifting foundations, broken pipes, and myriad other possibilities. Bringing wiring up to code and changing out electrical panels consumes precious time and adds to the delays.

Before taking on a fixer-upper, seek the advice of a real estate professional with renovation experience to help you make a plan, and plan for contingencies.

About the Author
Author

Park Wine Country Group

Dennis Park

With over forty years of sales performance, Dennis combines old fashioned customer service, with new age technology and marketing.
Well-versed in residential and commercial real estate sales, Dennis provides high levels of communication, attention to detail and experience; all of which have been hallmarks of his extensive career. He was recognized as Realtor of the Year by the Women's Council of Realtors and as Volunteer of the Year for Big Brothers and Sisters. Dennis is currently a member of the Park Wine Country Group (along with his Realtor wife Teresa) as well as managing broker for W Real Estate.

Teresa Park

Teresa has been involved in the financial services industry for over 20 years and has an extensive background in banking, title, escrow and real estate. Besides winning numerous sales achievement awards, Teresa is a Certified Relocation Specialist. This knowledge combined with her desire to work diligently for her clients, allows Teresa to provide a high level of professional service in an atmosphere of good communication and results. Helping families achieve their real estate goals is the cornerstone of Teresa’s career; and she is fluent in both English and Spanish which allows her to serve a wide range of customer needs in the greater North Bay.

Additionally, she is involved in charitable organizations ranging from the Windsor Community Center, the Children's Village, the Red Cross, and is a frequent ‘foster mom’ to dogs in need of finding a new home. Teresa is well traveled and enjoys the experience of visiting other countries and cultures, and believes that it broadens her compassion and understanding of people in all walks of life.