I believe your home should be a place that inspires you. A place that gives you energy. A place you long to come home to after a long day. I believe your home is more than an address. It’s a lifestyle.
For these reasons, I’ve now personally renovated every home I’ve owned as well as homes for others. Whether your reasons are more space to entertain family and friends or to create the master of your dreams, designing a space you love to call home is always so worth it.
That said, taking on a renovation is no small task. It gets messy and always takes longer than you’d like. Knowing what to expect and who you need to enlist for your project can be daunting and overwhelming. Understanding the process and what’s involved is a key step in deciding if this is something you’re interested in pursuing.
One of the very first things you’ll want to do is make sure you have a comfortable budget to work with.
The first question I always get is “how much will this cost.” I’ll save that answer for another post focused on understanding the estimating process. For now, let’s assume you have your budget outlined. The hard part will be sticking to this budget! I always recommend earmarking 5-10% in contingency for the “what-ifs” and “uh-ohs” that arise along the way.
During this phase, your plans will be drafted and revised if you’re working with an engineer. Design mood boards will start taking shape if you’re working with a designer. Estimating will continue to evolve as you start to tackle some of the many selections that will need to be finalized. Permits will be secured (if needed). And hopefully, you’re eager to move on to the next phase…..
This is one of my favorite, but back-breaking parts of the process….DEMO! This is an area you can save some money if you’re interested in getting in there yourself to knock down walls, tear out tile, counters and cabinets and generally just anything that needs to be removed.
On that same note, we all lead very busy lives these days, so keep in mind that you can also hold up timelines if you choose to do demo (or a portion of) yourself and potentially take twice as long as calling in the professionals. You always have to weigh the opportunity cost of your decisions to do work yourself on a renovation. Especially if all you have the time for are nights and weekends (after the kids are in bed.)
This is the bulk of your renovation’s timeline. Whether you’re tackling the whole house or just one room, the process ultimately remains the same.
If you have an addition, you’re looking at a few extra steps then if you’re solely working with an existing footprint. These steps would include digging a foundation, blocking, framing, roofing and windows specifically for this portion of the project.
Next up are plumbing and electrical rough-ins and any new HVAC ductwork necessary. Inspections will be needed at this point as well.
Now is when you’d add insulation (needed for an addition’s exterior walls or attic) before drywall goes up. The drywall process involves installation, taping, mudding, and sanding to prime for painting and finishing.
At this point, you’re basically back to a shell of a home and here’s where the pretty stuff starts being visualized.
Cabinets can now be installed as well as any tiling. Hardwood typically follows cabinets and shortly thereafter, your counters will be installed. Trim (windows, doors, baseboards, and crown molding) can also start at this time.
Painting is another area where you can shave some costs. Especially if you’re looking at painting a whole house which can get very pricey. I typically try to get all the base coats (prime and a first layer of paint) in place myself and then turn over the finishing coat to the professionals.
Plumbing and electrical are two of the last steps to finalize before final inspections take place. Don’t forget door hardware, towel bars and hanging of bathroom mirrors before you call your renovation complete!
This is usually the second question we get most often. “How long will this take?” This is a nearly impossible question for anyone to answer. The best you can really hope for is a range. And with the nature of this industry, it’s always going to take longer than expected. For example, I’m finishing a whole-house renovation that has taken 2-3 weeks past my projected completion date at the start of the project.
One of the main reasons for this is due to the number of varying subcontractors to coordinate throughout a project. The process outlined earlier generally has to take place in a certain order and some jobs take longer than others. So your painter may say he’ll be there on Tuesday and not show till Thursday due to the prior job he’s finishing. This can then throw off the next tradesperson you had scheduled, and so on. Patience is the name of the game here. And believe me, it’s difficult, no matter how much you’re expecting your timelines to shift! It’s always a hard pill to swallow when you were hoping to see your pretty counters installed and you’re told it’s going to be next week!
No matter the length of the project, I always feel the end result is so worth the effort. Here are some of the transformations I’ve had the opportunity to work on with Harmon Home Company in both Nashville and Murfreesboro.
@2021 HARMON HOME TEAM
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203 | 615.522.5100
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203
@2020 HARMON HOME TEAM