Everything you Need to Know and More To Successfully Remodel Your Property
When remodeling a property, we must take into account several aspects to successfully achieve our goal. One of the most important is undoubtedly the budget we want to invest in our remodeling or renovation project. The time frame for the project is important too, as the variation in lengths can be significant. Each space is different and there are no magic solutions. This article will give you practical advice so that your remodeling can go as smoothly as possible.
Unless you have studied or have experience in architectural, interior decorating and remodeling work, you should avoid the mistake of saying: “I can do it all”. This is the mistake many people make when they want to remodel without really knowing what they are getting into. Therefore, to seek the advice of a professional is the best decision you can make. You will avoid needlessly wasting money where it could have been saved and also avoid dozens of headaches. There are many professional options available and at affordable prices.
Defining The Type of Remodeling is The Starting Point
You should know that a total or partial remodeling is not the same. The type of property is also a factor – if it is a house, apartment, country or vacation property, commercial premises, bedroom, kitchen, living room or bathroom, etc. So first it is important to define: What do we want to do? Is the remodeling partial? Are we wanting to start from the construction stage? After this first decision on the scope of the project, we must then specify the design ideas that will allow us to achieve an aesthetic or functional improvement of the place.
Set a Realistic Budget To Avoid Surprises
Budgeting is often an issue that generates big money leaks and problems for homeowners. It is advisable to consider not only the cost of materials, contractors, and labor, but to also have a special reserve for unforeseen expenses of at least 10%-15% of the original budget. This will allow you to have some financial leeway in case the work is extended or needs to be adjusted for any reason.
We have seen that in practice owners often make a very tight conservative budget. But that does not take into account the volatility of the market. In Colombia, for example, there has been a general price increase in recent months. The high demand for raw materials in the construction sector at a global level has generated price increases in some items such as steel and cement.
Choosing The Right Contractor: Look Beyond Price
Many times when we ask for quotes from several suppliers, we tend to go for the one with the lowest price. However, this is a temptation that we must avoid because it often happens that we hire a contractor with little experience. This can be disastrous for our project and generate unforeseen delays, additional costs, or complications during the execution of the work. You might regret having made the wrong choice and let yourself be led by the cheapest supplier. Then, you will see that the old saying “cheap is expensive” is right. If you are looking for quality in remodeling you will have to pay a little more. The cheapest materials are not the best quality. Similarly, the cheapest interior design team is highly unlikely to be the best.
Request at least three quotations from different suppliers. Ask key questions about the contractors’ experience, validate trade references and if possible ask for an independent expert’s opinion. Some useful questions to ask are:
- What guarantees do you offer the client if something goes wrong?
- What kind of similar projects have you handled before?
- Will we sign a contract?
- What factors can delay project delivery?
- If you can’t complete the job, what happens to the advance payment, among others?
Take Several Weeks to Design The Remodeling Project
At this point, if you have already chosen the best budget option you are on the right track. Now you will have to get all the details of the project in black and white. Here it is recommended to look for the original plans of the property and if you don’t have them it is important to elaborate them thoroughly. Nowadays there are some applications that help you to quickly create a scaled design of the project in 3D. Generally, if you work with an experienced architect this point will not be difficult to do. After you have the plan of what you want to do and every detail has been rigorously approved, the final preparations will begin to start the execution of the work.
At this stage, you should be very clear about what you are looking for with the style and decoration you want to use in the place. A good and adequate interior design can create a feeling of spaciousness, creating a vibrant space or transport us through the furniture and textures. Have precise references of the style you want to apply, color palette, textures, materials. Take them into account and you will have a result according to your original idea. Create functional spaces, either for you to enjoy personally or to make it appealing for possible tenants. The idea is to make the most of the space.
Be sure to review this initial sketch very well, because it will save you headaches later on. Remember that, if you accept and sign an architect’s project – you will not be able to argue later that you do not like the final result (unless it varies significantly from the design). A construction schedule and estimated delivery date are key. Here it will also be necessary to validate the technical feasibility of the project. It could occur that you have a project that seems perfect and in the end, you discover that it cannot be carried out because of limitations put in place either by the municipality where it is located or the building administration. You could be sued by your neighbors and forced to suspend the project. Pre-approval for your plans is a good idea to avoid this type of pitfall.
How to Avoid Legal Problems with Your Project
In Colombia, there are urban planning regulations in each municipality. Thus, regulations associated with the quality of the construction system must be complied with. Generally speaking, individuals must apply for a construction license to remodel their property. The types of licenses that currently exist are new construction, expansion, adaptation, restoration, structural reinforcement, total demolition, and enclosure.
Some aspects to consider when applying for are the following: This website contains information about the laws relating to conducting renovations without the proper licensing.
– The first type of remodeling is when you are going to carry out renovations without demolishing the walls or affecting the structure of your home. That is to say, if you are going to change all the finishes, technical installations, carpentry, etc – but without modifying the spatial distributions. In this case, you will have to request a permit from the urban curator’s office, for the concept of repairs, a process that is “relatively simple and fast”.
– The second case is when you are going to undertake a remodeling in which you will intervene the dividing walls by demolishing them totally or partially, without intervening in the structure of your property. This applies both for integral or partial remodeling such as kitchen remodeling or remodeling of bathrooms or other spaces such as rooms, studios, terraces, etc. In this case, you must apply for a building permit for demolition and partial modification.
– The third case arises when, in addition to the walls, you also intervene in the structure of your property; this is a much more complex and careful process.
The indisputable benefit of these licenses is to have the certainty that the construction, remodeling, or renovation of the property complies with the regulations. In the end, the property will increase its value considerably by having the requirements demanded by the law. This way you will avoid wasting money and time. At the same time, you will avoid any inconvenience to the neighbors of the complex due to the remodeling that you carry out.
Be Prepared for Unforeseen Events
There are often situations that could complicate things so you should arm yourself with courage and above all with a lot of patience and tolerance to frustrations. Many of the reasons for these problems tend to be: a shortage of some materials, adverse weather conditions, increased costs, slowness in terms of authorizations, government permits, and even personnel turnover in your contractor, among others. These could delay your remodeling beyond the time initially foreseen in the project. But don’t be discouraged, it’s somewhat normal for these things to come up. Another uncomfortable factor, especially if you are living there during the renovations, is the amount of dust and noise you will have to endure. If the work generates too much discomfort for you, you may need to temporarily stay somewhere else while the work is being done. This will generate additional costs for your stay or rent. Normally a major renovation can take from three to six months – take this into account when planning the work.
Interior Decoration and Furnishings
After the construction phase is finished comes the artistic part of your remodeling. One of the most important aspects will be lighting and interior decoration. The idea is to improve the aesthetics in an integral way in perfect synchrony of color, materials, and textures. All this will influence the aesthetic results you will have. Although interior designers know what they are doing, it is useless to get advice and hire one of them if you do not have clear references and concrete ideas of what you want to do to guide the whole process of design and decoration.
A good interior designer will present you moodboards with the options according to your preferences or original idea and will advise you on what they think is best according to your budget and style. Their job is looking for the best way to translate into reality what they show you in the moodboards, with quality suppliers and with a reasonable budget.
Enjoy the Results
In the end you will be able to obtain a successful remodeling if you have followed all these basic recommendations. Your property will increase in value and you will be happy to have more beautiful, adequate, and utilitarian spaces. In Colombian cities like Medellin, many people acquire properties like penthouses or old houses at discounted prices and decide to remodel them, with the goal of selling for a profit. Others remodel to enjoy the space themselves or rent to others. You may be surprised what you can achieve with a little imagination, style, and perhaps less money than you think. A remodeled property can sell for tens of thousands of dollars more than one that hasnt been remodeled.
Did you recently finish a remodel project? I am always fascinated to see before/after pictures; I would love to hear about it – send me a message.
Are you interested in a renovation project in Medellín? Click here to see a list of properties that have been selected as being perfectly apt for a remodel project. (These tend to be older and larger spaces, with a low price per m2) Take a look at some of the options and then get in touch!