When I work with clients to design a space and help them choose all the pretty to go with the design, I also offer project management. What that means is that I will bring in my trades that I know and trust and take that paper design and turn it into reality. For some clients, they are extremely happy to know that I have a team that I can trust to carry out the work. For others, they are happy to take what we have done and manage their own renovation.
This past month, there are two clients that I am working with that were managing their own renovation. Both of these clients ran into what I’ll call ‘curve balls’. Some were minor curveballs while others were (and are) a definite road block. In looking at both of their situations, I decided to write this blog stating my 3 biggest tips that you should know about managing your own renovation.
Managing Your Own Renovation
Tip 1: Trades
Take your time to investigate! If you don’t have a trusted electrician or plumber (for example), ask your friends. Facebook is a great place to ask for recommendations as everyone will chime in on who they have used and their experience (and you will hear the good and the bad). Word of mouth means so much and a referral is such a great compliment. I am lucky in that I have a great group through my Baeumler Approved affiliation. I just go to my group to put the word out if I am looking for a trade and I know I’ll get a great referral (and I know they are great because to be Baeumler Approved you have to meet certain criteria).
Tip 2: Schedule
Create a schedule for your renovation in advance (before anything gets started) and ask the trades how long they will need to complete the work. Without a schedule, your renovation could last forever. Without a schedule, you will know who will be accessing your home on what day and what time (a huge safety factor). One of my clients recently went away on a holiday to come back and find that almost no work was done on their home while they were away. There is no calendar in place and they have no idea when they’re going to be done. They are managing their renovation and I feel that they are totally being taken advantage of. Not a great feeling!
Tip 3: Be Present
You have to present. If you are managing your own renovation, you need to prepare yourself to be ‘IT’. If a trade has a question, you will need to be prepared to answer it. If a trade has to be let in, you will need to ensure you have plans in place to either be there to let them in or provide access to your home by some means (a lock box, a keyless entry, etc.). You will need to be present to do any walkthroughs prior to a trade starting. You have to look after any product being ordered, any pick up of material that falls under your ‘scope’ of being a PM, you need to do the walkthroughs with the trades to ensure all of the work is completed, and you are the boss. The weight of your renovation will sit on your shoulders.
Another client of mine chose not to have me manage their project yet for some reason, my phone was ringing off the hook with question after question about their project. I had to be clear with them that I was not managing their project. I also couldn’t help them as I had no idea what was done prior to that particular trade in question, what was discussed regarding the scope of the work, and what work was included in their quote they received. I also had to be clear that I was not going to be involved in looking after any deficiencies (and there were some). They would have to handle that on their own.
Managing Your Own Renovation: Why do I love it?
OK. I’m not going to lie. I love being the boss. More importantly, I love seeing my designs come to life. I enjoy working with the trades and getting to know them. I enjoy collaborating with them when dealing with ‘curve balls’ that may be thrown my way. I love pulling together the schedule as I know we are close to starting that project. I love seeing the progress along the way and I LOVE seeing a space come to life right before my eyes.
Thinking about renovating a space in your home and don’t know where to start? Contact me today to discuss your upcoming project.