Three Essential Rules for Project Managing Your Own Renovation
As a homeowner swept up in the enthusiasm of your planned renovation, project managing the process yourself can seem like a dream come true: you get to have a say in all the decisions, save money, and are part of the growth and transformation of your home.
Employing a project manager to do the job for you can take quite a chunk out of your budget for the renovation, and you may want to avoid that. But keep in mind that the price you pay for an experienced overseer is hefty for a reason: project management is a complicated and often confusing process which requires excellent organisation, good communication, and at least a basic level of knowledge of the processes involved.
If you’ve decided to project manage your own renovation, here are three essential tips for ensuring that it all runs smoothly and you get the home you’ve been dreaming of.
Plan every detail
When you get the flash of inspiration which captures the essence of what you want your home to look like, it’s easy to get carried away and jump in to the work without hashing out the details.
But with renovation projects, detail is key to success. Take your dreams and ideas to an experienced designer or architect and have them make up plans and specifications for the project, with your budget and timescale in mind.
Once the first draft is complete, go through every detail with them so you fully understand their thinking and what will be required to complete the project. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for perfect planning: remember that ‘the devil is in the detail’ and a series of small mistakes could lead to your project becoming more disaster than delight.
Choose your contractors carefully
Once you have your plans, you need to find someone to execute them for you. Decide whether you want one company contracting individuals or teams to do the work for them, or whether you want to source the workers for each task yourself.
Make sure to research your list of contractors carefully before even asking for a bid on the work from them. Although there are countless excellent and honest builders, electricians and plumbers out there, there are also some unscrupulous outfits who may take advantage of your inexperience and do a poor job.
Establish clear quality standards for the work you want doing, be prescriptive about your timescale and specifications, and set terms for responsibilities, overruns, delays and disputes. Outline everything in a clear contact that leaves no wriggle room for poor performance.
Keep on top of things
Once the work is underway, make sure you’re in the midst of the action every day. Hold the contractors accountable for their work, checking the plans and staying abreast of any potential problems. Don’t assume that just because there is a clear plan, it will be followed: coordinating several teams of people with the arrival of materials and the overall schedule of the renovation is a complex task which requires excellent organisation and ongoing vigilance.
Done properly, project management can be an immensely rewarding experience that yields a great deal of pride and satisfaction for a job well done. To avoid the stress and hassle of overruns, overspends and shoddy workmanship, keep your eye on the detail, be thoroughly organised, and make exhaustive plans for every stage of the process. Good luck!