Many colleagues and other Investors often ask me what is involved in a renovation. What should they expect? They tend to be worried about unforeseen costs and renovations ballooning out of control the most. As an experienced tradesperson and a construction project manager I’ve seen a lot of big mistakes. Over the years I’ve come to see that to mitigate these big mistakes the best thing you can do is have the right people involved in your project from the beginning.
Choosing your subtrades or general contractor carefully is very important. The most common way to choose a contractor is by getting referrals. Another very important element is to ensure that the contractor has done the type of renovation you need successfully and also multiple times. As soon as you get into a situation where a contractor is doing something new, things tend to get complicated.
A good renovation project also always starts with good plans. Now these can be floor plans drawn by an architect or engineer if you’re doing structural work or it can also be a detailed project plan you have put together yourself in excel. Regardless, it is critical to ensure that before you start tearing down walls you have your plans figured out. Your GC and subtrades need to know exactly what is expected of them and without detailed plans there can be confusion when it comes to how things should be done, resulting in assumptions being made and potentially costly mistakes. With a detailed, clearly articulated scope of work and/or floor plans no assumptions should be made by trades giving a quote or completing the work (and if mistakes are made, you can always go back to the plans and show them they didn’t follow instructions).
Saying all this at some point there will always be a problem during a renovation. You’ll open the wall and realize that its got mold all over it or the electrical was never done correctly. In these cases, it is always good to think that it is better to resolve it now then have a bigger problem in the future. Either way these problems are never massively expensive in comparison to the larger project. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 10% contingency in your renovation budget. Then when unforeseen problems arise you can avoid half of the stress since you have the money to deal with it set aside.
If you ever need advice or want Junction House Properties to manage your rental property renovation don’t hesitate to reach out!