5 WHYZ,  Life

5 Reasons Why I’m Project Managing My Home Renovation

Are you considering renovating part or all of your house this year? If so, Nicole is here to give you five reasons why you should consider taking charge and managing the project yourself…

So The Costs Are Less Likely To Spiral Out Of Control

One of the biggest problems home owners face when renovating is the risk of running out of funds. It’s seen all the time on home shows, where the build has had to come to a complete standstill and contractors laid off because the home owner hasn’t sufficiently planned their budget properly. Or worked in contingency funds if something goes wrong. Our builder is extending our home by building us the single storey and double storey shell. Fitted with the roof, first floor joists, internal structural brickwork/blockwork, steels, stud walls, lintels, windows, roof lantern and bi-fold doors. The builder will also be sub-contracting the rendering of the back face of the house. That is it.

We’ll then say farewell to the building team and it’s over to us. That will certainly be nail biting times. But important times, remembering why we’ve opted to extend our home in this way. Project managing ourselves. From this point on every contractor we’ll hire will be totally under our control, we’ll get 3-4 quotes for each job and of course get as many contractors that come personally recommended. We also won’t be in the habit of handing over the total amount of money to any contractor before or as the job starts. Yet another pitfall so many home owners fall into and then the contractor asks for more because ‘there’s been a sudden increase in supplier costs’ or some ‘unforeseen problem’. I smell BS at that point.

The jobs we’ll be needing done under our management will be the first fix electrics, plumbing and carpentry (my husband will complete the second fix), plaster boarding (again my husband will do, unless the quote is right to outsource), plastering, underfloor heating, flooring, kitchen installation, bathroom and en suite fitting/tiling. We’ll then finish the build off by doing the decor and furnishings ourselves.

So We Can Set Ourselves SMART Targets

That being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and on a Timescale. From the outset we’re going to have to be very strict in adhering to this SMART philosophy of objective setting. I’m even going to be so boring with this element of the planning of the build that I might even go back to my GCSE Maths days and create myself a GANNT Chart – a way of planning when jobs will start, stop and overlap. If I remember rightly it’s a horizontal chart with boxes representing time and each job being labelled in a margin on the left.

As tedious as this will be to create, I think it’s a must to help with the monetary budget but also to help with timescales. Who to get in to do what job at which stage. And most importantly ordering the jobs so there is a flow to the great expanse of time that is in front of us.

To Give Us Some Breathing Space

So we hopefully make the right decisions. This GANNT Chart also will hopefully help us hash out any differences of opinion during the process. Where to position things in the new space we’ve created in our home.

It will also help us to see whether there are any  gaps in time over the next 11 months so create some breathing space in the chaos doing an extension creates. Which leads nicely onto my Reason 4…

To Ensure We Maintain Family Life

This is paramount. We are a family of 5, me Mrs.H, my husband Mr.H, and our three children. All 5 and under, boy, boy, girl. To add to the hustle and bustle of our lives we have two family members of the four legged variety, our ever loyal dogs. I want to be able to maintain our family life, for 2019 to be the year our forever home changes to be all that we’ve wanted it to be, the vision we’ve had since the very first viewing.

But also, to be the year that our children don’t remember Mommy (we’re Mommy’s here in Birmingham, not Mummy’s) and Daddy being so busy with the house that we don’t make time for us altogether. So, as well as the GANNT Chart having on it house related jobs, it will also have a family twist with family days out, and perhaps even a mini break away squeezed into the left hand margin to introduce balance into the year ahead.

So We Can Stick To Our Christmas Day 2019 Completion Target

Fingers crossed this will be the day that at the very least the downstairs is complete. No jobs left, not even on the snag list. The reason that I am so ardent about this target date is because I am a product of a marriage and subsequent divorce that occurred back in the late 80s when I was 18 months old and I have calculated that in the back and forth of all the Christmas’ over the years I have spent a grand total of four in one house. From wake up until bedtime, just four. All the others I got driven (and then later I drove myself) to and from two, sometimes three houses within each Christmas Day. You can get the violin out here if you like?!

But after doing it again last year (2018 is already last year!) this time for an altogether different reason – because our house is upside down with building work having started recently I want our children to wake up and go to bed in the same house on Christmas Day, like my husband did. It’s something so important to me. Family will be invited and whoever comes over does and whoever doesn’t, they’re going to miss out on the totally OTT Christmassy Grotto I’ll have turned downstairs into!

You can follow Nicole’s renovation this year below.

photo credit: wuestenigel Top view of flat lay with keyboard, plant and paper with “2019 goals”. New year concept. via photopin (license)
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