10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Embarking on a Huge Home Improvement Project

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Embarking on a Huge Home Improvement Project

Homeowners make the decision to renovate their homes for various reasons, including:

  • Having extra space
  • To have specially designed or special purpose rooms
  • To increase its value before selling it
  • To simply make the house safer, more comfortable, and livable

But whatever reason you have for wanting to remodel your house, you need to make sure you will be taking the best course of action, especially if you will be taking on a huge home improvement project.

Representatives from leading constructions companies in Dubai say that there are some important questions you can ask yourself first to make sure you are making the right decision. These are:

  • Why do you want to renovate your house?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Embarking on a Huge Home Improvement Project

It is important to know the specific reasons why you want your house renovated. Whether you need additional space or rooms or to give your house a new, more modern look, you need to think about what you have now, why you want things changed, and what you want to get out of the renovation project.

Making a list of the reasons why you need to have your home renovated and what you expect to get at the end will help give you a clearer picture of the project. This list will also be really helpful when you talk to an architect and your contractors.

It will also help you stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary expenses that come with going overboard with your project.

  • What is your budget?

Your budget will ultimately dictate the scale of renovation work that can be done in your home. If you have a huge budget then technically, you can go all out on your home improvement project.

But first, you need to determine how much money you can spend on this project. The overall cost should cover:

  • Labor
  • Materials
  • Professional fees (architect, engineer, soil testing, etc.)

It is best to add some extra money for contingency which you can use for unforeseen costs that may arise during the course of the project.

  • Can the house take the stress of undergoing a renovation?

Can the house take the stress of undergoing a renovation

Consider the condition of your house. Keep in mind that although your house needs to be improved, its physical structure may not be able to handle the beating it will receive, especially if you want to extend your home.

Below are some instances wherein a renovation project may not be the best option:

  • The foundation of your house is weak or bad and requires some additional work before your home can be remodeled.
  • You want a higher ceiling on your ground floor. Raising a ceiling is not a cheap and easy project. To be able to increase the height of your ceiling, you need to have plenty of empty space up there. Otherwise, the second floor must be removed and then rebuilt.
  • Specific improvements may not work with or cannot be contained within the current house blueprint. This issue usually happens when you want an extensive remodel of the existing building. In this particular situation, you need an addition and not a remodel – something that is more expensive, and time- and labor-extensive.
  • Do you have the space for the renovation project?

If you’re planning to have your house extended, make sure you have enough space on the front, rear, or side of your property. In case you don’t have sufficient space, you may have to consider adding a second story for additional space and rooms.

You also have to consider the proximity of your property to your neighbors. Although you may have some extra space on your lawn, the location of your house will still have an impact on the size of the extension and where the renovation works can be done.

  • Do you need permits or licenses for your renovation project?

Before making plans for your extension project, find out if you have to consider or follow some local rules or, homeowners’ association and planning commission restrictions. Do research or read about the relevant local home building or improvements regulations so that you can have a viable home renovation plan before embarking on your project. This will also help you avoid making time-consuming and costly changes to your plans.

You may also need to secure the appropriate license to demolish a part of your house, cut down a tree, or for the workers to operate loud equipment on your property. Your local council, homeowner’s or neighborhood association, or planning commission might also need to see the design or plan for your renovation project before giving you the go signal.

  • How much time will the project take and how much can you spare?

The timeframe needed to complete a home renovation project will depend largely on its scale. However, there are other factors you still need to consider, too.

Finding the best contractor, having your home inspected, getting the necessary permits, and ordering all the materials – these are just some of the things that you include in your project timetable. They will eat up a lot of your time. Ask yourself if you’re willing to put up with all of these and if you have the patience to deal with any other delays that may come up.

  • Can you stay in the house during the renovation project?

Regardless of the scale of your renovation project, you will need to deal with noise, dust, and dirt, workers coming in and out of your house, and other things that will make staying in your house inconvenient and uncomfortable.

If only a part of your house will be remodeled, and there are areas where you can get away from the noise and dirt, and you (and everyone else) can go on living your everyday life, you can consider staying in your home during construction. This is a more cost-effective option. You will also be able to see and evaluate everything that’s going on during a project and immediately point out mistakes and things that you don’t like.

However, if your house will undergo a major renovation that will last more than six months and you won’t be able to use the kitchen and bathrooms, find a place where you can stay temporarily. You can consider living with relatives or friends or renting an apartment.

  • What will happen to your outdoor space?

What will happen to your outdoor space

During a major renovation project, it’s not just your home that will change; your front and backyard will be affected, too.

Your lawn will become the storage area for construction supplies, garbage, and other types of debris. It can even become the parking area for delivery trucks. If you have a green, lush lawn now, there’s a big possibility it will become a large brown, muddy space during and after the project.

The good news is there are ways for you to minimize damage on your lawn. First, ask your contractor to schedule the trash to be picked up regularly. You can also request the contractor to place portable ground covering materials on your lawn so that the turf can still be protected from the heavy weight of machinery, construction supplies, and foot traffic.

  • Should you work with professionals?

There are thousands of videos and articles providing DIY home improvement guides that you may be tempted to carry out the project yourself. But going the DIY route for huge renovation projects is not a smart and safe option. Embarking on certain smaller or simpler DIY home improvement projects are often not recommended either since they come with several disadvantages.

You will enjoy a variety of benefits if you choose to work with professional construction, design, and interior fit-out companies. With their help, you’ll have someone who will handle all the paperwork and take care of getting the necessary permits. You will have someone to come up with the design and plan for the project. They will have a team who will order the materials you prefer and handle the delivery.

Lastly, they will have seasoned, trained, and insured workers who will bring your renovation project to life.

  • Will the renovation work be worth it?

Lastly, with all the inconveniences you will go through and money you will have to spend, you really have to think hard if all your sacrifices will be worth it in the end.

Although you may not have plans of selling your house now, it is best to consider this possibility while you’re still planning your home renovation project. After all, you will want to profit from this investment in case you do sell your home in the future.

It is therefore important that you understand what it means to add value to your home instead of just improving it because you want or need to. This means not getting easily excited about choosing costly and flashy fixtures, finishes, and furniture that may not add any value to your home now and in the future.  

With a huge home renovation project, nothing will come fast, easy, and cheap. As such, you have to be 100% certain you are ready for a project of this magnitude. If you want to preserve and improve your dream house, renovating it is still the best and most cost-effective option.


Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.


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