How to Project Manage a Renovation

Before I jump into the ins and outs of how to project manage a renovation, I have a quick story. I have a memory that goes back to when I was very young, 4 or 5 (for context that’s 60 years ago!!). I wondered how a house was built. It seemed like such a massive thing in my small mind. I could not get my head around how you would produce a whole house with walls and roof, doors that opened and shut, and all the details that made a dwelling from scratch. It seemed like an unimaginably big undertaking. Of course, the rest is history, but if you are a newbie renovator, you may probably view the renovation process with the same level of mystery. In this article, I am going to lay out the steps in how to manage a home build and renovation project in clear, sequential steps.

Clarify Your Renovation Goals

Every successful home renovation project management begins with a clear vision. What are you aiming to achieve with your renovation? Is it to create your dream home, to turn a profit, or is it both? For example, we are currently renovating our home to age-proof it, but we also want to beautify it and add value, so our plan takes all three objectives into account.

According to a 2020 Houzz & Home survey, 83% of homeowners in Australia renovate to improve the look and feel of their space, while 54% do so to increase the value of their home. Define your objectives early to ensure your renovation decisions align with your end goals.

Developing a Detailed Plan

Detailed planning is your roadmap to success in managing a home renovation project. A report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute indicates that careful planning can reduce cost overruns in home renovations by up to 20%. This is the most time-consuming phase in your project. You start with a Pinterest board or scrapbook of all your ideas and eventually distill them into a floor plan.

The documentation of the project is a critical aspect of home renovations project management. Depending on the complexity, you might have an architect prepare floor plans, elevations, and drawings of specific details. You may need an electrical layout, a plumbing layout, a demolition drawing, and the list goes on. There are also mountains of decisions to be made, the colors, and finishes. You will need to choose paint colors, tiles, roofing materials, type of glass, doors, the color of silicone, and the list goes on. Utilize tools like renovation planning apps or a good old-fashioned spreadsheet to keep track of your ideas and decisions. I personally use Google Sheets.

Budgeting Wisely

Budgeting is a crucial skill in project management for home renovation. However, your budget will depend on your project’s size and complexity, whether you need council approval, and the number of professionals required. Initially, you might use rules of thumb or a price per square meter to get started with the budget. You will need to improve the accuracy of the budget by allocating funds for each aspect of the renovation. It is also essential to include a contingency of around 10-20% for unexpected expenses. If you don’t dedicate significant energy to budgeting, you may run out of money before your project is complete.

Your budget is a working document; a project manager must review the budget regularly, work to identify opportunities for saving, and review your budget, being proactive in avoiding nasty surprises.

Budgeting Wisely

Budgeting is a crucial skill in project management for home renovation. However, your budget will depend on your project’s size and complexity, whether you need council approval, and the number of professionals required. Initially, you might use rules of thumb or a price per square meter to get started with the budget. You will need to improve the accuracy of the budget by allocating funds for each aspect of the renovation. It is also essential to include a contingency of around 10-20% for unexpected expenses. If you don’t dedicate significant energy to budgeting, you may run out of money before your project is complete.

Your budget is a working document; a project manager must review the budget regularly, work to identify opportunities for saving, and review your budget, being proactive in avoiding nasty surprises.

Unlock More Profitable Renovation Secrets! Delve deeper into the world of renovating for profit, and consider taking our home renovation courses now!

She Renovates Free Facebook Group

If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

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Bernadette Janson

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