Project management is a skill unto itself, with many people making a living from doing just that full time. Whether or not you choose to hire a project manager is entirely a personal decision but either way, there’s lots of tips and tricks that can be employed to help keep things on track and ready for anything. Avoid the pitfalls of indecision and the constant unexpected shifting of plans with these tactics. No matter how big or small your renovation, you need to be prepared for all eventualities – and with our advice, managing everything should be easier.

A completed home renovation project

Invest Time Right From The ‘Off’

Taking the time to really plan out how you’d like things to look and work as early as possible in a project will really pay off later on. If you’re working with a project manager or external contractors, this is the time to establish an open and honest communication channel that identifies what’s in scope, what isn’t, and what is realistically achievable. It doesn’t matter how slow this initial process is – what matters is that you have a thorough understanding of what can and will be done and that everyone who is on the project is on the same page.

Ensure Comms Are Constant

As a project gets underway, there will undoubtedly be extra calls and decisions to be made. This means that communication must be constant and made throughout the project – not just at the beginning of the project and then followed up at the end. Regular updates, even if it seems not much has happened, can help keep everyone updated and give a ‘state of play’ at each stage of the project.

Present Things Visually If Possible

It can be difficult to picture in your head how things could end up looking without examples actually in front of you. If possible, plan with images and visual representation to help you better understand the opportunities your renovation presents. Interior designers, surveyors and professional project managers will be able to show you designs demonstrable through 3D modelling software and walk-throughs but there are also facilities and software programs available online that can be purchased and managed by consumers. Being able to picture things visually will help combat the likelihood of project changes being made later on because you change your mind when practicalities don’t quite match your mental images. 

Stay Open Minded For The Unexpected

Although the hope will always be for every project to progress on track, on time and on budget throughout, this is rarely actually the case. Should something pop up that you haven’t expected, stay open minded and work with it as you go. Changes can and do happen, and they can be a positive in the end so it’s important to not let them throw you off mentally too far. If your project plan has back-up ‘just in case’ time estimates to allow for the unexpected as well as an extra ‘cushion’ budget, you can be properly prepared no matter what may happen along the way. Don’t be afraid to change your mind if something doesn’t feel right – as long as you understand the consequences, you can roll with it!

A child's nursery

Design With Flexibility

When you plan out room layouts, don’t be too strict. Allow flexibility for things to change during construction or after completion – not necessarily because they might have to for practical reasons, but also because you may choose to lay things out differently once you see it all in your home. ‘Future proofing’ is also sensible: ensuring that the room is able to accommodate growing families, changing family dynamics or planned future extensions. Your home and the people within it will not stay the same forever.

Keeping An Actual Plan

If you’re working with a project manager, chances are they will have worked out a physical plan either on paper or online; mapping out the project stages, dependencies, budgets and timeframes. However, if you’re taking things on yourself, you may not have considered doing so but you should, because it can help keep you on track. There’s no one right way to plan out a renovation project but there are lots of free software options available online, including Asana, Monday.com and Trello – or just use a spreadsheet and design your own!

Keep Accountable

If you are the kind of person who gets excited about new projects but finds it difficult to see them through, having an accountability partner to check in on you can be hugely beneficial. This is someone (anyone!) who will run through the project plan with you at regular points to ensure you’re on track and that you’re carrying out the actions you should be. Having someone else know what you should be doing and giving you the odd nag to keep you at it all can be hugely motivating and often prompt you to do things before you need to do them; if anything, encouraging progress at a better rate and to a higher success level than before. This approach doesn’t work for everyone – and you may not need it if you’re working with professionals – but for those it does, it can be brilliant.

A couple reviewing project plans with a project manager

Be Realistic

Unless you’re a renovation professional, there’s no reason to believe that you should know exactly how to enact a renovation project plan without fault. Be kind to yourself and don’t pressure yourself to do too much all at once. Building in contingencies as mentioned above in terms of time, budget and scope can help buy you more flexibility.

Refresh Renovations is available to help you with every aspect of your home renovation project. Our process has been specially designed to support you in achieving a beautiful home improvement on time and within budget. Your renovation specialist will work with you and through our 4 step process manage the whole project to keep everything on track.

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