5 Benefits to Planning Out Your Construction Project Before You Start

Deciding to begin a construction project–building a new house, remodeling your current home, or building an addition–is exciting. You have dreams of your new space, how it will look and feel, how you will decorate it, and how you will use it. You think about entertaining in your space, creating a peaceful refuge from the world, or spending a lazy Saturday morning at home with your kids. But before you jump in, it’s important to plan out your construction project thoroughly. Doing so will make your D.C., Maryland, or Virginia remodel or new build a success–and save you a lot of heartache. Here are 5 great benefits to planning your construction project before you start.

Benefit # 1: A Plan Guarantees that Your Pain Points are Addressed

If you’re building a house from the ground up or doing a major, whole-home remodel, take some time to sit down with your family and make a list of what is important. Get clear on each person’s priorities for the new space. Someone who loves baking will prioritize a kitchen with lots of counter space. A movie enthusiast might list a home theater among their “must-haves.”

In your current home, what about the layout and functionality works for you? What doesn’t? Are you frustrated with an area of your home that feels “off” somehow? Can you put your finger on why? A designer or architect can help you come up with solutions to your current problems. It’s helpful to think through the following questions:

    • What is the goal of your project? Are you looking to add more space or upgrade your home while keeping its original footprint?

    • Do you plan to remain in this home long-term? If so, consider what adds value for you and your family. If you believe you’ll move soon, it might be wiser to think about what appeals to home buyers in your area.

    • Who will be in the room or rooms most often and what will they be doing? How can you use the space to support those activities?

Benefit # 2: A Plan Helps You Stay Within Your Budget

Construction projects can be expensive. It’s hard to know where to start with a budget when planning a major addition, renovation, or new build. A good general contractor will be able to give you estimates and also identify areas that may exceed the budget when construction actually gets underway. You can also expect the unexpected by increasing your budget by 10-20% to allow flexibility to address challenges that arise.

It’s important to think through finishes before you start your project. Finishes are the interior and exterior installations that complete your project, making it serviceable and aesthetically pleasing. Although finishes are installed toward the end of your project, they do make up the most variable part of the budget. But if you choose your finishes before you start, you can work them into your final budget. Consider 

    • Walls: plaster, paint, stone facades, wallpaper. 

    • Flooring: wood, laminate, tile, bricks, carpet.

    • Interior finishes: doors, cabinets, trim.

    • Plumbing: faucets, sinks, shower heads.

    • Outdoor: landscaping, deck material, patio flooring, stone facades.

Ask your architect, designer, or builder what finishes will be necessary to complete your project, and choose them before you begin. This will make the work flow more smoothly and avoid unpleasant budget surprises at the end of the job.

Benefit # 3: A Plan Improves Construction

Beginning a project with a thorough plan will improve the entire construction process. With the help of a designer or architect, you can problem-solve potential issues before they become expensive or time-consuming problems. You won’t, for example, expect to be able to remove a load-bearing wall without adding structural support, or assume you can build to the edge of your property without considering the laws that govern setbacks and easements. In other words, a good plan will help you identify and solve troublesome issues before you start.

Planning before you begin will save time during the construction phase. The scope of work will be detailed ahead of time, meaning there will not be a lot of delays as builders try to figure out on the spot how to make your vision a reality. You will also have a much more realistic timeline in terms of how fast your project will be completed. Again, there are fewer unforeseen issues when you start with a solid plan.

Benefit # 4: A Plan Allows You to Consider Upgrades & Customizations

When you think through the entire project before you start you may realize that, while a wall is open, that’s the time to add better insulation to it. Or that you really could add an outdoor fireplace to your plan. You may decide to upgrade your flooring or countertops since it’s cheaper to do in the middle of an existing project than it would be to make it a project of its own later on. You could have some happy surprises when you plan your project. There may be details or features that your designer or architect suggests to you that could end up being your favorite parts of your project. Possibilities include:

    • Adding a reading nook tucked in a corner with built-ins surrounding it

    • Refreshing your landscaping when building a new patio

Benefit #5: A Plan Ensures You’ll Love The Finished Product

Planning for building a house or a home renovation is hard work. But by putting in the effort before you begin, you can make sure that the home of your dreams becomes your reality. You will be able to clearly communicate your vision, rule out problems before they crop up, have a realistic view of your budget and timeline, and consider features you may not have thought of on your own. A solid plan is the key to a successful construction project. And we can help you get there! BOLT’s team of caring, knowledgeable, and competent professionals is here to assist you in planning and building your construction project. Contact us today and let us help make your D.C., Maryland, or Virginia home the perfect place for you.