Rebuilding or Renovating – Tips for Tackling a Huge Project

At Acadian House, our professionals are used to giving advice on home renovations, but with the recent flooding we are going through the rebuilding process ourselves as well. It can be an overwhelming task. We’d like to share some tips on how to tackle the renovation while still maintaining your sanity.

Organization is the Key

Recognize and accept that this is an overwhelming project that is not going to be completed quickly. It will probably take more than 3 months.
• While waiting for your insurance money, the best thing to do is plan your budget so that once you get your money, you can move efficiently.
• So that you won’t get frustrated, create a timeline of events for each week and prioritize tasks that must be completed before moving forward. Be sure to account for flex time- tasks that can be floated into the next week without disrupting the top priorities.
• When planning the layout in each room, make decisions on what will work best for you, not just what looks best.
• Make all selections for design, materials, finishes and paint colors ahead of time so that you aren’t pressured into a decision due to time constraints or holding up another phase of the job.
• Once you have made all your selections, remember to take samples with you to stores to pick out appliances and furniture.

major renovation photo

Finalize Your Budget and Prioritize

Keep in mind that this is an investment in your home. Decide where you want to spend your money & where you want to compromise, categorize your needs and build your budget accordingly.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

• Kitchens and baths are the most important and biggest ticket spaces when it comes to budget, so start with those first.
• Don’t forget to include the basics when putting together your budget: Plumbing, sheetrock, windows, doors, countertops, flooring, cabinets and appliances.
• Realize there are choices that can make appliances more affordable. For example, a range with a cooktop and separate oven are more expensive than a stove with all in one. Choosing a combi-oven can also save space and money by combining multiple appliances like the toaster, toaster oven, microwave and convection/steam oven into one appliance.

The Big Decisions

Give yourself ample time to decide what you really want. Depending on how long you’ve been in your home, it may have been a while since you went shopping for major appliances. A lot of things have changed and you should educate yourself about what is out there and what features you want your new appliances to have.

One consideration is thinking about whether your house is going to be your forever home, if it is a starter home or something in between. If it isn’t your forever home, we suggest selecting quality, yet cost effective items that will still add value to your home. If it is a place where you’ll be for a long time, consider quality materials with smart design that you can enjoy through the years even as your functional needs change.

Considerations on Choosing New Appliances

• Consider black stainless over traditional stainless, so you aren’t constantly cleaning up fingerprints.
• Easy to clean induction cooktops are more efficient than gas or electric so they keep our Louisiana kitchens cooler, since only 2-4% of the energy is lost while cooking.
• If considering a refrigerator with a water dispenser, look for one with the dispenser inside the door.
• Healthier cooking is made easier with the wider availability of steam ovens.
• If incorporating a television into the kitchen, consider where you will be watching it. Will you watch from the bar or while cooking? Install a TV arm for more versatility.
• Outdoor entertainers should consider a different approach to the outdoor kitchen. By enclosing the space but having the option to open up to the outdoors, you will eliminate the frequent cleaning that plagues outdoor spaces.

Additional resources with excellent information on renovation tips:

National Homebuilders Association
National Kitchen & Bath Association
Remodelers Association
Certified Aging in Place Specialists