Tips From Good Bones For A Successful Home Renovation

A new home project seems very exciting, but it can quickly become overwhelming as the renovation moves forward. It's no secret that remodels can hit a few roadblocks, and many homeowners can go into it feeling unprepared. Patuxent Architects explain that common remodel issues such as water and foundation damages and plumbing and electrical issues can often set a project back in the timeline and the budget. And while those are often unavoidable problems, there are ways to approach a home renovation to make it successful.

Mother and daughter duo, Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk of HGTV's "Good Bones," are well-versed in tackling renovation problems and coming out on top. On their show, they often deal with setbacks that threaten to lengthen the timeline or take them over budget. But thanks to their experience, the duo has developed strategies to ensure that their home renovations always come out on top.

Plan the scope of the project

The first step to performing a successful home renovation is understanding and planning the scope of the project, per Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine (via Reader's Digest). The scope refers to all that needs to be done in order to complete the task, according to Sweeten. Your general contractor will need to know all the projects you want done in order to transform your home, so it's important to be as specific as possible to get an accurate view of the scope. You may want to break down your list into must-haves — which are projects you can't live without — and nice-to-haves, which are things that you would like to include, but they're not necessary.

The scope of the project will inform the timeline and budget. If you're planning to transform your entire home, it's going to take more time and money than one or two rooms being renovated. It's a good idea to set your budget and then fit the scope of what you want within those parameters. Discussing all of these elements with a professional contractor will also ensure the success of the project.

Begin with a clean slate and make more space

It can be hard to imagine your house looking any way other than how it currently does. That's why Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine always demo their homes first, as noted by Reader's Digest. Removing everything and taking a home or room down to the studs allows you to see a blank space and envision the possibilities. However, in many cases, you won't need to remove everything in a room to redo it — but getting as clean of a slate as possible is the best way to start a renovation.

In this stage, Starsiak Hawk and Laine suggest adding more space to transform the area. Vaulted ceilings are a favorite among the duo as they can make the room feel more open. But be aware, warns Style By Emily Henderson, that you will need to consult a structural engineer to know if your ceilings can be lifted. Vaulted ceilings will also require professionals to complete the project. If it isn't possible, you may want to consider a bump out or home addition to create more space.

Be smart about projects to save money

It's not hard for unexpected costs to pop up during a renovation. That's why Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine advise homeowners to be smart about their budget and save money when they can (via HGTV) — for example, by buying in bulk. You can buy items like tile and flooring en masse rather than as single pieces if you know you're going to use them throughout your renovation.

The duo also suggests staying away from projects that aren't always a good investment, especially if you're planning on selling your home in a few years. Knowing what renovations are going to add value or give you a return on your investment can be difficult. For example, Smart Asset agrees with Starsiak Hawk and Laine about swimming pools not being the best investment to receive a high return. Going overboard on a kitchen renovation by adding luxury finishes also isn't a home project that will have homeowners seeing a high return on their investment.

Infuse personality with unique pieces

As the renovation comes to a close and you're adding your décor and furnishings, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine encourage homeowners to infuse personality into their spaces (per Reader's Digest). It's easy for renovated homes to fall victim to being cookie cutter, especially when following current trends. Instead, source unique pieces to add personality to your house. That doesn't mean you shouldn't follow trends at all, but adding pieces from different styles can create a more eclectic and special vibe.

Checking out a local thrift store or flea market can help you find one-of-a-king and eclectic pieces. Homemade Ginger suggests looking for wood and wicker furniture because it's often higher-quality and will not only look unique, but also will last you years. Look for furniture pieces in good condition and that can be thoroughly cleaned before adding them to your home. These create accents that add a charm to your space that's unique to your style.