You walk into a Coral Gables home that has the perfect layout.

Ok, so the kitchen is dated, the floors need upgrading, the bathrooms are awkward, but it has tons of charm, the price is right, and you've always wanted to customize a home…so you buy it with renovation in mind.

I mean, how hard can it be? Those television shows remodel an entire home over the course of a weekend. You can live in the mess for a couple of weeks, right?

1. Adjust your timeline

If you've never lived through a renovation project, you'll be tempted to underestimate how long it will take.

It is a mistake to think of renovation time in terms of how much labor you think it requires. For many projects, labor time is the least amount of time spent on the project.

Say what?

That's right, a large number of rehab projects in Coral Gables require far more non-physical-labor time than the actual construction work. There are approvals, plans, permits, shipping time for materials, weather delays, insurance certificates and a myriad of other preparations required far in advance of taking a hammer to the wall.

2. Anticipate hidden delays

The possibility that plumbing or mold problems may upset your timeline increases with kitchen and bath renovations. Items such as broken pipes or seepage can cause massive problems that lay hidden behind the walls, fixtures, and cabinets of older homes. Once you've opened them up, they must be repaired.

Older Coral Gables homes (like those lovely Old Spanish homes) may need new electrical wiring and other upgrades to bring the electrical system up to code and make the home insurable.

Don't skimp on these areas just to hurry up the process. When a Coral Gables city inspector reviews the work, you may end up with more delays, having work torn out and redone to meet code.

If your home's renovations do not meet City of Coral Gables code requirements, you will find it difficult to sell your home later...especially during a buyer's market.

3. Stay or go?

Homeowners sometimes fail to fully consider the ramifications of not having a bathroom or kitchen for weeks at a time. These things affect everyday life and can pose a danger for children and pets.

Not only can exposed asbestos or lead cause illness, but displaced tools, nails and other sharp objects may injure unsuspecting family members.

Expect a considerable amount of dust and debris. Clothing, dishware and other personal items may collect drywall dust. Breathing in dust, mold, and other construction debris can trigger respiratory illnesses.

In short, you may need to plan for temporary shelter to keep family life running smoothly.

4. Estimate hidden costs and other options

All of these delays can affect your bottom line.

In fact, underestimating and not planning for contingencies can derail your renovation before it's completed. Underestimating construction costs is such a common problem that many contractors routinely factor in an additional 20% to 30% to protect their ability to realize a profit.

If you're doing the work yourself, these additional costs and delays can strain your bank account, time, and patience.

Call us today at 305-491-7179 or send us an email to adrian at gablesmavens dot com. If we know what you want, we can help you find a home where someone else has done the renovating or we can suggest contractors that will be helpful in working your way through potential upgrades and renovations before you move in.