How to Manage Home Renovations from Afar

Author: Harmony Sense Interiors Ltd. |

Men with helmets on a building site.

Various life situations can lead to you not being present for your home renovations. It could be just temporary or possibly for the duration of the work. Although it is not ideal, there are many ways to cope with the circumstances. The secret to long-distance renovations is hiring the right team you can trust to work on your home, even when you're far away. Finding a reliable renovation team may be challenging. Still, if you plan ahead and do proper research, you'll be able to manage home renovations from afar without a hitch.

Plan Like a Pro

Make all final design choices before starting any work. Trying to do it as you go along will needlessly stress you and everybody out. You will enjoy the process more without dealing with constant deadline changes. If you fail to plan ahead, you may find your options restricted based on work that's already done. Making changes, later on, will complicate things and cost you time and money. Take a few weeks to put together a plan, write specifications, get everything ready, and make all the decisions before proceeding.

A man looking at a board with many plans and pictures.
Do very thorough planning when managing home renovations from afar.

Before you start, make sure that you:

  • Set your budget
  • Prepare a contingency plan for delays and extra costs
  • Create a project plan

Store Away Your Belongings

When doing home renovations from afar, you will most probably need to store away your furniture and personal items. Getting that taken care of before you start any work is essential. There are various options out there for the transfer of your belongings, and finding the right fit for you should not be difficult. You can even have a portable container delivered to your location. Then a team can load all your belongings and store the container as a whole in a place most convenient to you.

Find a Trustworthy Contractor When Managing Home Renovations from Afar

Since you will not be at the site to oversee the process, you need a reliable contractor. This may be easier said than done; however, there are ways for you to find the perfect professional for you:

  1. Speak with several different companies, see what they offer and what their prices are
  2. List your expectations and see if they can deliver on them.
  3. Spend a bit more if you need to. If you find a contractor you really like, it is worth paying a higher price and having peace of mind.
A contractor showing a woman house plans on a large white paper.
The contractor will be your eyes and ears and needs to be dependable

Hire an Interior and Exterior Designer

Another vital person for managing home renovations from afar is a home design expert. If you do not have experience with design or simply do not have time, don't try to do it yourself. You don't want to make wrong decisions and end up disappointed. Making mistakes will cause additional expenses and take extra time. A professional will know exactly how to make proper plans even though you are not present. Contractor companies work with home designers and can recommend someone they have worked with before and know is dependable. This connection may even secure you a better deal on the price.

Get a Detailed Contract and Schedule

Getting a contract with as many details as possible is the best way to get things started. Details should include:

  • Anticipated costs
  • Details of the work that needs to be done
  • Payment details
  • Timeline of major events like demolition or plumbing and electrical installation

Having these points in writing will ensure that everyone is on the same page and clear on the expectations before beginning. It's vital to identify specific deadlines and what jobs will be done by each deadline. Be sure to communicate your deadline needs to the team. Communication is crucial for ensuring the timeline is realistic and manageable.

Write Lists

Making lists is the only way to properly organize your thoughts and ensure you do not forget important details. Your number one list should have details of everything that needs to be done, from start to finish. Experts behind even recommend making lists of all the boxes you will store away to avoid confusion in the future. If you have a contractor or anyone else in charge, make sure they have a copy of your plans so your goals are clear and all the information is provided.

Find an Easy and Accessible Communication System

Frequent communication with the contractor is essential when managing home renovations from afar. The project's success will depend on it, so make it clear from the beginning what you would like to be contacted for specifically. You should have an assigned video call for each significant event on the schedule. The contractor and the interior designer can send you photos throughout the project. You can text, send emails, and make phone calls. Find an app that you can all use for video conferencing, as it will make everyone's lives easier to be able to communicate this way.

A man making a video call inside a house
Ensure you communicate with your contractor frequently.

Schedule Site Visits—If Possible

Understandably, if the renovation site is very far from you or you are in any way prevented from visiting, you will still manage to get everything done. However, if it is in any way possible—visit the renovation site whenever you can. Even if you have the best setup and the most trustworthy team, it is not a perfect substitute for you physically being at the renovation site and seeing things with your own eyes. Doing home renovations comes with apparent challenges from afar, so try to schedule at least three to four visits to the site. Here is how to plan them:

  1. The first should be before the project start date. Meet the contractor in person and get a feel of their work ethics.
  2. The second visit could fall after demolition and framing and before drywall to ensure your foundation is as expected.
  3. Ideally, the third visit would be after floor and cabinetry installation, but before counters, back splashes, and other main elements are added.
  4. If you can squeeze in a fourth visit, plan it close to the 90% completion point to ensure things were done smoothly, and there were no significant setbacks.