The success of your vision often lies in a detailed plan with clear objectives to achieve it - getting yourself prepared and in a position to execute your plan. From when we purchased this house at auction we had 4 weeks to create a detailed plan on how to achieve our vision and begin to put the cogs into motion to achieve this. Here’s an outline of our vision, goals and what we have been up to the past 4 weeks to achieve this – where we implement the key tips from our ‘Plan the Work, Work the Plan’ Blog.
Set the Vision
The house is already in a very liveable state, so this is a very different project from our recent renovations. Instead of thinking of the house as a blank canvas, we are treating this as a cosmetic project – a superficial renovation avoiding any significant changes to the house. With the exception of 2 key areas we will focus on – a new kitchen and recolouring the existing green window joinery.
Always being up for a challenge, we have decided to put a big focus on the programme and budget for this renovation. With our goal to complete the renovation within 3 weeks from when we purchase it and the total project cost being under $30,000. For us, the success of this project will not just be the finished product, but achieving it within a tight timeframe and a set budget.
Ambitious – Yes.
Achievable – we hope so!
Create the Plan
Together we had a clear vision on the scope of work we wanted to do inside the house: new flooring, repaint, light fittings, kitchen, recolour window joinery and new window coverings, with exterior works to be dealt with at a later time. It was now in my hands to develop a detailed budget and a daily programme on how to make this happen. Using costs from previous projects I created a new detailed budget for this project detailing all possible areas where we would be spending money – identifying them as estimates until quotes are received.
Using a spreadsheet I created a day to day programme of what needs to be done each day, with columns for what we need to achieve, what contractors needed to do and whether they were booked in or not.
We arranged access to the house with the real estate agent for 2 hours (before we owned it) to get contractors through to provide us quotes, get detailed measurements and get them on board with our programme.
Once we got handed the keys we needed to hit the ground running if we are going to achieve our goals. I know for certain that what we want to achieve will not be possible in 3 weeks if we didn’t start making decisions, getting quotes and booking in tradesman in the weeks before we physically started. So that is what we did. Before we had lifted a hammer we had already done the following:
- Design kitchen, select finishes, appliances and finalise order (kitchens normally have at least a 4 week lead time)
- Select paint colours
- Arrange plumber and electrician to disconnect power / water in kitchen
- Get quotes from tradespeople
- Arrange skip to be delivered
- Curtain orders
With any project there are challenges which will arise and risk areas to be managed. To minimise the impact these will have, we identify the key risks we need to manage. For this project they are:
- Finding tradepeople who are not only available (everyone wants work done before the holidays) but can commit to our programme and have some flexibility if the plan changes by a day or two.
- Compromise. $30,000 is a lot of money but can also be spent very quickly in a renovation – especially with a kitchen involved. The initial budget estimate was around $35,000, so will need to make a few compromises or cut a couple items out if we are to get within budget.
- Our time. A lot of the time consuming work we plan to do ourselves where possible – the largest being painting the entire house. Making sure we plan this out and work efficiently to achieve it.
- Unforeseen issues. With our tight programme and budget, there is almost no allowance for surprises.
Here is our inspiration for this project, collated from Pinterest.