I was interviewed recently for a Podcast about lessons learn on the Project Management of home renovations. The slides and interview can be found here. However, I also wanted to give you a summary of the top tips on our Blog posts below.

Summary of the top tips:

  • Set a baseline and manage the constraints to maintain quality
  • “Fail to plan, plan to fail” – it’s an old mantra but still true today
  • Prioritisation is key to success
  • On home renovation projects, focusing on the important as well as the urgent is a constant challenge
  • DIY PM – don’t do it, it’s a top 3 stress inducer
  • You have to stay on top of the detail from start to finish
  • GANTT charts are a key tool for professional project management – clearly highlight dependencies
  • Change control procedures are essential – if you want to stay inside budget
  • Use SaaS based PM tools for complex projects (Wunderlist, Slack,Wrike, MS_Project, JIRA, Basecamp, etc)
  • Think ahead about the things that could go wrong and have a contingency plan
  • Do your checks (financial, references, review sites, etc) on builders and suppliers
  • Get a professional Project Manager to make it happen on time, quality and budget
  • Stick to a budget and make sure you have a contingency

In conclusion, the key things to keep front of mind are:

  • Know your limitations, Project Managing a house renovation is stressful, technical and time intensive
  • The budget is your personal money/savings, get someone who knows what they are doing to manage it on your behalf
  • Design everything up-front, document it in drawings that the builder can follow and reduce change requests to an absolute minimum
  • Make decisions in a timely manner, don’t procrastinate
  • Pick the right professional team to design, manage and deliver your project
  • Build 5%-10% contingency into your budgets, you will use it
  • Enjoy it!