When you are about to spend a vast amount of money on renovating your most valuable asset it is wise to take time to think about the project before you start. And as most of us only undertake renovations a few times in our lives we don’t always know the pitfalls that we might face.
Our ‘Top Ten Tips’ will help you prepare and being prepared is the best way to avoid the most common problems that are encountered in a renovation.
Ask yourself the vital question, “Why?” The answer to that question will help you choose the type of renovation and set your budget. If your answer is to increase the value of your property then take into account the items that will add most value.
Have your property given a full health check before you even start to plan your renovations. This will let you know of any problems that have to be addressed before you start your renovations, such as problems with the subfloor or underpinning of your property and will inform your planning.
Check with local realtors about the potential value of your home once you have renovated. Take that into account and ensure you don’t overspend on renovations that are not going to pay you back when you eventually sell the property.
Decide how you are financing your renovations. Using the equity of your home is one option, while taking out a loan is another. But make sure that you won’t be overextending yourself.
Take into account that your renovations will increase your home and contents insurance. Set that insurance in place as soon as your renovations get underway.
Set your budget. Be aware that costs can spiral if you don’t keep a tight rein on them, so set your budget and have an amount set aside for unforeseen situations. And once you start the renovation monitor your budget carefully.
Have all your paperwork and permits to hand when you are approaching a lender. It will push the loan application process through much faster.
Buy the best quality materials you can, and cut costs in other ways.
Choose the contractor very carefully; check references and set up both a proper contract and planned progress reports.
Only do things yourself if you are competent. Fixing incomplete or unsafe work later always costs more. Leave it to the professionals unless you are certain that you can do it yourself safe and to code.