Thinking of buying a property to renovate? Or looking for renovation ideas for your current home? The reasons for renovating are varied.
Maybe you’re thinking about renovating to make room for a growing family or to modernise your home and make it more practical. Maybe you’re renovating simply to increase the value of your property or it’s an investment property you plan to renovate and sell quickly. Whatever your reason for renovation, it’s important to be aware the renovating process can be extremely stressful.
However, if you take the time to plan and approach your renovation with a realistic and positive attitude, some of this stress can be alleviated.
Here are some helpful tips to help your renovation run smoothly:
Ask why am I renovating?
It is important to question: are you renovating for lifestyle or renovating for profit?
Renovating for lifestyle is all about you, your family and your family’s needs. Decision making will tend to be more emotionally based. Think and plan through how you’d like to live in your home and what changes you would make to increase your lifestyle enjoyment. You might be planning to live in this house for many years so this type of renovation means you need to think about long-term growth of not only your kids, but also how you will age within the house.
Renovating for profit is all about improving the capital value of your property, so the decisions you make are driven by what will add the most value for the least cost. This is where you need to be business minded and make business decisions, not letting emotions get in the way! Every spending decision should be based on ‘return on investment’. You need to question every spend and whether it is necessary to spend extra on a designer light fittings, expensive curtains or wool carpet, or are there cheap knock-offs that will give the same look for way less?
Research, research, research. Whether you’re buying an inner city apartment, first home or substantial family home, you need to know the market it’s in so you can put each property sale in context. Spend some time researching the market before making an offer.
Go to open homes to get a feel for the price range of different types of properties and follow up on the price these properties actually sell for. Compare those sales to other sales in the area to educate yourself on what creates value in a property in order to avoid paying too much.
Keep an eye out for good times to buy and look out for bargains. The best time to make your money is when you buy, not through the actual renovations.
Be Practical and Functional
Don’t ever walk into a renovation without doing some background research first. Do as much reading as you can and educate yourself on all aspects of the job at hand. If you do this, you’ll be in a much stronger position and find yourself more adept at selecting materials, hiring the right trades and asking the right questions throughout the renovation process.
Set a realistic budget
You need to be able to actually afford your renovation. Make sure you get at least three quotes for any job in your home and account for the possibility of any job costing around 10 to 20 percent more due to unanticipated work or blown-out timelines.
Remember that costs can change significantly depending on what materials and specifications you choose. Remember to take time to go over all the finer details, because not doing so can be extremely costly.
Create a moodboard
With Pinterest, Instagram and magazines inspiration is endless! It can be hard to stay focused, and understand what’s possible and differentiate between what you’d like and what you really need. So a good idea is to create a mood board collating all the images you like for the space you’re renovating to give you a direct style guide to follow. A moodboard helps you save time and money by ‘sticking to the plan’!
Pick the right trades people for your renovation
Picking the right trade people for the work is essential in a renovation that goes smoothly. Make sure that whoever choose has all the right qualifications, certificates and right experience to do the job. Ask for examples of previous work and look at hiring someone who will operate professionally and respect their clients.
Review your quotes
Get a minimum of three quotes for any job and sit and compare them. Remember that a quote is by no means a legally binding contract, so study them carefully and make sure they include everything you need. While one quote might be cheaper, it may be because it’s missing something important that has been added to a quote that is a little more expensive. Don’t accept an incomplete quote or a quote that isn’t itemised. It is important the quote is clear and there are no hidden costs that will present themselves at the end.
Leave as much alone as possible
If you can minimise the amount of disruption, demolition and relocating you do in the existing home, this will greatly reduce cost and time. Look for simple things you can do economically to improve the quality of your home? Have a look around and see if it’s just a case of simple refurbishment that your home needs, rather than a complete and utter renovation.
Some of these cosmetic renovations may include:
Pulling up carpet and polishing floorboards
Replacing the lighting with better quality and more modern fittings
Painting the interior or exterior with a new and fresh colour scheme
Replacing bench tops and cupboard fronts on the joinery in kitchens and bathrooms
Replacing skirtings, architraves and other woodwork around the home with more modern profiles
Repairing and replacing any broken or ageing items or fixtures and fittings
Pressure washing down exterior surfaces to remove grime and dirt from grout and concrete