Key Things to Do Before You Start Home Renovations
If you’ve decided you’re going to renovate your home this year, either to get it looking as lovely as you’d like for your own family or because you’re thinking of selling it soon, it’s important to be practical. Renovations can quickly add up to many thousands of dollars and cause a lot of stress, so you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. As such, it’s necessary to plan before you take a sledgehammer to any walls or hire a contractor. To help you remodel cleverly, read on for some key things to do in advance.
Set a Budget
It might be tempting to start knocking down walls or buying new appliances straight away, but don’t start spending money or completing tasks until you have worked out if you can afford to renovate in the way you wish to. If not, it may be better to put off the remodels until you’ve saved up some additional cash.
Decide how much money you can put into alterations, and then work back from there. Seeing what tasks will and won’t fit into that total allotted amount. Run the numbers to determine how much each part of the job is going to cost. Make sure you factor in every likely charge, including not just labor costs for contractors, but also things like materials, disposal fees, insurances, council or legal costs, etc.
Always leave yourself a buffer of at least ten percent. It’s rare for renovations to be completed without the budget blowing out in some way, so be sure you have a little extra money up your sleeve to cover contingencies.
Think About Potential Hidden Costs
Think about potential hidden costs which may need to be budgeted and planned for. For example, once you clear out your home for demolitions to begin, you might find there is a pest issue, (e.g. termites in the walls or ceiling), which needs to be rectified ASAP. Alternatively, you could realize that water damage has occurred in your basement because of leaking or broken pipes, which must be replaced before any other work can begin. Make sure your home is in good condition before you begin renovations, and you’ll save time, stress and money in the long run.
Make a Plan
To keep expenses down, not to mention your stress levels, it’s important that you have a good idea of exactly which tasks will need to be completed, either by you or someone else and in what order.
Once you have your timeline sorted out (it may change as renovations progress, but it will give you a good starting point), you can start to order materials and ensure you have each item on hand in time for the contractor who needs it.
Communicate well with each laborer to ensure they’re available at the time you require them, and talk to each about what must be finished before they can begin their work. For example, plumbers often have to do some tasks before waterproofing and tiling can be completed.
Research What Adds Value in Your Area
Another key step is to research what kind of remodeling work actually adds value in your area. There’s no point, after all, in spending money on features potential buyers may never want or which could actually cause your home to lose value.
Take the time to learn about the likely purchasers in your area. For example, are they retirees looking for low-maintenance properties, families who need plenty of storage or young working couples who are all about having an at-home office plus the latest technological fittings and fixtures?
It pays to talk to local realtors who specialize in your area as they can give you a good indication of what buyers may, and may not, be interested in. You might also attend open homes and auctions in your area for more information.
Investigate Contractors and Compare Your Options With Care
Of course, unless you’re an experienced builder, tradesperson or renovator, you’re likely going to have to hire contractors to do some remodeling work in your home. To ensure you don’t waste funds, plus get a good result in the end, investigate options with care.
While you can create a shortlist based purely on internet research (reading social media reviews is particularly helpful), it pays to speak to people you know who have recently completed renovations to see if they can suggest good workers.
In addition, as you compare service providers, look to see that people are qualified, insured and experienced in the type of work you need done and have contracts that will spell out all the necessary details of the work to be done. You want everything to be in writing as this will help ensure you’re covered if anything goes wrong.