Planning a home renovation? You must read this first

A successful home renovation is based on a solid plan. This needs research, foresight and contingency plans. Before you start breaking down walls and ripping out floor boards, you need to have a plan for renovation in place.

Are you really ready to renovate?

There are several factors you need to take into consideration before you set out to renovate your home. Let’s take a look at the most important of them.

What do you want renovated?

You can work on renovating your entire home, a pt arofe  it or even a singlm. Troohe temptation, of course, is to do it all. The best way to arrive at a decision is to list down all that you need done. Work out a rough estimate as to what that is going to cost you. Add in approximately 10% more for unexpected expenditure. With this, decide what is of priority and needs to be done right away, and what can wait a bit longer to get done.

What do you need to include in your budget?

What you have to remember about budgeting is that if you are placing the house on the market, don’t spend more than the value of the house. If it is your home for a long time to come, chat with your contractor as well as friends and family who have done similar work and get an estimate of what the work is going to cost you. Do not forget to include in this, the cost of labour, all the materials you will need and insurance coverage, covering your renovation.

There are times (most of the time) when the renovation begins and you may find things that need fixing that were not accounted for. Budget for such circumstances as well.  If the work requires that you move out of the house for a while, then factor in the costs of alternate accommodation.

What is the time frame you are looking at?

It is a fact that renovating usually takes longer than the time lines projected. This is especially if you are living in the house when work is in progress. The design and planning alone can account for a month or two, sometimes more. Consider this before committing to a renovation. Discuss timelines with your contractor and ensure you have time to allocate as a buffer.

What you are allowed to do, and what you can’t

When it comes to home renovation, there are quite a few consents that you need to get. Based on the kind of property you own, there may be certain restrictions on what can be done. This is in the case of land covenants or cross-lease titles. Apartments will need approvals from the body corporates and renovation will have to follow the rules laid down by them. Council properties are governed by a set of rules. Ensure you look into all of these.

When to DIY, when to call in the pros

You can save a good deal of money with DIY. But, the important thing is to know your limits as a DIYer and stick to what you can do well. There are certain works like electricals, plumbing, foundation laying, tile placements, HVAC and others that need the pros coming in to do things correctly and safely.

How will you manage the project?

Project management is a laborious task. You can choose to do it yourself, or have your contractor share it with or do it all for you. Your decision on this will decide the kind of contract that you will draw up with your contractor. Think of the costs of outsourcing all or part of the work. At the same time understand what it will demand of your time and energy if you are to do it on your own.

How will you safeguard your project?

This is where you ensure you have a good amount set aside for some unforeseen expenses that usually arise with a home renovation project. Look for building companies that offer guarantees to complete and protect your project. These are usually worth the additional cost. Look into your house insurance cover for the completion of the project. Call your insurer to see if your home is covered during the works, you may need to take out contract works insurance.

Once you have considered all of these aspects, you will be able to create a strong plan for your renovation. This will ensure that it is smooth sailing right to the end. 

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