Have you bought a new house? Are you taking on a project in order to create the home of your dreams? If renovation work is on the horizon, take a moment to ask these essential questions. Before you go full steam ahead, make sure you have the answers!
What is my budget?
Before you even buy a house, you should have a realistic idea of your renovation budget. There’s no point in putting in an offer if you can’t afford to do the work. If a house is at the top of your budget already, it’s unwise to take on major renovations. If you’re thinking of buying a doer-upper, do your homework first. How much can you secure the property for? How much will you need to spend? How much value could you add? Once you have a budget in mind, you can start working on plans and designs. All my experience of this comes from watching ‘Fixer Upper’ for more hours than I care to admit to.
Who is going to do the work?
If you have grand plans, you’re probably thinking of drafting in some professionals. Before you start planning interiors, get some quotes for building work and architectural design. If you’re eager to get involved, work out what you can do. Make sure any jobs you attempt are within your capabilities. It’s not worth putting your health at risk to save a bit of money. You may be able to help out with general labouring, clearing the site and basic DIY jobs. If you’ve got plumbing supplies to hand, for example, you may be able to sort a minor blockage. If you’re unsure about taking on a task, don’t take the risk. It’s always better to leave potentially dangerous jobs to the experts. If you have a handy man (or woman) in the family its worth asking them what they can do. It might take longer but if you’re on a tight budget it could save you a lot of money to improve a different area.
How long will the project take?
When you buy a new house, you tend to want to get things done as quickly as possible. Sometimes, it’s not as simple as moving straight in. If you’ve bought an old house, it may take time to bring it up to scratch. Make sure you have a realistic timeframe in mind. Liaise with builders, site managers, and planners to ensure you know what’s going on. If you can’t live in your home immediately, work out what you’ll do in the meantime. Are you going to rent? Could you live in part of the house while work is done? Or could you move in with parents or friends for a few weeks?
Is there a plan B?
Life can often surprise us, and it’s always wise to have a plan B, especially when it comes to renovating a house. Ideally, you should have plans in place to cover overspending and unexpected delays.
If you’ve fallen in love with a home in need of some TLC, it’s tempting to press on with work as quickly as possible. But this is not always the best idea. The best results often arise out of careful planning. Take your time to find the right builders and architects. Work out how much you have to spend and set a budget for individual jobs. Make sure you know how long the build will take, and what you’re going to do in the meantime. Take care when trying to help out on-site. Your skills may come in handy, but sometimes, it may be best to leave it to the pros.
Of course, this time around I will be renting and everything has been done for me so I will not be renovating anything but eventually I hope to purchase a home and turn it into the home of my dreams!