Renovating a house is a massive undertaking, so it’s vital that you know what you’re getting into before you start. If you’re wondering what things you should keep in mind to make sure you’re successful, read on for our home renovation tips.
Work Out A Budget – And Stick To It!
Before you start work, you first need to decide on a budget and stick to it no matter what happens!
Calculate costs for each room that needs work. Start with essential works, like structural work, replastering and wiring and work up to finishing touches, like flooring and décor. Don’t forget to include the costs of building materials as well as labour. Then add it all up and see if you can afford it. If not, you’ll need to scale your renovations back and decide what needs to happen now and what can wait until later.
If you’re working with a contractor, be sure to get a finalised quote but be prepared for unexpected expenses to arise, especially if you’re renovating an old property. Add 10-15% to your final budget and keep this aside for emergencies.
Be Aware Of Restrictions
Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions before you start. For example, if your home is a listed building, you need to be extra careful, as it’s a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised work without gaining permission for alterations. Properties in conservation areas are also subject to restrictions, although these typically only apply to the outside of the building.
If you’re making significant changes, such as an extension or certain types of a loft renovation, you may need planning permission. Even if you don’t need permission, you will still need to ensure any work meets building regulations and comply with party wall agreements. If you have an old home or a property that has been empty for a long time, you may need to conduct a bat survey to avoid disturbing roosting bats, which is against the law.
Ask For Advice Or Hire Help
A full-scale DIY renovation isn’t for everyone. In fact, unless you’re skilled in a trade or have experience in renovating properties, you’ll probably want to hire help for some of the bigger jobs. Plumbing, gas and electrical works should always be done by an expert who is fully qualified, licensed and experienced in their field.
When tackling smaller jobs, don’t be scared to ask for help or advice from people who know what they’re doing and make use of online resources such as how-to and DIY websites and video tutorials.
Things To Avoid
There are a few things you should avoid at all costs when it comes to home renovation.
Choosing Builders Or Contractors Based On Price Alone
Always be wary of a builder who quotes a remarkably low price or says they’re available to start work immediately – there’s usually a reason for this! Good builders are in demand and come with recommendations and a portfolio of work.
The Wrong Or Poor-Quality Materials
Your renovations will only ever be as good as the materials you use. Cutting corners to reduce costs is a false economy as you’ll usually end up needing to repair or replace these at a later date, at an added cost.
Blowing Your Budget
No matter how tempting it is, remember that you decided on your budget for a reason. You should only go over it for absolute essentials, such as unexpected work that has cropped up during your renovations.
Taking On Too Much
Being over ambitious about what you’re capable of and what you have time for can significantly slow down your renovation and quickly make you feel overwhelmed. If you’re continuing to live in your home during renovations, this can be very stressful and lead to lots of tears, arguments and sleepless nights. Be honest with yourself and everyone else involved about how hands-on you can be, and if you’d prefer to stick to a project manager role, make that clear from the outset.