Renovating and remodelling your home is a very good idea, considering that for most people it’s the greatest asset they have. The whole process from go to woe can mean different things to different people; some might find it exciting, others may not be looking forward to it at all and have probably been putting it off for years. When it’s over however, the pleasure of a successful renovation job can be immense.
The idea to renovate your home usually comes from the desire to revamp a decidedly decrepit part of the house, or a response to the changing needs of the family. Whatever the case may be, you need to do as much planning and homework as you can spare before you even touch anything. Make a dedicated folder on your pc and buy a sketchpad or notebook, and start taking measurements and making rough sketches of what you have in mind. Try to be methodical in this phase and break everything down to basic categories like floor, walls, ceiling, fixtures, amenities etc. It’s important at this stage to think about things that you can’t see like electricity, plumbing and insulation.
Once you have a good idea of what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s time to start shopping around and asking for professional quotations. As that round, vague figure of what it’s all going to cost starts to crystallise, start making firm decisions about what you’re really comfortable with managing financially. It’s not really about what you can and can’t afford, we can all get a loan and spend copious amounts of money on renovations and extensions; it’s really more about making disciplined decisions regarding what you can comfortably manage, bearing in mind other future expenses and contingency funds. It is also always a good idea to add a 15 to 25% buffer percentage to your overall estimate to cover unforeseen costs.
Once you’ve got clear ideas about what the job will involve, how long it will take and how much it will cost, it’s time to start setting up the contracts, obtaining permits and placing purchase orders. If you aren’t totally sure about what you’re getting into with respect to contracts, you really must have your lawyer and independent building inspectors go through the contract with you and carefully explain your rights and any possible caveats. It is also a good idea to get a quote from your building inspector to supervise the job during the various work phases. You may not have initially considered this expense, but always bear in mind that things can go terribly wrong when you are having work done to your house and a professional building inspector is a very good way to keep everyone honest before, during and after the renovations. Remember also, that inspection reports from qualified building inspectors will be your lawyer’s primary source of ammunition should you need to take legal action with builders; without them you’ll be dead in the water.
Last but not least, you need to reorganise your furniture and daily routine to accommodate the flow of workers and materials coming into and out of the house over the coming weeks. It’s a hassle, but if you think it over carefully and plan everything with your family and possibly neighbours, it is time very well spent.
Renovating your home is about making an improvement, not stressing yourself mentally and financially. Take your time, be prudent, and get all the professional help you need to make sure everything goes smoothly. And when it’s all over, relax, pop a bottle of champagne and soak up the delightful new aspect of your beloved home.