As I am (hopefully!) shortly going to be embarking on another renovation project, I thought in this week’s blog I would mention a few things to consider.
Plan Your Project
Are you renovating the property for you to live in? If so take time to plan. It’s very easy to go full steam ahead when you get the keys, you have been waiting for the purchase to go through, you’ve probably been planning what you are going to do (Pinterest anyone?) and you are excited. However, if the property is in a liveable condition, it is a good idea to live in the property for a period of time so that you get to understand how it works for you and how it doesn’t. Use graph paper to make scale drawings of each room and create scale templates of your furniture which you can then move around to work out what will be the best use of the space. This enables you to plan where to put sockets and light switches. Getting these things right avoids delay and additional costs if things have to be changed
When renovating a property one of the most crucial aspects is the budget and this applies whether you are intending to live in the property, sell it on or rent it out. Your budget may well vary depending on which of these is your aim. If you are planning to re-sell quickly, and for a profit, then you need to consider the potential re-sale price and the ceiling price for similar properties in the location. Obtain several quotes for each element of work. We often think that we can save money by sourcing everything ourselves but it is worth asking your tradespeople to give you a price and that way you can ensure that the project runs smoothly as materials and fittings are on site when needed. Have a contingency. It is almost inevitable that something will crop up that you hadn’t anticipated so you need to be prepared. The size of the contingency depends of the extent of the project but around 5 -10%. Stick to your budget. I know that when sourcing products it is very easy to choose one that costs a bit more (especially if, like me, you have expensive tastes!) These small additional spends soon mount up. If you aren’t going to be making the property your home be objective and keep your business hat firmly on.
Bit By Bit or All In One Go?
One question that may arise is do you tackle one bit at a time or blitz everything in one go? The answer to this will depend on your circumstances. Do you have the money, the time, is it practical from the perspective of daily life? Although doing things in bite sized chunks may seem less daunting, doing everything in one go is a much quicker and more cost effective way to go.
What Kind Of Finish?
When you are renovating what kind of finish do you aim for – value or quality? A lot depends on the property and of course the budget, it needs to be appropriate. Having said that, I am a great believer in mixing it up i.e. combining some elements that are higher end with budget ones. The high street is a great source of affordable options. If you want an item that is expensive try looking for a similar but less pricey products. With a kitchen rather than replacing the whole kitchen, if the carcasses are in good condition, simply replace the doors. Use quality taps and handles to enhance lower price units. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in recycling both in terms of saving money and from a job well done.
Live In It Or Move Out?
One very common dilemma when renovating is whether or not to live in the property while the renovation is being carried out. You may not have a choice, funds or lack of alternative accommodation may mean that you have no alternative but to camp out. However, if you can it is better to move out. Not only do you avoid all the stress and dirt of living in a building site but it is much easier for the trades people.
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