With the phrase “don’t move, improve” becoming a common reality, there has been a rise in home renovating and extending instead of moving home as it is more economical, lower cost, and less stressful (sometimes!).
Before you start any project, it is crucial that things are properly thought through and researched – failing to do so can make for a stressful project with a budget that spirals out of control. Proper planning and information gathering will make a more exciting and enjoyable experience with great end results.
Create a Renovation Wish List
There is no point in spending all the money and time on renovating unless you have a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve. This is your chance to really optimise the functionality of your living space. Make a wish list and establish which things have a higher priority than others; which are necessary and which are less so.
Determine your Home Project Budget
The amount of money you are willing and able to spend will determine every other aspect of your renovation. Work out a strict but logical budget before taking any further steps, and do your best to stick to that figure throughout the project. Creating a list of probable jobs will help to determine budget – speaking to an architect, contractor or project professional can bring to light unexpected but likely costs – and there is a host of articles online too.
As a general rule, projects go over budget regularly, so leave yourself a little movement for last minute additions and to cover any potential delays.
Research, Research, Research
Once you have an idea of what you want your home renovation to loo like, we would suggest extensive investigating into how much things are likely to cost, and the different options that are available. Take inspiration from other people’s projects, and start shopping around to find the best people to work with, asking for quotes. You also need to look into things like planning permission which will have associated costs.
Once you have gathered the information, adjust and update your wish list and budget accordingly.
While some jobs are suitable for avid or even first time DIY-ers, there are many things best left to the professionals. At the start, you may be best to get in touch with architects to help with the design and creating your dream home – for more on this, just read our blog about picking an architect.
You will need contractors for all electrical work, gas, and pretty much anything on a larger scale. Choosing the right contractors is essential in the success of your project, as well as your own sense of comfort and reassurance. They will after all, be working in your home, where you will have to live with whatever they produce!
Ask family and friends for recommendations and arrange to meet with the contractors before anything is signed. Check their credentials and their portfolio – and see if they have completed any similar projects.
As with any project, you need to set yourself a deadline. This could be for whatever reason, just make sure it’s realistic. Divide the overall estimated timescale into different subsections so you can better monitor progress and plan for the next stage. A good contractor will oversee the project from start to finish, doing their best to work within your time and budget parameters.
You also need to be prepared to be without a room or two for certain lengths of time. So make sure you have a contingency plan.
When it comes to drawing up the blueprints, you need to keep reality in check and be aware of the scale of what you are about to take on. Step back occasionally, comparing your ideas and the reality, and be prepared to compromise keeping in mind the key reasons you are making changes to your home. For example, a conservatory can be a simple way to create more living space, whereas two-storey extensions may not be possible. Planning permission is key to know what you are able to do.
Home renovations are a huge investment – they increase the value of your property as well as potentially extend your time in it. Installing a home platform lift for example, may seem like a luxury but could become a necessity in the future – preventing you from having to sell your bespoke home. When integrated into the overall design of the building, they can also add significant value for potential buyers, opening the market up to more people.