You’re thinking about doing some home renovations, and you know that they represent a financial commitment which you’re hoping will pay off in the eventual resale value of your property. But more than return on the investment, you’re really excited about the value that renovations will add to family time at home. The question is: How do you determine whether you can afford it and how can you best budget for it?
Once you’ve found that it is within your means, it’s important to budget properly so that it stays that way – because home renovations are notorious for overshooting their budgets! It’s a good idea to get as much information about your proposed renovations as possible.
To help you along, here are some handy tips that you shouldn’t overlook.
Determine your needs and wants
If you’ve had the same kitchen for the past couple of decades, your appliances are the same ones you got as wedding gifts, and the fittings and cabinets are the ones you had fitted when you first moved into the house then you need to update and modernise. If, on the other hand, you’re just a little tired of last year’s tile range and would prefer new granite counter tops then that’s a want.
You need to prioritise, which doesn’t mean that you can’t replace last year’s kitchen tiles, it just means that if you’re on a tight budget, the kitchen tiles don’t fit into the immediate priority category.
Begin with something small
Unless you’re a seasoned home renovator, it’s advisable to begin with a small renovation project first. If you’re considering adding an additional room (or wing) to your house, you may have to live elsewhere for most of the renovation period, which could prove trying for you and your family.
Choosing a smaller project, like a patio, will give you a feel for what the renovation process is all about, and will prepare you for what’s in store on larger projects. You’ll also be able to learn about estimating costs, labour and materials.
Pay the professionals
If you’re in the construction industry you might get away with managing your project and the subcontracting. If you’re not, then it’s best to hire a professional contractor or estimator to help you with things like materials, labour and time estimation. There are hundreds of examples of home renovations which turned sour and costly because of inaccurate estimations at the start of the renovation. This will also help you budget with realistic goals.
It’s a good idea to get several estimates which you can then compare. The reality is that home renovations usually take longer and end up being more expensive than originally calculated, so add a margin of error to time and cost, so that you’ve covered all your bases as best you can. Patience is a virtue, and never more so than when preparing for a renovation, because all the pieces may not always fall into place as planned.
Careful planning and a good assessment of your resources will go a long way towards making the renovation process a lot more fun for you and your family. You can find other renovating and decorating ideas and advice on Tepilo, a pioneer online estate agent.