Renovating a home is a good thing to do in most cases because it will make your property more appealing to potential buyers if you want to put it on the market, or if not, it will make everything more comfortable to live in.
However, as we all know, remodels can get very costly, burn through savings, and aren’t always the best use of funds if not done well. As such, if you want to be smart about the use of your cashflow reserves, it’s important to renovate strategically and carefully. Read on for some key renovation mistakes to avoid.
Not Setting a Budget
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not setting a budget before they start work. While you might have a bit of a figure in mind that you feel comfortable spending, if you don’t create a strict budget for yourself you will probably very quickly go over this amount.Renovations are expensive and unexpected costs always pop up. Plus, when you’re excited about the potential changes you can make, it’s easy to get carried away.
Set a budget ASAP by deciding on a total amount you can afford to spend, and then work back from there, calculating how much different elements of the project will cost. By doing this, you’ll see if there are things you need to take off your wishlist because they will blow the budget.
Don’t forget to factor in all potential labor costs, material expenses, plus things like insurance or legal fees, disposal charges, and finance costs if you need to take out a loan for the work. Always leave a buffer of a minimum of ten percent available too.
Lack of Planning
Another common error is not planning properly. To ensure renovations go smoothly and cost you less, plan out the entire project as much as you can in advance. Before you start any work, such as knocking down walls or hiring builders, determine the various tasks which need to be done, the order in which they’ll be completed, and who will handle each task. You might be able to do certain things yourself, and then you will hire specialists (often a variety of different
contractors) for other things.
A lack of planning becomes an issue because it leads to people not having materials ready on time, and contractors thereby having to wait around. They might also be held up because other workers need to finish jobs before they can do theirs. This all leads to blowouts in time and costs.
Doing Work that Doesn’t Actually Add Value
A mistake made by a lot of homeowners is doing renovation work that doesn’t actually add value to their property. While of course you may choose to do anything you like to your home, it’s better to do remodels which will increase the value. This is imperative if you plan to sell the house soon.
To avoid this mistake, do your research before you begin renovation work. Learn about the current state of the market. Talk to real estate agents who really understand your suburb, and visit open houses and attend auctions to compare properties and see what fetches top dollar, and what features and facilities homes have in these cases. Get clear on exactly who the likely buyers will be for your property (such as retirees, professional singles, young families etc.) and what they will want in the home they buy.
Hiring the Wrong Contractors
If you’ve ever renovated before, or if you have spoken to friends or family members who have, or read articles and forum comments online, you’ll know that one of the biggest stressors in any remodel project is dealing with contractors. It can be hard to find people who charge affordable prices (and stick to them!) and who deliver on time and to a high standard of work, all while being easy to communicate with.
A mistake many homeowners regret making is not hiring the right people to do work for them. Often, they rush into selecting a contractor and therefore not do enough research. Avoid this situation by asking trusted people in your circles if they have recommendations. Research builders and other contractors online, too. Check out specialist websites, forums, and social media sites for reviews, testimonials, and complaints. Look specifically for people working in your area, too. For example, if you’re in need of a quality Houston handyman, look for recommendations in the city.
Once you have a shortlist of potential people/businesses to use, contact each one and learn about their experience, qualifications, licenses, availability, and communication styles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; this is your money you’re spending, and your project you are relying on them to complete well, so you need to be satisfied that you’ve hired someone you can trust.