Looking to renovate, or even build your own home? This is an incredible experience since you get to have full control over the finished project, and surprisingly it works out cheaper too. However there’s always an element of risk when it comes to these kinds of projects; you never quite know what you’re going to uncover along the way, and poor planning can be costly and lead to wasted time. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid if you’re looking to undertake this kind of work.
1. Not Having a Survey Done
A property may look fine on the surface, a quick skim round when you’re viewing might leave you pleasantly surprised. The problem is, houses can conceal all kinds of massive problems. Pests or rot could have caused structural damage, there could be asbestos covering old pipes, the electrics and plumbing all might need replacing, or there could be a whole host of other issues. Having a survey done means you know exactly what to expect, and can ask for the property price to be lowered to reflect the amount you will need to spend. If you’re building from scratch on land that isn’t currently used for buildings, you will need to go a step further and hire environmental consultants. They will test things like the soil stability and the water cleanliness, which will let you know how to proceed with the building. Before you tackle anything when it comes to building or renovating, you need to know exactly what you’re working with. Skipping this step could be extremely costly.
2. Not Having a Clear Vision In Mind
When you’re renovating a property, you need to have a vision in mind. How many bedroom and bathrooms do you want? Open plan or closed rooms? How far do you plan on extending, bearing in mind this will cut into the outside space? Are there any original features you want to preserve? Speak to an architect who will be able to let you know if there are any elements of the design that won’t work, as well as give you guidance and advice for things you hadn’t thought of. They might suggest adding eco-friendly features for example which would be better off being planned from the start of the project. While things evolve and develop as the build goes along, you may have to make changes to your design. But making changes and going back on yourself just because of disorganisation is likely to push back the finish date as well as cost you more money. Even when it comes to things like the decor you should be properly organised. If things like paint or wallpaper get discontinued while you’re half way through it could cause issues. Work out exactly what you’ll need before making these kinds of purchases for the most even result.
3. Not Researching The Tradesmen You Hire
Unless you have the skills to do most of the work yourself which is unlikely, you will need to hire tradespeople to work on your project. And while most out there are perfectly respectable and hardworking, there are others who aren’t. Those who will cut corners and do shoddy work, or even take your money and never be seen again. While you want to get a good price for the work done on your renovation, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. There’s a reason these professionals charge so much, it reflects the quality of materials and work done. Make sure you use a trusted company, doing plenty of research beforehand and having a chat about what your project entails. Find out things like the cost and the length of time they will take to complete the work. Bear in mind that certain tradespeople can’t work when it’s raining or bad weather outside, so make sure you’re starting your build or reno at the right time of year.
4. Not Having a Backup Plan
When it comes to big projects like this, things can sometimes take a little longer or cost more than anticipated. Having a backup plan allows things to run smoothly and prevents stress. Maybe you plan on having your home finished and moving in my Christmas, but the weeks are flying by, and it doesn’t look like it will be done in time. Do you have a backup plan, somewhere to celebrate just in case? Perhaps you’ve paid rent up until a certain date in your current home- are you able to extend this, so you have somewhere to live if the project isn’t finished in time? Do you have a contingency fund in case problems are found, so you don’t have to scramble around getting loans or finding the cash? You don’t want to end up with uncompleted work, so ensure that you have this ready to go from the start.