It’s a pretty exciting time. You’ve just bought the house of your dreams, it’s in a bit of a state but thats half the fun – a renovation project! Before you sign on the dotted line it’s important to know what those three words mean, and the effect they will have on every aspect of your life.
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We all know when it comes to budgeting in normal everyday life, it’s easy to make mistakes. A renovation project is no exception, especially since most people fail to do the sums properly before they buy the place. Take your time, no one else is going to be rushing to buy that dilapidated mess. Even if they are, getting into an all out bidding war with absolutely no idea what you need to spend to make the house livable or re-sellable is not a smart choice. Before you put in an offer, get a couple of contractors around to give quotes. Do some research, yes that Victorian bathroom is going to look fantastic with a roll top bath, but how much will the other fixtures cost? Are you going to need to reinforce the floor to take the weight? Go through the house one room at a time, working out what you will need to do structurally and decoratively to turn it into the picture in your mind. Have a look around D.I.Y stores, what is the average price of a kitchen at the moment? Get a realistic idea of the total cost of finishing the house to a standard that you are happy with inside and out. Then add 20% to that figure for contingencies. If it’s starting to look like bankruptcy then good, chances are it’s accurate.
Image Source: U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Europe Division
Did you know a rat can fit through a gap the size of a 5 cent piece? Think how much fun they’re going to have when your home is open to the elements and the plumping exposed. Pests are a very real consideration when remodeling and not one a lot of people take seriously. They can add costs you weren’t expecting to your budget and push back the finish date of the house by months. Companies such as Bundaberg pest control offer free quotes and it is as useful calling them out to assess the property before you buy it as it is consulting a builder or a plumper. They can not only assess the current state of the house, but offer practical advice on keeping the building pest free during the remodel.
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You know the project is going to take time, but until you start ripping stuff down, you will have no idea what kind of investment this home is going to require. If you’re planning to do the work yourself, bare in mind you will be spending every waking moment at the house for the next year at least. Think realistically about whether you are able to make that commitment. You are? Great. Say goodbye to your social life and prepare to be very, very tired.
If you’ve got the budget, think seriously about hiring a site manager to oversee all the tradesmen and professions that are going to be needed over the next few months. It’s no mean feat coordinating who needs to be where and when. An experienced site manager will not only have trade contacts, they will know how far ahead tradesmen are working and when to book them. Remember, the plasterer can’t come in until the electricians have done the wiring and he can’t work until the windows are fitted. Everyone is dependant on each other, not managing the trades coming to the house properly is one of the key reasons why projects run long, which in turn is costing you money.
Done all that and still not scared? Good for you! Get stuck into your project, enjoy it, hate it, regret your decision and by the end of it all you’ll have a home you love that is suited to you like no other. Happy renovating!