There are plenty of legitimate reasons to postpone a home improvement project such as waiting to save money, getting a milestone out of the way like exams or the arrival of a new baby. But some reasons are simply a way of avoiding taking action in the first place. Here are four of the most common excuses for postponing a home improvement project that you might end up regretting.
I’ll wait until the kids are older
It’s vital you only take on a home renovation if you are financially, emotionally and physically ready to do so. Your stage of life and your finances are critical to being in a position to carry out substantial work to your home.
There are stages of life when waiting until your children are older before you tackle a building project makes sense. A house full of tiny tots and not much sleep are not ideal circumstances for tackling a home renovation of any size. But without a doubt, the best time to make significant improvements to your home is at a stage when the whole family can enjoy the benefits of the transformation.
I’ve met many people who’s excuse for postponing the ‘big job’ was because they were holding off until their kids were older – only to wake up one morning to find all of their kids were now adults and some had already left home. Doing the big job was no longer necessary, and they had spent the last 20 years living in a home they were never really happy with. So if you’re in a position to do the work now, go for it!
I’ve recently invested in the house
Wanting to postpone a home improvement project because of a recent investment is a common excuse. Maybe it’s a kitchen that is only five years old or flooring that was fitted two years ago. These kinds of investments are used as the reason for holding up a renovation because the homeowner doesn’t want them to be sacrificed.
My advice here is to weigh up the pros and cons. Is renovating going to improve your quality of life? If the answer is yes, then why wait? Sitting in a poorly functioning home that is cold and uncomfortable with a beautiful and relatively new kitchen doesn’t make much sense.
In many cases, you can repurpose most items, even flooring. For example, we often reuse kitchens in utility rooms. Alternatively, you could consider selling your fixtures and fittings for some extra cash. We’ve had lots of clients who have sold kitchens, bathroom suites and much more with great success on sites like Done Deal, giving them some extra spending money for their renovation.
I’ll wait until my neighbour does the work
It’s not uncommon for neighbours in a semi-detached or terraced home to consider extending at the same time. There are a lot of advantages to doing the work together – it will make the build more straightforward in many cases and can also lead to substantial savings if you use the same contractor and trades. However, unless you’re both very organised and have planned everything carefully, I’d caution against it. From my experience, it can just be a challenge to get all of the members of the family aligned with a home renovation. Adding the next-door neighbours into the mix might be a tall order.
Your neighbour’s circumstances will be different from yours, so the likelihood of everything aligning is slim. There’s also the risk that you’ll have a case of too many cooks when it comes to decision-making, which could lead to delays at best and arguments at worst.
Where the same contractor and tradespeople are working on both jobs, one house may progress more quickly than the other, leading one family to feel the other is getting preferential treatment. This can cause a lot of stress and in some cases put a strain on the relationship.
A home renovation is a stressful process; there are a lot of emotions involved so enter into an arrangement like this with caution.
Postponing absolutely everything
The trouble with indefinitely putting off the ‘big job’ is that often smaller things that need to get done also get postponed – and in some cases never get done at all for fear they will be undone when the ‘big job’ happens and so are a waste of money.
This is probably the one excuse that leads to the most unhappiness amongst homeowners. So often I go into homes where time has stood still for this very reason. If you want to improve your enjoyment of your home and your day-to-day life, fix the things that bother you most.
Maybe it’s a kitchen cupboard that doesn’t close properly or your hallway needs a new coat of paint or your draughty front door that needs to be replaced. Chip away at the little things that bug you – this is a great way to stop problems getting out of control and too big so you feel overwhelmed by the thought of sorting them out.
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