Is a home improvement on your list of New Year’s resolutions? In this post we’ll share our top five tips for planning a home improvement. Follow these rules and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
1- Take your time
Never rush into a home improvement, no matter how small. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into starting work or purchasing something by a tradesperson, contractor or supplier. Make sure you’ve considered all of the options before you start anything. Shop around and get quotes from as many suppliers and tradespeople as possible.
2 – Seek the right advice
Before you start your home improvement, seek advice about how best to allocate your budget and make sure it’s from someone who’s impartial. Family and friends may be too emotionally invested to help you make objective decisions.
An architect, for instance, will advise clients where best to invest in their homes and will always endeavour to recommend ways to save money and keep the job within budget. Alternatively, seek the opinion of a building contractor, who should be able to help you get a handle on the cost of what you’re planning to do.
3 – Make sure you have a plan
Improving or updating one area of your home is going to highlight other areas that need work, so proper planning for your home improvement is essential. Without a plan you risk starting a snowball effect of work needing to be done. Separate works are unlikely to complement each other. You’ll waste money and won’t be adding value to your home. All this will have a negative effect your day-to-day life, and you’ll end up worse off than before you started.
Having a plan to work to is especially important where you want to phase the work. This way you won’t risk having to undo anything when you tackle the next stage in the future. Or worse having to design around things merely because they still feel new and they cost you a lot of money.
4 – Get a handle on costs
Costs are rising all the time, and your expectations might be unrealistic for what you are trying to do. Without planning, you may find that once you start your home improvement, you will need to compromise to the extent the job is not all what you’d hoped it would be. It’s vital you get a handle on the costs before you start the work. When budgeting it’s crucial you include a contingency of at least 10% for any unforeseen items. This isn’t something for large jobs, even something as small as a bathroom refurbishment can unearth hidden costs you hadn’t initially factored into your budget. The only way to get an accurate cost for the work that you are planning to do is to send it out to contractors to price.
5 – Be prepared
We can’t stress the importance of being prepared enough. You should have everything chosen and agreed before your builder starts on site. That way you know what everything costs and you have everything ready when the builder needs it, avoiding the need to have to make on-the-spot decisions. It’s also really important that you do some research before your start your home improvement. Spend some time online and looking at magazines to build up a collection of images for inspiration. Not only will this help you to understand what you like and dislike but it will be a fantastic way to communicate your ideas to your architect, designer or contractor, and to any suppliers that you may be using.
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What’s you’re experience of tackling a home improvement? Share your experience and advice in the comments below.
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