Renovating your home can be an exciting and empowering venture, giving you an opportunity to create the sort of abode you’ve always craved.
Whether it is a single room, a makeover for your forever home or a project you’ve taken on as a business, renovating a house is complex, exciting and full of potential pitfalls. It’s becoming increasingly popular too, as the number of people renovating their home rose five-fold in the last decade.
The most important aspect of all is budgeting. We’ve all seen horror stories on DIY shows where people run out of money, so how can you budget-proof your renovation?
Here are a few handy tips to consider before you raise a trowel or hammer to your home.
Whatever you think you are going to spend, add in a contingency. Houses are a Pandora’s Box of surprises, with even the simplest renovation throwing up nasty surprises. Has a previous owner hidden a defect away behind boxing in? Will you dig into the garden and reveal pipes you didn’t know where there?
Few renovations go according to plan and one of the common causes of that is failing to budget for problems. Undercover Architect believes most projects start with a budget that is 75% of what the actual end costs will be. If your renovation looks like it might cost £10,000, you should budget for at least £12,000. 20% won’t fully protect you, but it will give you some breathing space.
Even the handiest DIY experts will need external help with a renovation at some point, whether it is electric, plumbing or heating issues. Architecture Lab explains that you can save money by doing some demolition yourself, but there will be specialist jobs that you need a certified tradesman for.
Always get a couple of quotes in for work and be wary of one that looks much cheaper than the rest. The cheapest isn’t always the best, so do your due diligence too. The internet is full of recommendation sites, so research your external contractors.
Renovating your home, especially to live in, can lead you down the garden path in terms of design. You might well like the latest jacuzzi bath, or after budgeting, you might see flooring that would be a delight in the kitchen, but if it isn’t in your original plans don’t let excitement cloud your judgement.
Be strict with your design, be realistic with your aspirations and don’t let fancy showrooms or TV shows give you ideas your budget cannot stretch to.
After your renovation, you might want to think about getting insurance for any new installations you have. HomeServe recommends insuring your boiler and heating to protect against repair costs further down the line. It is all well and good to put in a nice septic tank or a new boiler, but problems can occur and if your budget has been taken up by the build, a nasty surprise may lay in wait further down the line.
There are plenty of options out there covering as much or as little as you like, but post-renovation budgeting is almost as important as getting it right in the first instance.
For more information and help with finances, visit Personal Finance Beat for a range of help on different topics.