Investing in a fixer-upper house, or just starting from scratch with your own home is a work-intensive venture. Even if you don’t complete the project yourself, you will need to be prepared to allow your home to become a building site for a set period. Your home will temporarily be uncomfortable and empty, which may require you to either take it one or two rooms at a time or live somewhere else in the interim. If you are looking at the practicalities of referring your home, here are some important steps to consider.
Set your budget
Here’s the most important consideration of your home refurbishment: your budget. Ultimately, your budget will decide the outcome of the total project. Your budget should include:
- The total cost of the home you’re prepared to buy
- The total cost of gutting the property
- Cosmetic changes
- Any extensions or additions to the home
- A safety net for any accidents or surprises
Some of these budget considerations may feel very hypothetical. The best way to get an accurate estimate, therefore, is to get as many quotes from your contractors as possible. Be careful, too, about where you make those cost cuts. You want to ensure any big changes eventually add value to your property. Adding an extension, but getting cowboy builders to carry out the job, could see you shelling out even more money in the future to fix their dodgy handiwork.
Ask for a schedule
If you are calling in builders and designers to do the work for you, then you should have a schedule to work from. This adds an element of predictability to your project, helping to gauge when your refurb will be finished and when you can ideally move back in, or maybe even put it on the market. If your builders or designers are vague about when projects will be finished by, this could be a red flag.
Take it right back
If you want to completely shake up the look of your home, then the best approach is to wipe the slate clean. If you’ve had a pretty poor result on the structural survey, fate may make this decision for you. Otherwise, take it right back to the basics: rip out the carpets and paint the walls white. If the bathroom and kitchen strike you as being a little bit out of date, you may benefit from re-fitting both suites.
Hire an all-rounder contractor
Finding a company that can fit your double-glazing, replace your doors and install a new roof will spare you the stress of having to find a separate contractor for each service. This way you can also get a quote for all services in one go, helping you to plan your budget with more ease. It can be easier to find a contractor who can offer as many services as possible such as unified Home Remodeling, that way you can get a fair and consistent work schedule from the contractor without compromising on the quality of work that is taking place.
Now that you have the opportunity to do so, consider adding more natural light to your home. It’s rare that we take the time to empty our homes and re-design them, and if you are going to gut your house anyway, it’s worth your time to consider this in your budget. Natural light is never wasted as it will instantly improve the curb appeal of your house. If you are planning to install a loft conversion, try and think about which windows will add more light.
There may be some features in your current or new home that you want to protect, and you should absolutely consider this. However, you also must be realistic. It might be more hassle than it’s worth, or the features may be decaying at an unsalvageable rate. Some properties have been neglected to the extent where some of their features just cannot survive an overhaul.
On the other hand, restoring or looking after old features can sometimes be a cost-cutting approach to consider. Reinstating an old iron fireplace, re-painting your wooden front door or fixing the cornicing in older rooms could give your home some real vintage flare. While some features might not be possible to salvage, others could be an affordable investment.
Now that your home has a second lease of life, this is the perfect opportunity to install plenty of storage solutions. Nobody wants to move into a home that is fiddly and awkward to store household items. If you are planning on gutting your home, then one of your biggest design considerations should be where to fit cabinets, cupboards and storage-efficient furniture. This should be a consideration in rooms such as the kitchen, living room and bedrooms.
Who will live there?
One big consideration for your refurb should be: who is ultimately going to live there? Are you looking to buy-to-rent? Will you maybe live therefore a year or two before selling? Who might potentially live in your home should guide your refurbishment decisions. For example, if you have a taste for brightly colored feature walls, ask yourself whether this will affect the re-sale price. If you are planning to sell or rent in the future, any design changes you make should work just as well for a hypothetical stranger as they do for you.
Home renovations, if successful, can be somewhat addictive. Some people start one and decide to make it a full-time hobby. There is a certain satisfaction of taking a wreck and transforming it into someone’s dream home. In order to do this, you will need to go through the less-glamorous phase of planning it right down to the intricacies of budget constraints. This tight focus on budget will make your project more predictable and give you the reassurance that any hiccups can be coped with. In the meantime, dream as big as possible, and enjoy the process of transforming a home.