In 2017, homeowners renovating their properties spent an average of £23,100, which sounds like a lot of money until you think about how much value you could add by making changes to your home.
How, though, do you go about renovating a home, especially if it isn’t something you’ve done before? Here, we look at the eight steps you need to take to make sure things go well from the start.
1. Deciding what you want to do
When you move into a home that needs renovations, it’s easy to try and do everything at once. If you do, however, you are likely to end up with lots of unfinished projects and living in chaos.
Instead, try to take some time to think about what matters most to you. Can you live with how badly decorated the spare bedroom is, for example, because it’s barely used but not with the kitchen because you want to feel comfortable cooking in it?
Once you’ve done this, you can prioritise rooms or projects and start to think about how you can get the work done.
2. Set a budget
Renovations and remodelling cost money (we’ve already seen how much the average homeowner doing renovations spends). Some projects, however, are more expensive than others and how much you have to spend will go a long way to determining just what you can do.
Set yourself a budget for home renovations and then price up the projects you want to complete against these (starting with the ones you prioritised in Step 1.). Remember, to add in a contingency to cover unexpected costs and don’t be afraid to shop around and get multiple quotes before you retain a contractor.
3. Explore your options
If you aren’t sure what you want to do with your home, do your research before making any final decisions. Get design ideas from magazines and online sites. Visit showrooms and show homes if there are new builds in your area and look critically at the way homes you are spending time in are laid out; decide what you like and what you don’t and go from there.
4. Seek help
Depending on the size of the projects you want to undertake, and just how much experience you have with DIY, you may need to ask for expert help. This might be as simple as asking visiting a showroom and asking them to help you design a bathroom or kitchen for you or enlisting the help of an architect to redesign your living space.
5. Live with your designs
Before you decide to go ahead with any renovation, live with the idea of the changes for a while. Imagine what it would be like to spend time in your renovated kitchen, for example, and how easy it would be to navigate your way around the cabinets the way they are designed. This way, you’ll know if you need to make updates to any plans before the work begins (reducing any additional costs).
6. Planning permission
Some work, such as refitting a bathroom or kitchen, won’t need planning permission. Home extensions and garage conversions probably will. Make sure you check what is needed with your local authority and get any planning permission in place before you begin work; if not, you risk having to undo what you’ve had done.
7. Decide who does what
Once the plans are in place, you’ll need to decide whether you need more help to do the work or if you can do it yourself. The latter is the cheaper option, but only if you have the skills to do the work well; if you don’t, longer-term, it could end up costing you a lot more.
If you decide to use contractors, make you have a contract in place that clearly outlines what they will do, when they will do it buy and what it will cost, this way if there are any issues, they should be easy to resolve.
8. Pay attention to decorations
Once your renovations are done, you may well be left with blank walls and a blank slate when it comes to decorations. As with the renovation itself, you need to think through what you want to do here and how much you have to spend.
Look at the shape and size of your rooms and choose paint colours, furniture and furnishings that make the most of the space; if a room is small, for example, choose light paint colours and simple designs.