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How to plan for a home renovation: what to consider

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This guide outlines the steps to consider when you are planning a home renovation project, to ensure success and avoid budget blowouts.

If you’re planning a home renovation, you’ve just become one of umpteen others around the world who have taken this plunge over the last couple of years.

In short, the home renovation industry is booming, with more people spending more time in their homes, and craving those improvements that make this time even more rewarding.

How to plan a home renovation

However, the adage still applies; fail to plan, and you’re planning to fail. Unfortunately, this is a topic that is riddled with risks and through today’s guide, we’ll now take a look at some of the best ways you can plan for your big renovation and ultimately escape these pitfalls.

What is the purpose of your home renovation?

Before anything else, you need to establish the purpose of your home renovation. This will help to guide all of your subsequent steps and help to avoid costly and time-consuming dead-ends. Is it purely aesthetic or functional? Are you changing the layout of the house? Will it make your home more energy efficient or eco-friendly?

It’s here where you will then dive into even more granular home renovation decisions. For example, if you’re doing this with one eye on the future, is this really going to be work that will increase the value of your home? Contrary to popular belief, some renovations unlock more value than others, and you need to understand this before even considering getting quotes for the work.

Of course, there are endless eventualities here and our best advice is to drill down and understand the ‘why’ behind each home renovation decision you are looking to take.

How much can you afford to spend?

Renovations can quickly spiral out of control and this is why you need to be realistic about how much money you’re prepared to spend upfront. All too often, people get carried away and the costs can quickly mount.

It’s important to remember that there are two types of cost when it comes to home renovation: the cost of the work itself and the cost of residing in a home without liveable space. Make sure you budget for both of these. In the case of the latter, it might be about finding accommodation and self-storage in Cardiff, or your area of residence, while the works take place. Naturally, this can add to your outgoings.

Create a realistic timeline

This is where that home renovation planning really comes into play. You need to establish a realistic timeline for your home renovation, factoring in all of the potential delays that can occur. This is especially important if you’re living in the space while the work is taking place. 

Bear in mind that most contractors will give you a best-case scenario and you need to be prepared for things to take slightly longer. Murphy’s Law usually applies during renovations!

Who will be carrying out the work?

This is a question that often trips people up, as there are so many home renovation companies and contractors out there to choose from. You need to do your due diligence and research each company thoroughly, checking reviews and speaking to previous clients. 

It’s also important to get written quotes from at least three contractors and to make sure that you are comparing like-for-like. Beware of companies who seem too keen to win your business, as this might be a sign that they are cutting corners.

Have you thought about the dust factor? 

If you’re planning to live in the property during the home renovation, you need to have a plan for dealing with the dust and debris. This can be a real problem, especially if you have young children or pets

There are a number of ways to combat this, including the use of dustless sanding methods and temporary containment systems. You should also make sure that your contractor is using high-quality filtration systems on their tools and equipment where possible (in truth, any contractor worth their salt will be doing this as most modern equipment has mechanisms to tackle this issue). 

Have you planned (and budgeted) for new furniture? 

In many cases, a home renovation will also necessitate the need for new furniture. This is something that you need to factor into your budget from the outset. 

For example, if you’re planning to rip out all of the carpets and replace them with hardwood floors, you might need to factor in the cost of new rugs. Similarly, if you’re planning to reconfigure your home’s layout, you might need to invest in new pieces of furniture to make the most of the space. 

It’s all too easy to get your three quotes from contractors, before heading off to take on the home renovation work. We spoke about indirect costs earlier, and it’s crucial that you investigate each and every eventuality – with furniture most certainly being a big consideration.

What about waste disposal?

If you’ve taken the time to put together a robust agreement with your contractor, this should be covered from the outset. Of course, if you haven’t, or if you’re doing the work yourself, it’s time to read on.

Again, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the cost of materials and end things there. Unfortunately, waste disposal can eat into your home renovation budget. Let’s not forget that most renovations will require the use of a skip, which will incur a hire charge. Then, unless you have a private driveway, your local authority might charge you for the privilege of parking it on the roadside.

As you can see, the home renovation costs can start to mount – from issues that most people would never have expected.

Wrapping things up

There’s no doubt that planning a home renovation can be a daunting task, but if you break it down into manageable steps, it will soon become second nature. Establish the purpose of the renovation, set a budget, create a realistic timeline, find a reputable contractor to carry out the work and consider all of the intricate details.

If you can do all of this, you’ll be in a great position to avoid the pitfalls that can so often occur during a home renovation.