A home renovation helps restore and even improve the functionality of your home. Proper planning and attention to detail are thus required to make a renovation project worthwhile. Coming up with a work plan, and sticking to it, is the only best way to avoid a headache or unforeseen expenses. Outlined below are some of the things you should have in mind before starting the renovation project.

1. Set Realistic Renovation Goals

There is always a reason why you would want to renovate. Maybe it is because you want to live in the house a little bit longer (not interested in moving), wish to restore the home in its former glory, or want to improve its resale value.  If looking to spend a few more years in the house, you then need to consider everything from the kind of kitchen you want, how many bedrooms/bathrooms to have, and especially if your family is still growing.

When renovating for a profit, then the goal is to focus on areas that will help add more value to the home. Identify areas that need retouching (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) then budget accordingly.  A little bit of inspection and a healthy budget will also be ideal if looking to give the property a fresh breath of life.

2. Careful Planning Equals Increased Home Value

Caveat loan experts at Maxfunding say,  “a home renovation shouldn’t cost more than 10% of its value. Careful planning is thus required to ensure the end product is of the highest quality and appealing to buyers. Neutral-toned benchtops and Caesarstone are quite appealing to buyers but come at a fraction of the cost. More storage, high/midrange appliances, stainless steel appliances, and under-cabinet lighting make a kitchen have a more expensive look and feel.”

3. Identify the Approvals You’ll Need for The Project

Most renovations and extensions of a property will require approval from the relevant bodies. This mostly entails making an application with the DA (Development Application/Assessment). Identifying what permissions will be necessary, then having the approval fast-tracked can help make the project a success.  Whether you are planning to have a simple kitchen renovation or looking to add another bathroom, consult a town planner, or visit the office of the state planning authority to help draft the approvals needed.

4. Enlist the Services of an Expert

Although some renovation projects can be done in a DIY, there are times when you need to seek the services of an expert in the same. This is especially important if the project seems too challenging. An architect, for example, can save you lots of money and time in the long run for intricate house designs. Having a building designer draw up the plans, then handing them over to an expert building contractor will make the process even smoother.  Be sure to ask the architect or designer if they will be foreseeing everything until the project is completed.

5.  Set A Realistic (Reasonable) Budget

While it may be almost impossible to calculate the exact amount of money needed to fund the project, getting quotes from at least 3 expert builders can help you have an idea of how much will be required.  Use these quotes to calculate an approximate amount, then top up the budget with around 50% of the total costs for unforeseen expenses. You might also want to include extra charges, including council permits, storage, etc.  If the budget seems more than you can afford, you can always seek financing from a bank, among other credit facilities.

6. Focus on High Quality (Affordable) Materials

Investing in the best quality materials you can afford will not only produce a premium look but also extend your home’s lifespan. Key factors such as environmental impact, sustainability, thermal performance, structural capability, vermin, moisture, and fire resistance, as well as sound insulation, ought to be considered when shopping for these materials.

Timber and steel are often considered lightweight but durable for any home construction, and also help boost its environmental performance. Some of these materials can be recycled from another project as well. Timber beams and old-bricks will also come in handy during the renovation process as well.

7.  Don’t Overcapitalise on The Renovation

According to experts, a renovation project shouldn’t cost more than 10% of the property’s total cost. This, however, depends on how long you plan to live in that particular house. An excellent example of this is if you are looking to have a bedroom/bathroom or two added to the existing design to accommodate a growing family.  If you only plan to live in the house for a few years, then this may not be a prudent move. The same cannot, however, be said if looking to stay there for 10 years or more.

8. Think About the Design of The House

What is your preferred design style? Are you looking for something with a more modern look, or want to preserve the house’s original design? You could still achieve both of the worlds with proper planning and design. The interior design of the house will have a direct impact on how its exterior will look.  Bringing other factors into consideration, such as how you wish to organise each room, the flow of the house/kitchen, can help you decide on a design style.

9. Stick to The Plan and Paperwork

Although a project manager can help oversee the project in your absence, you still need to keep an eye on the timelines and the costs to ensure he/she doesn’t deviate from the original plan.  You’ll also want to keep all receipts, invoices, plans, and contracts safe and properly organised.  Be sure to note any deadlines on your calendar to avoid falling back.

Write a diary of every day’s events and happenings if managing the project. The notes will act as a reminder, should you wish to look back to see what happened when, and especially if something goes wrong.  As mentioned before, your budget might over/undershoot by around 20%.  Allocate a buffer for this to help cover for any unforeseen expenses.

The next thing would be to talk to your home and contents insurer about the upcoming renovation. Some insurers might not provide cover for specific incidences, such as water damage, during the renovation period, while others will suspend protection altogether until the renovations are done. Having a sit down with them can, however, help clarify this before moving on with the project.

10. Decide If You Want to be Involved in the Demolition and Construction Process

Do you wish to be actively involved in the project, or want to have an expert handle it for you? Before making any critical decision, it’s worth noting that most DIY projects will take longer and cost more than if you hired a professional.  Whatever your choice is, you need to be up to the responsibilities that come with it.