When you’re bombarded with hundreds of beautiful home makeovers on TV, social media and home decor websites, you can’t help but wish you could have the same for your home. While remodelling your house can increase your home value and quality of life, it’s massive work that requires making smart decisions.
Here are important things you need to consider before moving forward with your project:
Evaluate the potential ROI
If you are remodelling so that you can raise the market value of your property, then you should research the potential return on investment of certain projects. Mind you, high end remodels may look stunning but they don’t give the best ROI. You could do better with, say, a mid-range kitchen remodel that involves new countertops, new floors, refaced cabinets and new appliances. Anything that is good quality, low maintenance and isn’t too costly will give you the highest return possible.
Go a step further by researching home values in your local market. There is usually a ceiling to the market price for homes in a neighbourhood. It wouldn’t make sense to spend more in upgrades than you could potentially recoup or make a profit on when selling.
Have some wiggle room in your budget
Home remodelling projects almost always have an unexpected twist. It could be an unchecked rot in the walls that need replacing or delays in the delivery of goods. So it’s good to leave a small room in your budget to cover these unaccounted costs. If the most you could spend is $12,000, then plan for something that costs around $9,000.
When you’re shopping around for quotes, understand where your money is going. A third of the cost usually goes to labour and around 65% goes to materials. It varies though, so be sure to ask contractors the breakdown of project costs.
Don’t impose a strict deadline
Changes and delays are inevitable, and setting a strict deadline may only result in frustrations and unnecessary stress. Understand the scope of the work so you know how long each phase takes. For example, poured concrete needs a little time to cure so this has to be included in the work schedule. If you are ordering your materials from overseas or if the weather isn’t cooperative, include a few days in your schedule to make room for possible delays.
A remodel will take longer than you think. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but this is one of the things you must be prepared for. It’s a good idea to communicate your expectations clearly with your contractor to avoid disappointments down the road.
Deal with the dirt and dust
Building work is never without mess. It’s understandable that you want to get it over with as soon as possible, but you’re going to have to accept that your home will gather dust, dirt and debris for quite some time.
Even if you are simply remodelling your kitchen, the rest of your home will not be spared from the mess. So if you have stuff you’d like to keep spotless, plan for removals ahead of time.
Use a licensed builder
If you DIY, you have to build it right according to Building Code requirements, and get any relevant consents and permissions before starting work. But there are limits to what you can do yourself when you’re renovating. You’re definitely hands off when it comes to plumbing, drainlaying, gasfitting or electrical work, as these must be carried out by licensed and registered professionals.
As a general rule, don’t DIY unless you are suitably skilled. From spending more than your budget to botching up the job, there are numerous problems that could arise in a do-it-yourself project.
It’s usually better to hire a building contractor to manage your home remodel. They’ll be able to offer you insurance and warranties, and they know the best tradespeople for different aspects of the job. This saves you time and money already as you only need to do the vetting process once to choose a contractor, and you need not ask around for good plumbers, electricians, etc.
Have everything in writing
A written contract will protect your rights under consumer laws. An honest and trustworthy builder will not take offence if you ask for a written contract. In fact, they would insist on getting your agreement on paper so both parties understand their rights and responsibilities.
The contract should include a detailed breakdown of costs, a summary of work involved and the warranties.
To ensure a high-quality finish and timely completion of your home remodel, get a licensed building practitioner. As well as making sure everything runs smoothly, a reliable building company will help you secure the necessary permissions and documentation to make your project Code-compliant.
Need a quote to remodel your home? Use our handy quote adviser or call us on 0800 WE RENO