While renovations can be an exciting process for homeowners, before you go all hands-on deck, you need to have a solid plan in place and make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Money, money, money
Before you get carried away with completely remodeling your home, take into consideration the total value of your property.
The last thing you want to be doing is throwing money down the drain. Renovations should add value to your home – if you overspend on your renovations when it comes time to sell, you could end up well out of pocket.
Talk to a real estate agent about the maximum value of your home and what it’s worth currently. A real estate agent will help you determine what areas are best left alone and what areas will add the most value. Allow that value to determine your renovation budget.
If it is your family home you’re investing in and you plan on being there for the next 10 or so years, spending a bit more; and renovating to your liking is acceptable, but it still doesn’t pay to go overboard. Sit down and work out a plan and a budget and stick to it.
A common mistake people make when renovating is completely diverting from the original style and character of their home, and turning the renovation zone into a market-leading trend setter.
While your renovated space will be up with the cool kids, the rest of your home will feel disconnected.
It is important to keep in mind the overall feel of your home; by all accounts renovations should modernise your existing home, but they should also enhance the areas that are being left untouched.
Trends come and go, so choose timeless designs that reflect your personal style. You chose your home for a reason – keep that style in mind.
Doing your own demolition work before the professionals come in can save you vital pennies during your renovation, but can cost you dearly if you’re not careful.
Talk with a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) before undertaking any major renovations and discuss with them what you can and can’t demolish – the last thing you want to be taking out is a main structural wall.
Furthermore – gutting the room entirely may not be necessary – there may be aspects of the room that you can work with. If new carpet is being installed save yourself further dollars by tearing out the existing carper yourself. Simply cut it into strips with a craft knife, rip it out and roll it up.
The unforeseen nightmares
Once that demolition begins to take place, who knows what you will uncover; from rotten floor boards, leaky pipes, to the dreaded asbestos.
If you haven’t explored all the options during the planning stages, then these little surprises can really throw you off course.
The risk of asbestos being present in your home is extremely high if your home was built before the year 2000.
More than one type of paint
Doing your own painting can save you thousands, so is definitely worth it, if you have the time. However, be sure to speak to your paint specialists because one type does not fit all.
Your skirting boards require different paint to your walls. You can’t use the paint from your walls in the bathroom and your ceilings have their own unique blend as well.
Don’t skimp on your prep work. Yes – it’s tiresome and time – consuming, but it’s the prep work that determines the final result. If you can’t be bothered, hire a professional. Doing it right, right from the start will save you time, and as a result money, in the long run.
During the initial consultations, you will need to determine how major the renovations are.
Dealing with the building structure, weatherproofing and/ or roofing requires a LBP to carry out the restricted building work.
It’s never a bad idea to talk to your council’s planning department to see if you need building consent for the work you want to carry out.
From there you can determine whether you need an engineer and draughts person to produce working drawings. Failing to comply with council and building regulations can void any insurance you have on your home, and some contents, and is punishable under law for fines up to $200,000.
The council has the power to remove any work that has been carried out if it does not have consent. For more information on this, go to: www.building.govt.nz.
Before you get too excited, take a logical approach. What areas of your home will benefit you the most, how much money are you willing to spend, have you done your background research? Failing to plan means you’re planning to fail, the one saying that could not be better suited to home renovation.