If you’ve properly planned and budgeted your home renovations, then you’re off to a good start. However, things can still go wrong. This article looks at some of the most common issues that derail such plans and considers what can be done about them. It will help you to make the right decisions and get through your repairs as smoothly as possible.
Using the wrong materials
One of the first things you need to think about is the materials you’ll use. There are several points to consider here. Are they up to the job? Can you really afford them? Will they meet regulatory standards, especially if you’re fixing up an older home on a street of similar buildings and there are esthetic factors to consider?
Using low-quality materials often shortens the lifespan of finished work, and in some cases, it can be dangerous. It can also reduce the value of your home, as can esthetic mistakes such as substituting plain windows for traditional ones with wooden window shutters. If you end up going too far in the other direction and try to do everything using the best-quality materials you can get, however, then you’re likely to run out of money before the work is complete.
Doing things in the wrong order
If you’re going to complete renovations successfully, then it’s important to go about them in the right order – otherwise, you’ll find yourself with an attractive shell that soon falls apart again. Start by protecting your home from the elements, including any water that may be dripping through ceilings or inside the walls, and then treat any rot or mold that you find and get rid of any infestation. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but it’s vital to do it properly, and getting a certificate to say that it’s been dealt with can increase the value of your home.
The next step is to stabilize the building. This could mean doing work on the foundations or putting extra supports into damaged areas of walls or roof. This will make it safe for major building work, such as the construction or removal of walls, to be done. After that, you can work on things such as plastering, and finally you can get to painting and wallpapering. Do ceilings, then walls, and then floors so that it’s less of a problem if paint drips.
Taking on too much
If you’re doing the work yourself, then be realistic about how much you can manage. Bear in mind that you can’t spend all your free time on it. You’ll need time to rest and you’ll need to allow a bit of extra time in case you injure yourself and need to recuperate. If you haven’t tried a particular task before, then allow time to do tests and develop the necessary skills. Remember that there are some things, such as electrical work, that you can’t do yourself unless you’re professionally qualified, because otherwise you may find it impossible to get home warranty or to sell.
Hiring the wrong people
When you find other people to do work for you, you’ll have to choose the right ones, or you could end up with poor-quality work, work that takes ages to be completed, or mysteriously spiraling costs. Avoid this by asking your friends and colleagues for the names of individuals or companies that have done good work for them and insisting on references from anyone you consider. Get at least three quotes for each job before deciding which one to accept. Remember that the cheapest offer will not always be the best choice.
Going over budget
No matter how carefully you plan, and even if you have the sense to allow an extra 10% for overspend at the time, you can always get unlucky and go over budget. If this happens, then you have three options: to put further renovations on hold, to try to finish them more cheaply, or to find more money. It’s a good idea to think through how you could approach these options at each stage. Any one of them can end up costing you more in the long term, so try to weigh up the cost of restarting work, replacing cheaply finished work, or paying interest on loans as you decide which to choose.
Renovating your home creates lots of opportunities. You could use it to fit extra insulation, run useful cables along inside the walls, replace old lead pipes with healthier copper ones, or similar. Taking advantage of these opportunities is often cheap, so don’t miss your chance.
As long as you’re prepared to deal with issues like these as they arise, you should be able to complete your home renovations without disaster, and with results of which you can be proud.