Thursday, April 18, 2024
Home and garden

Your Guide to a Stress-Free (well, nearly) Home Renovation

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There comes the point in the life of every family when you suddenly realise that you have outgrown your home. Maybe the constant bickering caused by the kids sharing a bedroom is driving you to the brink.

Perhaps, nowhere in the house is free from the kid’s clutter, and every step you take could result in your tumbling over an abandoned toy. When you reach the point when no room in your home is free from clutter, kids or a combination of both, then the time has come for you to make a decision. You may try to ignore the situation for a while, and convince yourself that you simply need to declutter. However, sooner or later, you will need to face reality and decide whether you are going to sell up and move on, or you are going to be adventurous and embark on a home renovation project.

Anyone who has ever watched a home makeover show will know all too well how wrong things can go. These kinds of programmes are full of horror stories. Couples filled with bravado and excitement start with an ambitious plan to transform their property into their ‘forever’ home. Fast forward six months, their spirit is broken, and they are still trying to scrape the woodchip off the hallway walls.

While renovating your home may seem like a pain, the alternative is no walk in the park either. Anyone that has ever bought and sold a house knows of the horrors caused by people viewing your home when you have kids, the pain of being in a chain, trying to find new schools for the kids, not to mention the vast amounts of cash that you need to hand over to estate agents and solicitors.

So, you have decided to go for the renovation route, what next? Firstly, don’t panic; a home renovation doesn’t have to be a hugely stressful experience. Yes, it will be a little hectic, but with some planning, you will probably find that it is nowhere near as bad as you expected. Here are some of the ways that you can plan your home renovation:

Finances First

Renovating your home has many positive points, the main one being that it can work out to be a lot less expensive than moving to a bigger house. The first thing to do is to work out your budget before you get carried away with daydreams of a home gym, man/woman cave, tennis courts and a library. Knowing how much money you have to work with, will help you to maximise how you use it and create your perfect space without veering wildly over budget. Carry out some research on how you are going to finance the project by searching for options such as the best homeowner loans available.

If possible, try to have some money for a contingency fund on top of your budget for the improvements. This will cover any unexpected costs that come up that you hadn’t anticipated in your budget.

Realistic Timescales

Setting yourself unrealistic timescales for the project is only going to lead to disappointment and frustration. When setting your deadlines, make sure that they are achievable for a high-quality standard of finish. In the long run, you would probably rather wait a little longer if the work is completed to a high standard.

Discuss timescales with your builder so that they know your expectations for the work, and you may be able to include clauses in your contract with the builder that will include these, along with any penalties for the project over-running. 

Stay or Go?

Home improvements can get messy, your stuff will get dusty, and you will have tradespeople wandering in and out of the house. All of this noise and mess can be unsettling for kids, and pretty annoying for you, so you may decide to move out while the renovations take place. Try to protect your home and belongings during the refurbishment, by covering up furniture with dust cloths, and remove any valuable/sentimental items from the house during the works. This will help to prevent any upset caused by mishaps such as Granny’s prized teapot collection becoming collateral damage. 

Make sure that you check the progress of the refurbishment and see it for yourself regularly. You will need to project manage the renovation and keep driving it forward. Otherwise, the kids could be ready to leave home before it’s complete and still arguing over who sleeps in the top bunk.

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