Giving your home a facelift, a spruce-up or a stroke of modernisation can be a great way to enhance your property’s appeal, while also adding some extra value. However, undertaking a renovation can be a costly exercise and many home owners opt to go the DIY (Do It Yourself) route in order to save money. While this can be a good option, there are some pitfalls to watch out for.
Whether you are attempting it all on your own or drawing on experts and tradespeople for parts of the job, setting out a budget is a fundamental step. You never want to over-capitalise or end up with a half finished project and not enough funds to complete it. Hence, you should always crunch the numbers first.
When budgeting, look at the various options available to achieve the desired outcome, be it a lick of paint, a new kitchen or adding a timber deck. Make a detailed list of all materials needed for the project and price each item, ideally getting quotes from at least three reliable sources. The same applies to quotes from tradespeople for the parts that you may not be able to do yourself, such as plumbing or electrical work.
As is true with most projects, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. So, write a schedule of what works need to be accomplished first, second and so on and set a time frame for each. Then, double check with suppliers, workers, and your own availability that these targets are actually achievable.
Taking a renovation (no matter how small) from idea to completion will in most cases take longer than anticipated. Allow for some flexibility in case you run into some problems or unexpected delays.
Funding your renovation
There are various options available for funding your planned renovation, ranging from using savings or credit cards to adding it to your mortgage or line-of-credit. If the renovation is substantial and is likely to add value to the property, it may be better to use the bank’s money, rather than your savings. Make sure you get a valuation done before you start and after you finish in order to realise the increase of value and equity gained.
If you are renovating in order to sell the property, some works can easily add appeal and perhaps help get a higher price with little cost, while other works can cost you more than you will get back. It is good to get expert advice from professionals, real estate agents and tradespeople before spending up big at the hardware store.