Doing a renovation or general fixing isn’t as expensive or draining as the shows on television and your friend’s stories might lead you to believe. You can keep everything on track, and survive it, if you prepare. There’s a lot of tips out there, but we’ve narrowed down the list to our top 5.
- Get your budget in order
The renovation can’t get started if you don’t have the cash. You need to meet your accountant, and someone from your bank if you need to take out a loan.
Line up the quotes you got from the concreter, the carpenter, the plumber and any other trades you need. Can you afford to pay them? You’ll also need extra cash, about 20% of the total budget, in case of extra costs from unforeseen circumstances.
- Decide where to live
You can’t use the kitchen when the concrete floor’s getting polished, or take a shower when the screed is curing. It’s up to you whether or not to move temporarily, but if the whole house is getting renovated it’ll certainly make life easier. Trades start work early; do you want to wake up to the sound of a concrete truck pouring cement, or drills going at it, at 7am?
- Clean and store
Most trades respect your space, from the concreter to the plumber, but sometimes accidents happen and things break. Make sure you move the valuables and fragiles out of the house until work is finished. Mess is a given in a renovation, so moving delicates and valuables will ease your anxiety.
- Go shopping
Look at display homes and interior magazines. Speak with your contractors, too, when getting a quote. Be transparent about what you want and the money you have to spend.
Just because you’re mindful of counting pennies doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice quality. Can’t splash on a marble benchtop? Get a stained concrete slab instead. Go to vintage shops and recycling stores for second-hand furniture. Reupholstering old furniture is cheaper than buying a new suite. You’re going to cut the cost of the renovation dramatically when you buy second hand instead of new off the shop floor.
When you’re looking at fixtures like taps and lights, favour the environmentally-friendly options. You’ll save a lot on your electricity/water bills.
- Keep an open line
During the renovation, the builder is the boss, but that doesn’t mean you disappear. As a client, you want satisfaction guaranteed so it’s better to stay accessible. Builders have a good habit of sending progress reports, and that includes any problems they’ve encountered. This is why it’s better to have that 20% extra budget handy, though hopefully you’ll never have to use it.
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