Five Tips on Renovating a House
You’re an owner-occupier or else you’re bought an investment property. Either way, you’re strongly considering renovating to improve the property’s look and liveability and also to increase its value. But are renovations always a good idea and when should you do them?
Tip 1 – Factor in the Cost Over the Returns
This is the very first, most important aspect to consider. Will the renovations add enough value to your property to justify their cost? Here is where you really need to research the cost of the project; the labour, the materials, the cost of the tradesmen. You also need to research your local market and perhaps seek property investment advice. If a renovation is urgently needed to make the home liveable then you don’t have too much choice (for example a non-functioning bathroom or a room with crumbling walls). But if it’s a cosmetic upgrade then you need to look into how much value it will really add to your home.
Tip 2 – Don’t Over-Renovate
It’s very easy to get carried away. A project that started out as simply an extension like an extra room can end up with a verandah, another level and a landscaped garden. Often once you start renovating a house you’ll probably find other areas of the property that can be improved. But, as with the first point, you really need to question whether it’s worth it. If all the extra improvements you’re thinking of won’t add much value to the property then maybe you don’t need to carry them out.
Tip 3 – Can You Live There?
If you’re occupying the house that you’re living in then really think about how long the renovations will take. Renovating a house is very disruptive, especially if you have a family. You need to do a sound timeline of the project bearing in mind that often the time can blow out. So think about whether you’re prepared to live in a hotel for six months.
Tip 4 – Will the Renovation Look Seamless?
If the property is quite old and has a certain look – for example an Art Deco style – and your renovation plan is quite modern – you need to think about how this will look overall. Ideally all renovations should look organic and not stick out like a sore thumb. Renovations that don’t blend with the original property will make it look like two separate houses and may even decrease the property value.
Tip 5 – Would Demolition Be Better?
If the renovations or remodeling you’re planning are really quite extensive, you do need to ask yourself if it would be cheaper to simply pull the house down and start again. If the property is really quite old – for instance a timber cottage from the 1920s- and has major structural and design flaws, then a renovation may not be enough to solve the problems. In this case, you should look into the cost of demolition and rebuilding. Demolishing a house is less expensive than you would think and this way you get to build the property entirely to your satisfaction.
Image Credit: Jim O’Connor