13 Aug 2012

Posted by in Building work, Conversions, Refurbishment | 0 Comments

Cut the Dangers in Property Renovation

Property Renovation

If you’ve been inspired by the recent crop of television programmes about property renovation, you are probably itching to get started on a home project of your own. While these projects may seem like they entail a straightforward process, this is rarely the case. Especially if you are renovating an old property, there are several key pitfalls to look out for; some of them more dangerous than others. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Image credit: Stéphane Vandenwyngaert

Under budgeting

Things will go wrong during your renovation; this is almost a certainty. However, most do-it-yourself constructionists don’t take into account all of the hidden pitfalls that are waiting behind that sheet rock wall they are about to demolish. To ensure that you can finish your project on budget and on time, it’s wise to plan for at least a 20% increase in the total cost that you have calculated.

Not getting a professional opinion first

Whether it’s an inspector or an actual builder, you’ll need someone to grant you a bit of direction before you tackle your renovation project. Professionals can see where potential dangers or time-consuming issues (such as faulty electrical wiring or water damage) are likely to arise and warn you before you commit to the project. They may also be able to give tips about how you should prioritise your renovation to-do list.

Mishandling potentially deadly materials

Asbestos FibresThis may sound like an overstatement, but the reality is that the older a property is, the more likely you are to run into asbestos, bad electrical wiring, or even radon. If you think there’s a chance that the property may have asbestos as insulation, it’s better to not disturb it as long as it isn’t exposed. If it is exposed, be sure to follow a strict regimen for removing it, including coveralls, safety glasses, and a respirator. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t get it on any existing furniture or surfaces.

Not having the right tools

So you’ve got a tool kit and loads of energy; you’re ready to begin that renovation, right? Wrong. Depending on the size of your renovation, you may need to use heavy duty power tools, most of them which you may not even know how to use. This is the time to ask for help. Remember put safety above all your other priorities; many times, tools play a big part in this.

Thinking too big

Everyone wants a home that looks like it belongs in the cover of a design and style magazine, but it is important to make sure that you choose materials and appliances that fight your existing structure. Granite counter tops won’t mix well with a linoleum floor, and a spa bath tub may be nice, but not if takes up all of the square footage in your bathroom. Make sure to keep scale and overall decor in mind as you make design choices about your renovation to avoid such pitfalls.

Ultimately, property renovation should be a fulfilling process, no matter how much time it takes to get done. Remember to keep safety at the forefront of your mind, and you can make sure to pull it off while keeping your health intact as well.

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About the author: Leo is a blogger who provides legal advice on personal injury claims. He also specialises in counselling readers on how to file an asbestos claim.

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