Top 8 Tips for Smarter Renovations

Architect drawing up building plans | buildtoday
The most important tip when it comes to undertaking renovations is to plan ahead.

These top tips will help you do just that.

The idea of renovating your home may seem appealing, and why not? Adding value to your biggest investment is always a great idea! 

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a new project, it’s important to remember that renovations (big or small) are a lot of work. To keep yours on track, you’ll need to keep a level head and plan, plan, plan. 

Understand the value of your home 

Before you get started, you should speak to an expert about the value of your home. It’s also worth looking into the value of other homes in your area. Understanding these numbers will help you make an informed decision about what renovations will get you the most bang for your buck. 

You don’t want to sink a load of money into a renovation if it’s not going to add additional value to your home. You also don’t want to undertake so many renovations that the value of your home surpasses others in your area by a considerable amount. 

Any improvements you make should boost the value of your home just enough to fetch you a favourable price should you decide to resale, but not so much that you’re pricing yourself out of the market. 

Research rules and regulations

In another part of your prep work, it’s important to research all of the rules and regulations in your area surrounding renovations, planning and construction. This includes council rules and any homeowner’s association or body corporate regulations. 

Taking this step before you get started could end up saving you time and money. For example, some local councils have regulations designed to promote sustainability or minimise flooding. Others have regulations designed to maintain the character of certain suburbs. Any violation of these regulations could incur fees, or worse, will need to be redone so the work is up to scratch. 

Get approvals

Speaking of local councils and regulations, you’ll want to submit your proposed plans for approval sooner rather than later. 

Getting approvals can take quite a bit of time, depending on the work you’re planning. Make sure you submit your plans as soon as possible to ensure the approvals process doesn’t eat into your timeline (and possibly your budget). 

Plan for something to go wrong

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so it’s important to always plan for something to go wrong. From bad weather to conflicting schedules, there are plenty of unforeseen variables that can throw your renovations off track. 

You can help minimise the impact by padding your plans with a little extra money and a little extra time. This way, when something does go wrong, your stress levels won’t be so high. If nothing goes wrong, you can relish the fact that you came in under budget and ahead of schedule! 

Shop around

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times — it pays (literally) to shop around. 

This tried and true piece of advice is still key in saving money on any renovation project. If you’re looking for the right builder, don’t just take the first quote you get. If you’re looking for the best materials, make sure you check out a few sources to compare costs.

What you lose in time, you’ll more than makeup for in savings, so this one is definitely worth sticking to. 

Think long term 

When you’re considering your renovations, it’s worth considering how your choices will age. It’s definitely tempting to jump on the latest design trends as soon as they pop up, but this will almost certainly mean that you’ll be making another round of renovations in a year or two. 

In terms of design renovations, consider what will appeal to potential buyers. For example, it’s not worth putting up walls to divide living spaces if all potential buyers want is an open floorplan. 

In terms of aesthetics, choose palettes and materials that are versatile and timeless. Sure a white while it’s always the most inspiring, but will always make a fantastic backdrop for creative artwork choices or bold furniture pieces. The key is to start with a strong foundation and add personality through items that can easily swap and change. 

Finally, in terms of materials, choose those that can withstand a bit of use and still look great. Timber floors, stone benches, quality carpets and appliances — these are all great choices even if they cost a little bit more. You’ll make up the cost when you don’t have to replace them in a year. 

Cheaper isn’t always better

Speaking of investing your money where it counts, it’s important to understand where it’s worth cutting costs and where it’s worth splurging a bit. 

As mentioned, durable materials are always worth a little extra, but more than that, there are certain areas of the home where it pays to invest more of your budget. Kitchens and bathrooms are big drawcards for potential buyers, and when done well, they will bring incredible value to your home. Don’t skimp here. 

Another area worth the investment is sustainable design and features. Consider the overall layout of your home and how you can make it more sustainable by positioning it to make the most of natural lighting and heating. Insulate your home properly and look for quality, properly fitted windows and doors to make your home more energy-efficient. These are all choices that will save you in the long run and make your home much more appealing to future buyers. 

Have a clear vision

Last but certainly not least, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your renovations. From formulating a building plan to picking paint palettes, consider every last detail so you know what the finished project will look like. 

Understanding your vision will help you stay on track. Even when things seem a little messy, you’ll know the direction you’re heading and the steps you need to take to get there. 

More than understanding your plan, it’s important to never second guess it. While it’s perfectly fine to make a last-minute tweak here or there to accommodate unforeseen circumstances, you shouldn’t be constantly rethinking things along the way. This can end up costing you time and money. 

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