Having a home that ‘works’ is so important for family life. Enough bedrooms and bathrooms, space outside to play and socialize, a well-equipped kitchen for the endless preparation of family meals are just a few of the things most of us need. When your home suits your lifestyle your family will be far happier, there are fewer arguments due to space issues, and you’re all free to live your lives in exactly the way you choose. If your current home doesn’t fit the bill, why not go about creating your ‘dream home’? It’s not as expensive as you might think (and can be a lot cheaper than buying outright) and with the right property and some renovations, you can transform it into the ideal space for you and your loved ones. People can be put off with the idea of renovating, especially if they’ve never done it before. However, done right it really can be one of the best things you’ve ever done. You get to transform and change an existing property into something that’s exactly right for you, without the added costs of building from scratch or the premiums of buying a ‘move in ready’ home. Here are some things to take into consideration.
Find Somewhere Temporary to Live
If you’re going to be undertaking massive renovations, it’s not going to be suitable to live in the house while it looks like a building site. You might not even have electricity or running water for months, plus with building debris lying around it can be a health and safety hazard too. If you’re lucky you will be living in your current home while you work on the new one, but if you have had to sell up to release funds then it gets a bit trickier. You could put your possessions into storage and stay with family while it’s being done, or you could rent a small apartment. Either way, it’s something to take into consideration. Bear in mind that finishing dates can change and deadlines can be pushed back, you need somewhere stable to live during this time just in case you’re there longer than you thought.
Set a Budget
You need to know how much you have to spend overall. A house that needs less work doing will require less for renovations but will likely be more expensive to buy. A run down house will be cheap to buy but require a lot of money for the work. It’s important to get this balance right so you can get the most for your money but without going over budget (or ending up with a home you can’t finish). It all depends on how specific you are about what you want. If you have a set vision, chances are you will need to make a lot of changes. If you’re more flexible, you will probably be able to get away with getting something that’s pretty much move- in ready and making fewer changes. One very important thing is to make sure you set a contingency fund. Having some money put aside for if you run over is so important. Renovations are unpredictable when you start tearing down walls and ripping up floors in a house you really don’t know what you’re going to find. Some spare cash to cover these isn’t just a luxury, it’s essential. It means you’re not scrambling for cash and that work isn’t being delayed due to money.
Have a Survey Done
To know exactly how much you will need to spend, it’s crucial to have a survey done. This will let you know if there are any underlying issues such as structural problems, bad electrics, pests, asbestos or other pricey issues. If anything is found, you can ask for the house price to be reduced based on the work that needs to be completed. It helps you to refine your budget and makes sure you’re not running into difficult problems when you start the reno.
Find a Suitable Property
When you’re searching for a home to renovate, it’s so important to have vision. It’s not what it looks like now, but how you could make it look that’s key. The main considerations you need to think about are the cost: how much is the property now and how much does that leave you to make changes? The area: You can change a home, but you can’t change the street or area. Are there good schools, transport links and amenities close by? And the size: once you’ve chosen your lot, you’re limited to the space within it. The house can be extended but is there enough outside space to build onto while still giving leaving you with a garden? If you look at homes on sites like http://www.manausa.com you will see there are different filters such as by area or school zone, allowing you to refine your property search. That way you can be sure that everything you’re looking at fits the requirements you have set.
Decide on Rooms and Layout
Do you deal with daily arguments from your kids because they have to share a bedroom? Do you refuse to host parties at your home because the kitchen or garden is too small? Do you long for your own private office? Work out what doesn’t currently work in your home so you can put it right when you come to renovate. If you plan on having more children later down the line, or you like having guests over to stay, then you might choose to have an extra bedroom created. If you’re fed up of dealing with sulky teenagers, you could create a fun basement hangout for them to relax in. Decide how many bathrooms you will need to make family living that bit easier- who gets an en suite and who is ok to share? Once you’ve decided on your property, you can work with an architect who can put your vision onto paper. They will also let you know what’s not likely to work, and where you can make compromises instead.
Put Together a Reliable Team
These are the professionals who will be doing the work on your home, so you need tradesmen who are reliable and hardworking. You’re likely to need an architect, designer, builder, electrician and plumber at the very least. As the project draws to a close, you’ll need plasterers, tilers, carpet fitters, kitchen fitters and more. As around people you know and trust if they have any recommendations. Make sure you get a full breakdown of the costs which allows you to stay on top of the budget and the project. Unless you have building experience and are going to be getting hands on with the property, these are the people who will be doing the transformation and so getting the right team is crucial. It can help you to save costs and get the job finished on time if everyone is working well. Do some research online on the best ways to go about this before deciding on the company or contractors.
Choose the Fixtures and Finishes
One of the most fun elements to a renovation is choosing the finishing touches. You will need to decide everything from doors and door handles to sockets to lighting, carpets, tiles, paint color and so much more. Your best bet is to avoid anything too trendy since trends can fall out of style and leave a home looking outdated. Choosing classic neutrals will make any home look modern and beautiful and stay looking this way for many years. It’s not to say you can’t have fun with the decor, but when it comes to things like tiles, taps and sinks going classic means you won’t have to replace them later down the line because they look frumpy and old fashioned. It’s always worth keeping money in the budget to allow you to choose nicer fixtures where possible. Things like spotlights in the ceiling, sinks and heated towel rails are permanent fixtures in the property. So it makes sense to invest in the best quality you can.
Having so much input into the decisions on your home can be so rewarding. You get to create something that’s personal and works for you and your family. A home you can enjoy, grow and spend quality time in both now and in the future. Finding the perfect property on the market that’s ready to buy and move into is never going to be easy since move-in ready homes come with a huge premium. Plus finding something in the right location and in the right area reduces your chances even further. You’re far better off having a bit of creative vision, finding somewhere with potential and changing it to exactly what you want. It’s a lot of effort and isn’t always plain sailing, but go in prepared and with your eyes open and you will be fine.
Have you ever renovated a property? Do you live in your ‘dream home’ or is this something you’re still aiming for?