Never renovated a property before? Here are four mistakes to avoid when it’s home improvement time.
Don’t start work without knowing the details. You need to research building materials and tradespeople, and understand the legal and regulatory aspects of a renovation.
Find out how much materials and tradies cost. You can request several quotes to get a realistic price range. You can also find out if there are discounts on offer – for example, for bulk-buying or early payment – or opportunities to negotiate.
Before you start, ask your local council whether you need any permits. Fines for unlawful renovation can be hefty, as can the cost to repair or rebuild.
Poor planning can cause big problems. Your budget or schedule could blow out, the property might end up worse off, or you might not achieve what you really wanted to.
Planning should include these three elements:
If you’re having trouble, consider hiring professionals. This may be an architect to provide drawings, or a construction manager to juggle the different elements.
First-timers often make the mistake of setting a budget – “we’ll spend $50,000” – without knowing what it will buy. Don’t fall into that trap. If you research building materials, you’ll be more likely to buy the right quantities at the right price. If you make detailed plans, your trade quotes will be more accurate. Good research and planning will help you create a realistic budget.
Remember to build some contingency ¬into your budget in case things don’t go to plan. Adding 10 to 20 per cent to the final budget is a good rule of thumb.
Labour is one area where you’ll want to cut costs, but quality should trump price.
This article is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice.
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