When it comes to home improvements and renovating, picking your moment is crucial. You need to have the right budget and resources in the bank, and you need to be working with the best people for the job. But when you’ve just moved into a home after forking out your life savings, it can be hard to wait a bit longer before you’re allowed to let loose on those four walls!
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Indeed, a lot of people decide to wait after buying a home before trying any kind of renovating, but maybe your property can’t. After all, it’s perfectly fine to try renovation projects when you’re sure it’s the right decision for you and your family.
And that’s why we’ve made the list below; a good renovation takes many forms, but when you’ve just moved in, you’ve got to be careful. Here are the best tips to keep in mind during this process – we’re here to ensure you don’t take on more stress than you truly need to!
Look at Ways to Save Money When Renovating
If you’ve bought a home that’s a little worse for wear, there’s a good chance you were able to save some money on the final sale price. After all, the previous owner knew you’d have to put some work in, and that comes off the total profit they can try to make. However, even when you’ve saved money at this initial stage, you’re still going to need to work on a budget.
If the type of renovating you have planned needs you to hire out others, never ever just go with the first contracting team you come across. Even local companies can stiff their prices and make things at least 5-10% more expensive than they need to be. So get as many quotes as you can here; compare them to each other, and talk to each contractor to see if you can get them to price match or go lower.
You can try to do as much of the work as possible DIY, but you can read more details on that below. In the meantime it’s best to know what budget you’re working with, what is the max you can spend on the renovations in total, and if you’ll have to compromise on your household living budget to pay for a project or two.
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Prioritise Your Renovating Projects
Certain renovation projects are going to be more important than others. Getting a new kitchen fitted is going to be a more crucial job than taking out a wall between the living room and dining room.
Similarly, making sure your whole family has liveable, comfortable bedrooms to bunk down in will be a higher priority than converting the basement for a man cave, etc. So think about what you really need to do here – it’ll help you save money, move quickly, and have a wonderful home to settle into. Do you really need to do that job? Or does that area just need a really good clean? If you’re in the capital then Cleaners in South West London could help you out.
Some renovating projects will also be cheaper to do now than they are later on. For example, if you’re moving in during the autumn and winter months, it’ll be much cheaper to get an AC system installed. Listed building air conditioning or AC for new build homes will both be much more manageable on the budget when you contact companies during the later months of the year. Even springtimes can see the prices shoot up, so order in the opposite seasons as much as possible.
Look into the Structural Integrity
Speaking of important renovation projects, you should always tackle anything that affects the structural integrity of your home first when it comes to renovating. If you’ve got damp anywhere in the home, for example, you’ll need to clear this up first and ensure it doesn’t penetrate deep into the structure. You don’t want to deal with subsidence halfway through putting an extension on or trying to convert the attic!
So check the foundation first of all, then the walls, and then target the top. This is the general rule to follow, but if you notice something obviously wrong with your structure, go for that first. If the roof looks unstable even from the street below, you may need to call out an emergency repair job to ensure your home is safe to move into.
You should note down things like this on your first walkaround of the home. You can keep an eye out for damage that makes itself known to you, but make sure you look for ‘symptoms’ as well. ‘Bubbly’ wallpaper, for example, could be a sign there’s damp somewhere, and many people don’t know to look for it.
Be Careful About Your Living Arrangements
When you’re doing renovating work in your new home, you’ll need to do a proper, careful layout before doing anything else. You’ll need to have a clear and safe route to take throughout the house when you’re renovating a room or two, especially if you’ve got pets or young children. For example, if there are going to be dangerous equipment like ladders, hammers and nails, and even power tools laying around, you’ll need to keep them separate.
In order to have a proper arrangement during your projects, you should only tackle one room at a time. This way you won’t get in the way of any other work, and you minimise the potential for damage overall. Let’s say you’re working in the kitchen: only work in there during the day, make sure all tools and materials are stored in there overnight, and shut the door behind you when you’re done for the day.
Exterior Renovations Can Wait
You can actually save a lot of money here! Because the garden is never going to be as important as getting the kitchen done, or ensuring there’s no dampness in the basement. And that means this project can wait; if you want to work outside, wait at least 6 months until after you’ve moved in. At best, give it a year before you do any major work, as long as there are no physical hazards out there.
In the meantime you can try simply cleaning up the space a little. Remove all trash and debris if there is any littering your backyard, decking, and lawn area. This way you can use the area for whatever you need, even if it doesn’t quite look perfect yet. And if you’ve got some garden furniture in storage somewhere, you can once again cut the costs of your move by taking them out of the unit you’re paying for.
You May Need a Survey
If you’re not sure about the safety of your home when it comes to renovation work, it might be worth it to get a survey done. Call in an expert to take a look around and tell you what you really need to know – sometimes the survey done by the estate agent leaves a few things out! So getting one done yourself is a good way to double check before you sink any money into work that can’t be completed for one reason or another.
There are different levels to home surveying so take a look for yourself and see which one seems the most appropriate. You may already have a thing or two in mind that you want investigating, so think about those when you order a survey done. Maybe your worries are on the surface only, or maybe they do deeper; things will be priced differently depending on how detailed you want the ensuing report to be.
DIY Only Goes So Far When Renovating
We talked about this earlier – that DIY can be a good way to save money during an immediate reno – but it can only take you so far. You may have good DIY skills and know how to use power tools to full effect, but it’d be dangerous to undertake a full renovation job when concerning things like moving a wall or floor, repairing a roof, or building an extension onto a previously existing part of the house.
So take stock of your skills here. You can put up shelves, paint walls, and lay carpet, but never force yourself to do more than this. It’ll only cost you more in the long run, and that can be a disaster.
The Biggest Takeaway Here:
Renovating your new house is not a decision to be taken lightly. But if you want to get stuck into the work as soon as you move in, feel free to use tips like these to help out. Knowing your way around a toolbox and a paintbrush will help you to save some money here, but prioritising your projects and only doing essential work is the best way to go for the time being.
So if you’re itching to get going and tear down a wall or two, as well as convert the loft for guest room use, make a careful plan first. Know what you’re getting into, and always refer back to the budget before you do anything else. Then you just need to make sure the work goes smoothly and you’re able to enjoy your new home!