Thinking of renovating your home? Before you start ripping out the counter tops or moving in that freestanding bathtub, here are a few dos and don’ts to consider that could save you significant money and time.
Don’t do everything yourself
Going DIY can save you some money… if you know what you’re doing. Many home renovations can be dangerous or costly if they go wrong such as installing a kitchen cabinet or knocking down an interior wall. Many electric and plumbing jobs may even require a license. It’s possible to attempt some jobs such as painting and adding wallpaper. For most people, the convenience of calling in professionals – even jobs like painting and decorating – is worth the added costs.
Do have a strict budget
It’s all too easy to overspend when doing home renovations. This could leave you in a lot of debt and stress. Start by researching the costs of a renovation – online resources such as House Method’s bathroom remodeling guide can give you a complete rundown of the costs included. This will help you determine whether your plans are realistic and within your budget, allowing you to save up a little more or tone it down so that it’s within your financial means.
Do look into planning permission
Some jobs may require planning permission. Jobs like extensions may intrude on others’ privacy or stop neighbors from getting sun. In other cases, a building may be protected for historic reasons, or land may be protected for environmental reasons. If you start work without getting planning permission, you could run the risk of being told by your local planning committee to remove what you’ve built if it breaks a law. For this reason, no matter how small the job, it’s best to always get a heads up before starting on with your renovation.
Do invest in new appliances and fixtures
It could be worth paying that little bit extra for a new oven or new toilet, especially if you’ve had your previous one for over fifteen years. A new oven could use much less gas/electricity while a new toilet could have a multi-flush feature to help cut your water bills. All in all, new appliances and fixtures may cost a fair amount of money upfront, but could save you a lot of money in the long run.
…just don’t relocate them
Whilst you should consider buying new fixtures, be careful of changing the layout of these fixtures. Moving an oven or washing machine could involve extra plumbing costs, which are likely to be expensive. Unless you absolutely hate their current location, put your new fixtures exactly where the old ones were in order to save costs.
Do consider imitation materials
A lot of people get caught up spending huge amounts for a granite kitchen worktop or mahogany cabinets, when they could get exactly the same aesthetic for a fraction of the cost by using imitation materials. This McIlvain guide discusses how Utile makes an excellent mahogany substitute, while costing much less. There are meanwhile spray-on granite paints that you can use to turn a cheap plastic counter top into a stone worktop on a budget. It may not be the real thing, but if you’re simply after visual appeal it could save a lot of money.
Do embrace neutral colors
If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you could benefit from sticking to neutral colors. Bold colors such as reds, greens and yellows aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and they can have a negative impact on the value of your home. Stick to whites, greys, and beiges if you want your home to sell for more. If you have no plans to sell up, then feel free to use vibrant colors.
Do consider an open plan living area
Modern homes are also opting for an open layout downstairs. Knocking down the walls between the kitchen, living room and dining room could help to create one flowing space. Knocking down walls may not always be practical, especially if they’re load-bearing, however you may still be able to opt for a cut-out. Always hire professionals to knock down a wall.
Don’t combine two bedrooms into one
It may be possible to turn two adjoining small bedroom into one huge bedroom by knocking down the wall between them, however this could have a serious negative effect on the value of your home. Never sacrifice a bedroom, you’re much better off creating new ones as this will improve the value of your home. For example, a loft conversion could result in another bedroom.
Don’t sacrifice counter top space
If you’re making improvements to your kitchen, you similarly don’t want to sacrifice counter top space. Less counter tops could mean less space to prepare meals and store counter top appliances such as microwaves and toasters. Try to work around your counter tops as best you can, or relocate counter top space.
Do consider energy efficiency
As mentioned earlier with old appliances, you can save a lot of money in the long run by investing in greener and newer machines. There are many other home improvements that can also lower your energy consumption, which you may want to consider if you’re remodeling your home. Insulation is a key improvement that can add value to your home and reduce your heating usage, saving you money on your energy bills. This could include installing double glazed windows or insulating the loft. You might even want to consider upgrading your water heating system or adding new radiators. There are also home improvements involving renewable energy that could drastically lower your bills such as adding solar panels or heating your home with a wood burner – these energy sources can be expensive to implement initially, but they could result in never having to pay a mains energy bills every again.