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  • Kristian Stoyanov

6 Things to Know Before You Renovate Your Home

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Starting a renovation is both a tiring and rewarding experience. It can be hard to start your home project, but everything settles as soon as you make those first steps. What’s good about renovation is that it’s not like you’re building a new home from scratch, but you’re simply upgrading your residence.

Before you decide how much you want to renovate, you need to have the end goal in your mind. Are you renovating to raise the sale value of your home, or will you be staying put for years to come?

Consider the condition of your neighborhood and know which renovations are going to be beneficial for the area. Having a specific plan for the future will help you decide how deep you want to go with your project. Our team has gathered together some top tips to make your renovation project a success.

Start with a Building Survey

Commissioning a building survey from a chartered building surveyor is vital before you buy a property, which you want to renovate. They typically range from $800 to $1,200 depending on the size, location, and age of the house.

A building survey is essential so you can highlight the building’s weakest points – such as the requirement for a new roof, or problems like dampness or structural movement. The survey will also point out if you need anything further in case you overlooked it.

Just bear in mind that a surveyor won’t be able to detect any hidden problems and will not usually give an idea of the costs.

Invest in New Electrics

Old buildings are often in need of an electrics update – look for old-fashioned fuse boxes, light switches, round pin plugs, and fabric-coated flex.

Rewiring will cost you around $2,000-$9,000, with homeowners paying an average of $2.65 per square foot for a home rewiring project. This should include removing the old wiring, installing a new consumer unit, and lifting and replacing the floorboards.

Costs may vary depending if you decide to install additional light fittings and sockets or not.

Look for Radiators

A lack of radiators should ring a bell that there is no central heating system in place. There could be old storage heaters instead.

Installing a new heating system in a typical house should cost you around $6,000-$8,000, and you shouldn’t forget to add this to your budget. The cost may be higher if you want to renovate and open the walls, attic, ceilings, or crawl spaces.

Old radiators can also be a sign that the existing heating system needs updating. This can be done in the form of new and more efficient radiators and a new boiler.

Beware of Dampness

Dampness can be caused by several things, some more costly to fix than others. It is often easy to notice – in most cases, there are watermarks on floors and walls.

Causes range from leaking gutters and blocked drains to inappropriate installations like cement renders, concrete floors, and injected damp-proof courses, which prevent an old building from “breathing.” These are a little pricier to fix, though.

Check for Rot

Making sure you don’t have rot is an essential process that you must do to prevent your house from potential damage.

This fungus can destroy timber and usually appears in places that are badly ventilated. It’s mostly found in the roof space or under floorboards in old homes. Be cautious of cotton wool-type masses and a strong musty smell when you lift the carpet.

Removing rot expenses depend on the area where the damage is located. Wet rot is not a big problem, occurring in timber exposed to high levels of moisture.

Create a Schedule

Before starting any renovation work, create a schedule. Without a plan, the whole process can become chaotic, and activities can overlap and interfere with each other.

A woman preparing a house design plan

A schedule includes what work needs to be done to the house and in what order. Besides having one schedule for the entire renovation, it’s often helpful to break a project down into phases like ‘kitchen extension’, ‘moving bathroom upstairs’, ‘rot removal’, and so on, and have a schedule for each.

Planning Makes Perfect

The key to renovating or redecorating your house beautifully yet inexpensively is to make a clear goal for yourself and have the whole picture of each step of the project in your mind.

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