It is true that some home improvements can help you turn your home into a much better place to live as well as increase its value over the short and longer terms. Whether you are planning on a large home improvement like building an extension (an extra reception room or office), a conservatory, or converting your attic into an extra room or a teenage bedroom, or a home improvement like simply redecorating a room or changing some fittings you will need to think through it and make some decisions as to what you want, how you want it done, who you want to do it, how much to spend and so on. This short guide is not a detailed account of how to manage an entire home improvement project it is simply a short article on how to begin the process of planning.
Large Home Improvements
You might be considering large home improvements such as a major extension, you may want to add or convert your existing garage, perhaps you’re a gardener and you want to splash out on some nice landscaping. Large home improvements can not only dramatically enhance the quality of your house as a place to live they are most likely to add commercial value than a number of smaller improvements are. Here are 6 simple tips when planning
- Plan with the person/people who will be making use of the improvements (this saves arguments later)
- List what you want doing as soon as you can. This helps the person making the changes and will save on costs
- Decide how much you want to spend then add some for extra costs –there are always extra costs
- Decide on a timetable – add in extra time, project often go over time.
- Get a range of quotes before you decide
- When you get quotes ask about possible extra costs etc. and when the provider can start
Smaller Home Improvements
A newly tiled bathroom or painted porch, new range of colours, textures or wallpaper, changing your flooring, or a few new light fittings are a very inexpensive way of giving your home a simple makeover. You will have seen the TV programmes and noticed how different a house can look with just a few minor changes tastefully executed, and how you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the right effect. Here are 6 simple tips to consider before embarking on smaller home improvements. They are similar to the larger home improvements:
- Plan with whomever else will be making use of the improvements (spouse, kids, friends) – just like the larger projects it will save arguments later
- Decide on the details together (colour scheme, fittings, features, styles etc.) A living space is very personal and can affect people’s moods!
- Budget an amount of money and keep to it. Just because it’s a smaller project doesn’t mean the cost won’t run away. Add a bit extra – just in case and to avoid ‘surprises’
- Timetabling and deadlines may be less critical with a smaller project but don’t assume you shouldn’t plan. Choose a start date and finish date and keep to it.
- Get some quotes if you are outsourcing the job.
- Make sure you understand potential extra costs – and ask your service provider to inform you before they go ahead with anything you didn’t agree on beforehand and get a price for it before they do it.
Paying for your home Improvements
Whether you are looking at making large home improvements or small home improvements obviously the price will vary according to what you have done. Whatever you get done you’ll need to pay for it. If its a small amount then this not be a major issue but for larger jobs it could be. Make yourself aware of all the possibilities out there such as home loans and government grants you may be eligible. Be sure that you have the finance in place before you go ahead with a big project. Be aware also that initial estimates from providers can escalate if you aren’t clear with them.
Before you start work on any home improvements you’re thinking of it is necessary to plan your project in collaboration with your service provider. Timescales, costs and the contractors you’ll need to pin down (as much as possible). You should also be sure that you have permission from your local authority if this is necessary (which it usually is if your home improvements are large and external to your main house. There are rules and regulations and these get slightly more complicated each year, so make sure either you or your service provider is aware of these. You can always ask the building department of your local authority for a list of current regulations.