It’s the time of year when a lot of people are thinking that they’ve had just about enough of their home’s layout. The winter was long and grim, wasn’t it? There were a lot of reasons why it made sense to stay inside instead of venturing into the outside world. That’s all well and good (and cozy), but it also means a lot of time spent inside looking at the same four walls. Most people are ready to tear everything down and start from scratch by the time the summer rolls around.
The chances are that selling your home and buying a new one may not be on the cards with how the property market’s been. A lot of people are pivoting from looking to move to fixing long-standing issues in their homes or giving them a facelift. Of course, these projects aren’t always as simple as all that. There’s a reason why they can be so easy to put off, after all! You’re going to need to do your homework if you want to keep them on budget and on schedule.
Make A Prioritized List
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? The list of improvements and fixes is normally pretty small to start with. But it can spiral out of control pretty quickly once you get the bug. Those little things that you did not even think about as being a problem before suddenly become just as important as that really urgent fix. The best way to start the process is to make a detailed list of every potential project. It doesn’t matter how big, just get them all down. Once you’ve got it all on paper, you can take a step back and think more practically about what needs doing first.
Create A Budget
Once you’ve got your list figured out, it’s time to think about how much you can afford to spend. There can’t be many people out there who are feeling flush right now, and it seems like everything is getting more expensive everywhere you look. The stories about supermarket shortages and rising energy bills are the kind of thing that can make you think twice about any expense, so it’s best to plan your spending as far in advance as you can. It’s a good idea to give yourself a bit of a cushion just in case there are any unavoidable delays to the project because of weather, illness, or supply shortages. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need to leave a job half-finished until the next paycheque clears.
Find Contractors That You Can Trust
Once you know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time for the next step: other people. Now you can start talking to tradespeople about what’s realistic and which ones are best left for another time. It can be tricky to tell if contractors are telling you what you want to hear or the cold hard truth. If this is the first major house project that you’ve done, you are going to be even more cautious. Say you need to have some re-plastering done on your home. It’s the kind of job that should be fairly straightforward but is certainly big (and potentially messy) enough that you don’t just want to throw the job to someone that you don’t trust. If you’re looking for local plasterers near you, you can compare quotes and reviews at MyBuilder. This way, you can be much better informed about costs and see what their previous clients have said about their work.
Make A Timetable (And Stick To It)
While the budget is arguably the best way to ensure that you don’t end up spending more than you can afford, a strict timetable is absolutely crucial. Everyone worries about home improvement or fixes dragging on and on, leaving parts of their houses completely unusable. You don’t want to end up having to rely on takeaways because the kitchen is out of action, or popping around to your friend’s house to take a shower because the bathroom fix is going to take weeks longer than anticipated. Think carefully about how long you can realistically afford for a project to go on for and remember to factor in everything from minor inconveniences to changes in the weather (for example, boiler work should ideally take place as far away from the winter as possible). If it seems like you’re not going to get everything done within the window that you have set for yourself, then you may need to go back to the drawing board.
Think About What Materials You’re Using
There’s always going to be the temptation to buy brand-new if you are thinking of renovating your home. It’s your home, after all, so why wouldn’t you pay full price if you think that it’s the best option? But you can often find recycled materials that are just as good as the new ones that you would pay full freight for. This helps you to save in an area that can be one of your biggest expenses. It’s also important to remember that this is a simple but powerful way for you to minimize the carbon footprint of your project. Everyone needs to be thinking a bit more carefully about what they are doing when it comes to the climate, so don’t just rush into making mistakes. You might not think that renovating or fixing up your property would be the kind of thing that has much of an environmental impact. But think about the amount of energy that it takes to run those tools and machines, or how much waste you can create while doing so.
Get Your Friends And Family Involved
Now, it’s important to note that there is a limit to how much you should ask your friends and family to do on projects like this. Everyone has that person in their life who claims to be just as good as any licensed contractor, but who will make a total mess of your property and leave you needing to call in a professional to fix up the mess anyway. So, if you’re doing any kind of major undertaking, pay someone who actually knows what they’re doing to get it sorted. However, there are going to be plenty of ways that they can help out, especially if you’re working on a smaller-scale project. It might sound a bit daft to say that they can hold the ladder, but if you’re working towards a tight deadline then many hands make light work!
Know When To Stop
Finally, there may come to a point where it feels like you may as well move on to the next project. After all, you’ve got your materials, you’ve found a good contractor, and you’ve got momentum behind you. But if you want to make sure that you don’t blow your budget completely, then you must be aware enough to call it a day when you need to. Remember that you can always come back to a project later on. It’s better to be annoyed about how much is left on your list than how much is left in your savings.