According to Houzz, half of US homeowners plan to carry out renovation work in 2018 and the average median cost of those works will be $10,000. Homeowners who have owned their homes for six years or more are largely carrying out renovations, but increasingly more recent homeowners are getting in on the action too. Meanwhile, in Australia, the latest ABS figures show that Australians spent $7.7billion on home renovations in the year 2015-16.
Even if homes are not in an ideal state of repair, potential buyers move in swiftly to snap up properties in the most in-demand areas. This is prompting many homeowners to take on substantial renovation projects with little to no experience. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, what’s the best way to proceed with the project? Will you be calling in the experts to sort things or personally tackling as much as you can?
Is it Your Skillset?
If you’re lucky enough to be a trained electrician, roofer or even have skills in project planning, tackling some of some of your own renovation works could be a great way to save money. However, safety and finances should always be considered first if you’d like to take on works that you have no previous experience of. Doing jobs in the home is one of the biggest causes of accidents, so it’s best to be really honest with yourself about what you can safely handle. And of course, when you’re putting your life savings into a property, you want it to have a finish you can be proud of too.
According to the Houzz research, homeowners are now more likely to tackle multiple projects at once and to hire specialists in order to do so. Jobs such as roofing, extensions, replacing joists and treating mites and dry rot are for the most part better tackled by the experts. This is both to ensure they are done correctly and according to regulations and also to provide peace of mind and work guarantees, which may be demanded by future purchasers. For the most part, the easiest areas to tap into and DIY are cosmetic jobs such as painting, tiling and the laying and treating of some flooring – these can be learned via night school classes along with a little help from the internet.
To get a firm idea of where you might need to bring in experts and where you could learn additional skills to do work yourself, it’s always best to have an independent survey carried out before you purchase a property. If you’ve already bought a home in an auction, an independent survey can prove a worthwhile investment to help you form a clear schedule of works.
How Will it Impact Deadlines?
Need to move into your new home fast? Got a baby on the way or a new job to start? Perhaps there’s a time limit on how long you can afford to pay the rent on your existing home alongside mortgage payments on your new home? While taking on some of the work yourself may seem like the ideal way to make your budget go further, this should always be balanced against any delays to completion that are likely to occur by doing so. Unless you are between jobs, it’s also likely that you’ll need to factor in the time cost of taking vacation days from work or the impact of only being able to complete jobs outside of work hours too.
Having the right tools and resources in place will also help things to run more smoothly, so consider carefully what you may need to hire or buy before works begin. Searching for a diesel fuel generators on sale will give you power when electricity is out of action and hiring a temporary outside toilet is a smart move when it comes to protecting your decorating efforts against builders traipsing through your home. When it comes to jobs you may be tackling yourself – hiring things such as professional tile cutting tools and power sanders could make all the difference in terms of timescales for job completion and quality of finish.
A Plan of Action
Taking the time to plan out what order renovation work needs to be completed in and where jobs can potentially run simultaneously is crucial to efficiency. You should always be mindful that things such as bad weather or contractor issues have the potential to push you off course and it’s wise to add a buffer of time in here and there along with a contingency fund within your budget. How much renovation work you DIY may ultimately come down to how far your finances stretch. However, for some new homeowners, the satisfaction of living in a fixer-upper that you’ve fixed up yourself is just as valuable a benefit as trimming some costs off the project here and there.