How to plan your home renovation

Private Property South Africa
Jackie Gray-Parker

Keep disruption and costs to a minimum by carefully planning your home renovation before you begin.

So the time has come to undertake some home renovations. Perhaps your home has become cramped with the addition of new family members or it’s beginning to look dated. Perhaps you’d like to upgrade with a view to maximising your selling price or have simply decided that renovating your existing home outweighs the cost and hassle of moving.

Plan ahead

Whatever the case, it’s important to carefully think through and plan home renovations before arbitrarily going ahead. It’s also important to keep in mind that renovations of any kind typically entail quite a lot of upheaval and mess and usually take a fair amount of time to carry out so you need to prepare accordingly.

Budget

Of course renovations can cost a lot of money which is why you should obtain at least three quotes from different, trustworthy providers. Chances are the renovations will cost more than you thought they would and you will also need to budget for unexpected costs which inevitably crop up.

Consider a building loan

You may have the money to fund the renovations or you may not. While it is advisable not to over-extend yourself financially, home renovations can be viewed as an investment in your home and financial future. As such, you may want to consider a building loan such as that offered by the banks.

Such loans typically follow a similar structure whereby funds are advanced to the borrower in stages/progress payments during the construction period. Once the home is built, the building loan reverts to a normal home loan.

Don't overcapitalise

Of course it’s important not to overcapitalise on your home. Overcapitalisation occurs when the amount of renovations and additions cost more than if you were to sell the property later without the alterations.

Seek professional advice

With this in mind, it’s best to seek professional advice so that you can gauge what you should spend on renovations. The intended renovations, the nature of your surrounding neighbourhood and projected property price growth will guide what you might feasibly be able spend.

In terms of how to renovate your home, that depends entirely on what you plan to do with it post renovation. If you’re upgrading your home with a view to selling it, you need to renovate accordingly. Focus on renovations that will bring out the best in your home and choose neutral fixtures and finishes which will appeal to a broad market.

If, however you plan on living at your home for many years to come and would like to personalise your house according to your own tastes and purposes, then by all means do. You can always tone things down or change things around come time to sell.

Renovate all in one go

Lastly, if you want to and can afford to renovate your entire house, it’s best to proceed and renovate all in one go as opposed to doing it in stages which will take more time, cause more inconvenience and probably cost more money later down the line. That said, if you can only afford to renovate a few rooms, pay attention to the key ones such as the kitchen or bathrooms and renovate them to the best of your ability as these rooms can be a deal breaker for future buyers.

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