Top Renovation Tips for Homeowners

The idea of renovation will bring up mixed emotions to most homeowners. Whilst the idea of updating and improving major areas of your house is appealing, the time and cost involved is undoubtedly daunting.

For those that are willing to undergo renovations, it is important that you optimise your approach. Following the tips below should give you the best opportunity to maximise your output within your budget.

1. Selling vs Holding

Before going into the details over the types of renovations, it is important that a distinction is made between those that are looking to sell or those looking to hold the property after renovations are done.

For those either flipping or looking to sell their existing property, you will be looking to make changes that will maximise resale value. Prioritising profit will include making additional rooms in the property, such as a loft conversion, or renovating the kitchen and bathroom to modern standards in line with current high demand aesthetics.

However, if the renovations are for yourself, although you should of course factor in the potential to increase the value of your home, this doesn’t have to be the priority. Make renovations that are practical for you should be. Whilst the option to sell or rent the property out should come into consideration when carrying out renovations, you must make the renovations work for you.

2. Consider your lifestyle

Assuming the renovations are for yourself, and before making changes to your property, your lifestyle must come into consideration. Do you like to entertain? Do you enjoy cooking and would appreciate the extra space in the kitchen?

Your lifestyle will shape the renovations you choose to make. Remember, if the renovations are for yourself, make sure they benefit you, do not do this purely for property value.

3. Renovating the high value rooms

If you are unsure where to focus your renovations, when spending your hard-earned money, it is advised you focus on the rooms where it shows.

The kitchen and bathrooms will add the most value to your house. The kitchen should be the focus in your home, with quality runners, hardware and mechanisms combined with a modern, polished feel.

Experts suggest that 5 percent of the value of the home should be in the kitchen, so the budget for renovations should be no more than this relative to the value of your home.

Likewise, the bathroom(s) should be prioritised after the kitchen, with modern fittings and splashback doors and mirrors installed. The bathroom continues to have a surprising impact on the value of your home, with at least 1 percent of the value of your home kept within each bathroom.

4. Think about the environmental impact

Now more than ever it is important to think about the environmental impact of your property, there are several initiatives that can even support you in going green.

From the installation of solar panels to drip-feed irrigation systems, not only will the value of your home increase, your bills will very likely decrease, and you are having a positive impact on the planet.

Enquire about the Green Homes Grant to see if you can receive financial support when making sustainable renovations.

5. Pick the right architect

Most successful renovations will have some input from an architect. Establishing a shortlist of the highest rated and best equipped architects is advised.

Reaching out to those that you have narrowed down with your vision, however small, is your next step. Based on the response you get to this, and how the architect can recreate this vision, you should then proceed. It is always advised that you do not make renovations too elaborate as the cost will be greater, and trends come and go.

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6. Know when to DIY

Unless you are professionally trained, good quality renovations will require external support.

Many people fall into the trap of trying to do some or all the work themselves to save money. However, poor workmanship can backfire and negatively impact the value of your home. Much like using an architect, using a professional, although the initial cost is higher, benefits you when it comes to house value.

7. Don’t forget the outside

Since the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, searches for property with outdoor space have rocketed.

As a homeowner, if the UK are to go back into lockdown, the benefits of having an outdoor space you can use will of course be a huge benefit. Landscaping the outdoor area and adding outdoor furniture will not only add value to your house should you sell, but also gives you some additional space. An outdoor renovation is one of the best things you can do in 2020.

Following the above tips should help to optimise your approach to renovations. Be sure to keep renovations personal and time-proof whilst using external help where applicable.

- by Matt Watts

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