7 Steps to a Stress-Free Renovation

Posted 21/06/2019 by E.ON

If you're thinking about house renovations and/or building an extension, the first thing you have to do is to make a plan.

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone who paved the way for the technological society we live in today, famously said: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."

Now while your home renovations aren't going to change the world, they are going to transform your little bit of it. So it's vital you get it right and make sure the money you're spending delivers the vision you have in mind.

Home Renovation Plan

Step 1: Be clear on why you want to renovate. There are many factors which can influence the desire to improve our home surroundings – but what are the key drivers for you and your family? Is your main aim to make your home's layout work better for the way you live? Or perhaps you feel like your house is outdated? Maybe you want to create more space? Or do you simply want to increase the value of your property?

Whatever your goal(s), it's useful to set out exactly what you want to achieve from your renovation up-front and to put these into priority order so you're crystal clear on what a successful makeover will look like.

Step 2: Once you know what you're aiming for, work out how much you have to spend. Will you be financing the work from your savings or taking out a loan? It's important to have a rough idea in mind at this stage.

Also, think about where you'll be living while the work takes place. If you're thinking of seeking alternative accommodation, make sure you factor the costs in.

Step 3: Scope the renovations out room by room and break it down into key areas of: flooring, heating, electrics, decor. Will you need more power points? Do the radiators need replacing? Carpets or floorboards? Paint or wallpaper? Will the walls need replastering? Does the boiler need replacing? What about insulation? And if you're building an extension, you'll need to look into the relevant planning permissions too.

Although it can be tempting to think you can leave some things until later, it's more cost-effective in the long-run to do big things like installing a new boiler and heating system at the start. Your newly-renovated home will not only be more warm and comfortable, it'll be more energy efficient and you'll be able to save money on your monthly bills.

Also, think about technology. For example, you can make sure you can control your new home heating system with your phone by using a smart thermostat like tado°, which enables you to control your home heating room by room even when you're not at home.

Step 4: Decide on what elements of the renovations you're going to do yourself, if any, and which contractors you need to get quotes from. Then get estimates from ideally four contractors for each element. This guide to finding a good building contractor can help.

Also, think about whether you'll want to learn new skills as part of the process. Some people choose to take courses in plastering for example, to save money and also to add additional strings to their bow.

Step 5: Cost it all out in detail. Once you've decided who's doing what, you can make a detailed budget covering each element of your home improvement plan. Always have an extra bit for contingencies too – ideally at least 5-10% of your overall budget.

Step 6: Create a timeline. Look at which elements should be done first. For example, you don't want to fit new carpets then get new radiators installed, and you don't want to paint the walls before getting new power points. Tie this in with when your chosen contractors can deliver their work and lay it out week by week for the duration of the project - and keep the timeline up to date throughout the renovation.

Step 7: Get started!

Whether you're renovating one room, a couple of rooms, or a whole house, follow these steps to have a stress-free remodel project and a smart new home to live in.

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