In the UK, you can expect to pay upwards of £1,000 per square metre to remodel your home, while the average cost of an extension is around £30,000. In short, home redesign is a costly undertaking, so it’s important that things go as smoothly as possible. Here, we take a look at five common home redesign mistakes, and how to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not making a budget
If you’re renovating your home, it’s absolutely vital to have a realistic budget in place before any building work starts. This spending plan will allow you to see how much the work is likely to cost and how much time you’re going to need to save up for it. In order to get a good idea of the probable price, seek the advice of an architect and experienced builder. Any budget you have should include a 15% contingency fund in case of unforeseen expenses.
Mistake 2: Ignoring the law
Although red tape is often frustrating, it’s there for a reason. Make sure that your renovation works align with all the requisite rules and regulations to avoid any problems with the law in the future. To find out if you need planning permission or Building Regulations approval, ask your local authority. For information about your responsibility to your neighbours, check the Party Wall Act.
Mistake 3: Neglecting energy saving
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is your chance to make your renovation pay back some of the money you spent on it. Focus on quick return investments such as draft exclusion, energy-efficient lightbulbs and cavity insulation. When it comes to electricals, kitchen appliance expert Fisher and Paykel suggests a fridge that responds automatically to changes in temperature as it’s being used. This not only reduces energy wastage but helps to better protect your food. And always ensure that any appliances that you buy are Energy Star certified.
Mistake 4: DIYing too much
A home redesign is a big investment so it’s natural to want to cut costs. One way you can do this is to take on labouring duties yourself. However, before volunteering your services, ensure that you have both the time and skill required to carry out the job. If you’re floundering with the tiling, this can slow down other areas of the project; while mistakes relating to electricals can be downright dangerous. If in doubt. Leave it to the professionals.
Mistake 5: Living on site during major works
Being on site during a home renovation can have its advantages. You can communicate easily with tradespeople and you will be on hand in the event that anything goes wrong. However, if it’s a big project, there is a point where the advantages of being on site start to become outweighed by the drawbacks. Major building works can be extremely oppressive and stressful so you may want to consider moving out. To avoid spending too much on alternative accommodation, ask friends and family if they could put you up for a few days – at least while the busiest part of the build is in progress.