11 Sep Six questions to ask before renovating
Whenever we talk to a potential new client, it’s always amazing to hear about their renovation journey, how far along they are and what’s been done along the way. One of the first questions we always ask is “So, how can we help you, what would you like done?”
Many times when we ask this question we get a very long pause accompanied with a blank stare, followed by an “Ummmm, we were hoping you could help us with that”. Many customers know intrinsically that there’s something they want done to their home in the way of renovations, they know they want it to be ‘better’ but may not have the language or words to describe what they’re trying to do.
Many Brisbane renovation customers we speak to are renovating around a large life event like a first child, first house, growing family or having money to spend at retirement, etc and many times people ask us for ideas or things that can be done and it’s not until we start explaining options the words start to come to them about different ideas and directions they would like to take their home renovations.
Renovating a home can be a small or large project that takes a lot of thought about small and large aspects of the project. This can sometimes seem overwhelming at first, but with a proper plan in place and clear path to follow many typical renovation headaches can be avoided.
Here’s a few of the questions we think are important you ask yourself before jumping head first into a renovation project.
1. What’s your end goal in renovating your home?
In other words you may want to ask yourself things like:-
Are you renovating because you need more space (growing family)?
Are you renovating because your house is old?
Are you renovating because you have no storage space?
Are you renovating because you want to sell your home at a profit?
Are you renovating because your home has been damaged?
Are you renovating because you don’t want to move?
Are you renovating for environmental reasons (making home more off-grid)?
There are loads of different reasons why people want to renovate their homes and the core reason for looking for a renovation company will help to shape your plan and keep you on course as you start the project.
Write down the reasons you want to renovate in the first place (before you even call a remodeling or renovation company) and as you start to think more seriously about renovating your home it’s a good idea to come back to these reasons to keep you on track. All too often it’s easy to get carried away and add additional scope to a project that adds time and money to your renovation.
2. Is your budget fixed or movable?
First things first, you need to be realistic about your budget. There’s no use putting yourself into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, particularly if you’re going to be working 70 hours a week to pay for your renovations and not be able to enjoy all the work put into your house!
Be sure to ask lots of questions. If you’re getting quotes from a few different companies make sure you ask what is and isn’t included. For example, are council fees and rubbish haulage included?
It can also be a wise idea to have a ‘slush fund’ available that sits outside your budget as a ‘just in case’. Sometimes as you make your way through a project issues may be found or other ideas may happen and it’s nice to know you at least have a buffer available outside of your ‘max budget’ for your renovation. It’s wonderful if you don’t have to use it, but it’s also nice to know it’s there if you need it.
3. How do you want to live?
Are you looking at your backyard and imagining yourself on a wooden patio overlooking palm trees whilst cooking a BBQ for friends or having a quiet drink watching the sunset with a loved one? Think about how you want to live and take this into consideration when thinking about your renovations.
For example, do you love spending time in the kitchen but are limited to what you can do because of bench space, lighting, the size of your oven, lack of storage or a tiny pantry? If so then think about what you want to be able to do in your kitchen and add that to your renovation plan.
If you love watching movies with your family you may wish to create a media room out of that spare bedroom or creating a rumpus room for your expanding family are all examples of renovation projects people complete on their homes.
4. How long do you plan on living there?
Are you renovating with the mindset of only living there for the next 10 years? Perhaps you’re over 60 and live in a two-story home, are your upstair renovations going to be able to be enjoyed when you’re 85 and can’t make it up the stairs very well?
Thinking about how long you plan to live in your home can help you decide on your renovations. If you’ve just purchased your retirement house that’s in a dream position but doesn’t suit your needs, renovations to help you achieve your dream home are well and truly warranted if you plan on living out the rest of your days in that home.
If you’re a newlywed couple and want to renovate your one bedroom townhouse you may want to take into consideration if you’re going to have children in the near future and may need to reconsider your living arrangements to give you a little more room for your expanding family.
5. What are your absolute, without a doubt, definitely need, must haves?
Some customers come into renovation projects with very clear wants and needs. If you really must have that Baldi Amaltea Bathtub and marble tiling, that’s going to chew into your budget for other things on the project.
Sometimes you need to think about your renovation in a practical sense and bring it back to basics. “I want to add another bathroom” or “I need an additional bedroom” or “we want to increase the value before selling”.
Keeping in mind your core reasons for renovating and your must haves can save you a lot of time and money as you won’t go down rabbit holes adding extra bits and pieces to the job.
6. What’s your style?
Before jumping headlong into a renovation project it’s a good idea to find out what you like, what you don’t like and what you think will work in your home. Yes we can all flip through the glossy mags with amazing photos that look like the perfect home, but getting ideas from these types of pictures might push your budget out into the stratosphere.
Look at other people’s homes. Take note of your friends homes, go to open houses to get ideas or watch a few renovation shows on Youtube or catch up tv. Doing this will give you a much more grounded idea of what’s achievable and what you like.
There are loads of other things we could have added to this list, but we think this list of six questions to ask before renovating your home covers most of the things people want to know.
If you’d like to talk to us about house renovations, pre-sale renovations, home staging or maintenance please feel free to call us on 0481 536 900 or contact us and we’d be more than happy to have a chat.