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Renovating your home can be one of the most exciting projects you can embark on. It can also be the most frustrating and expensive exercise you will ever get involved in unless you are clear about your budget and a few other things.
• Are you planning on making major renovations in your house like redoing the kitchen or bathroom, or are you planning to do something a bit less ambitious?
• Is the renovation a DIY project, or are you going to bring in the professionals?
• Will the renovations affect the basic systems like plumbing and electric wiring, and the structure of your house?
• Do you need any special permission from the authorities to make the changes?
Conduct your own research. Talk to the experts, neighbors or friends who have done renovation work recently, compare prices and quality at various shops, or check the Internet. Measure the space(s) that you are going to work on and the various elements that you are planning to bring in, and pay attention to the structural components of the house.
Spend as much time as possible on the planning and design stage. This will save you time and money in the long run. During the planning phase, once work begins, try and resist the temptation to tweak those plans around constantly, unless those tweaks are vital and organic.
Get a floor plan and a scale drawing done. For a major project, bring in the experts for the basic design and find out how the plans will affect the other systems in the house. If you are hiring professionals, make it a point to get quotes from two to three companies before finalizing one. Sort out details regarding the schedule, purchase of equipment and parts required and the deadline.
Finalize the budget and add an additional amount of at least 10% to it as a contingency plan. Also add in the cost of a temporary move for your family if that is part of the plan.
• When renovating your home, identify if it is DIY or not and work your budget around it
• Spend time on the planning and design stage to save you time and money
• Do some research by asking friends or checking online; compare prices, quality
Source: Binu Sivan, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer