Harwood Homes


Top 10 tips for a stress free renovation

Renovations can be challenging, not only physically but emotionally and thus mentally too! We have completed many renovations and we want to share some valuable tips we have learnt over time…

The biggest lessons we learnt from our renovations
  1. Don’t pay your trades the full amount owing until they have completed their job
    This is a trap for many people organising trades. No matter how much they demand full upfront payment, you are actually not obligated to pay them in full them until they have completed the job, then if they don’t turn up again, you haven’t lost all that hard earned money!
  2. Price everything even down to the light globes! Work through the property room by room with a notepad and list every single thing you would want to change. If you decided to change all of the door handles, for example, you can then research the cost of the handles and then, when it comes to crunching the numbers you can decide what you need to prioritise. This is something we work very closely with our clients on and can advise on what the most important things are to include and leave out in doing a renovation prior to sale.
  3. Always have a contingency plan – “what’s a contingency plan?” I hear you ask – financially it’s ensuring you have a buffer (money put aside) to dip into should costs overrun or you uncover problems along the way.
  4. Get firm quotes or fixed prices from your tradies + hold them accountable by getting it in writing – there is nothing more risky than agreeing a job with your tradie to find out later it took twice as long at twice the price in your budget! It will blow your budget and your project profitiability. Renovating can be extremely frustrating so by minimising as many unexpected extra costs as you can, it will save you headspace.
  5. Who is your target market? Working out who you are most likely to sell your home to once renovated can help direct the approach to your renovation. For example, if your area is in an upcoming location, attracting young families because of the local parks and schools in the area, then this will then lead you to create your home to be more family focussed.
  6. Utilising spaces for other uses -leading on from #5 creating more family friendly spaces could really enhance your property attraction and end sale price. For example, you may have a spare space in between the living room and kitchen which could potentially be a study nook where children can do their homework, whilst the parents can keep an eye of them or even a home office. Or perhaps you have a lined shed at the back of the house that could be converted into a teenagers retreat or yoga studio for the aspiring Yoga teacher in the family?
  7. Being covered by Insurance – your contractors will need to have their own insurance coverage, but it is also very important to have your own insurance to cover you whilst renovating, you need to let your insurance company know your plans to ensure you are still covered during the renovation process.
  8. Renovations & trends – trends come and go, we see it all the time. It’s important not to get caught up in the latest trends as they can date so quickly, plus you could turn off potential buyers who don’t like that particular ‘trendy tiling’ so we recommend a more classic approach, colours that don’t date and styles that are more timeless. This is where the tradies we use do a great job so we stick with them because we know they will be consistent in their delivery of the style we are after.
  9. Order of Process – when it comes to renovating it’s more than just having a list to tick off, there is a process and timeline of when things should happen. For example, it would’t be recommended to have a beautifully laid new concrete driveway completed before you have a bob cat coming through to the back yard that may potentially damage or leave tyre marks all over the new driveway!
  10. Garden Review – a great garden will attract a lot more buyers. Greened up areas always assist in boosting a house sale price because of the value it offers the new buyers, people need to imagine how they can use that space. Even if people aren’t ‘gardener’s’ everyone loves the idea of having a lovely green space to either hang in or at least look at. So reviewing what you can do on a budget is definitely worth looking into. Even if you have a very limited budget, it’s amazing what you can achieve with a bit of a tidy up a couple of plants and some bark chips!!

We love helping people improve the value of their properties so they achieve maximum sales dollars for it. We are happy to have a chat to help you maximise the value of your property.

Property Developer, Harwood Homes is based in the beachside suburb of Port Noarlunga South, South Australia.

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