Home renovations can completely transform a space and increase the value of your home.
If you are a new homeowner and have followed our guides on buying a home you will know everything about your new space, so you won’t be facing any other unforeseen costs when moving in or renovating. Get your renovations off the ground with our guide to planning a home renovation project.
Set a budget for your home renovations
Before you start planning any home renovations you need to set your budget, be realistic with this. Leave some funds for any unexpected costs you might face in your renovations journey. Sticking to your budget is one of the most important parts of home renovations, overextending beyond your means can leave you in a vulnerable position.
Our best advice is to use your budget as a tool to decide on the materials, furnishing and scale of your project. Viewing your budget as a tool rather than a limitation will help you hone and utilize your investment in the best possible way.
Plan your home renovation’s objective
What is the end goal of your renovations? are you looking to create more space with an extension? Increase the overall value of your home? or update your home energy systems? Maybe it is just a modern kitchen you are looking for. Whatever your motivations are, have a clear and informed end goal to help your renovations stay on track.
Check your eligibility for any home renovation grants
There are several grants available for home renovations that offer substantial savings. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers grants to help homeowners upgrade their home energy systems. This includes grants for individual and multiple energy upgrades. To avail of SEAI grants, you will need to use SEAI approved suppliers.
Get accurate quotes, not estimations
Relying solely on estimations for your home renovations can leave you at risk of going over budget. An estimation has no legal standing, it is important to get any written quotes on paper with as much detail as possible. Aim to have a breakdown of every cost you will face. Including VAT in estimations will also help you get an accurate view of your total costs.
Create a realistic timeline for your renovations
When planning your home renovations project, it is good to set a timeline, these are usually very optimistic but working towards an end goal will ensure you keep the workload going. Be realistic with the time you can dedicate to it with your current responsibilities.
Don’t forget to apply for planning permission
If you are not planning on any structural change, you don’t need to worry about planning permission. If an extension is on the cards you might need to review this. Before you begin be sure to review planning permission requirements on your local authorities website. If you are planning a complex renovation an architect will be able to help you with contacting the planning department of your local authority. If you skip this step, you could leave yourself open to hefty fines.
Hire a professional
Hire an architect and contractor if you are planning a lot of structural change, getting a professional to assist you in your redesign process will help you utilize space and light in your home. They will also have the knowledge you need to help you accurately set a budget and understand what is achievable in your set timeline.
Ensure any professional you choose has the right qualifications. We recommend only working with chartered professionals registered with the relevant professional body. Getting recommendations from trusted friends and family is a great way to find the right professional for your home renovation project.
Know your Limits for DIY projects
Planning DIY home renovations with the help of friends and family is a great way to save, but it’s best you know your limits. If you’re not an electrician don’t attempt to rewire a new lighting feature or take down any walls without consulting a professional. Your simple DIY could quickly become a nightmare if you get in above your head with an optimistic idea.
Protect your homes period features
If you are working with an older home you will want to protect your period features, which can be anything from original fireplaces to hardwood flooring. Review what features you want to repair or replace and factor them into your plan and budget. Repairing older features and doors can be a lot cheaper than building and buying new.
Do I need to notify my home insurance if I renovate my home?
If you are carrying out any major home renovations, you need to notify your home insurance provider. If you fail to do so you could be at risk of invalidating your policy. You can also get additional cover if you are planning to live in your home during renovations. If you are an AA home insurance member contact our team today to discuss your options for home renovations.
Do I need to notify my mortgage provider if I renovate my home?
Informing your mortgage provider of any large-scale renovations is recommended, upgrading your home can increase its value so it’s important to keep your loan provider in the loop. Reviewing your mortgage after your renovations could also impact your mortgage rate. If the value of your home has increased, you could get a lower rate on your mortgage with your current provider or by shopping around.
Consider the safety of children and pets
If you are planning on doing extensive home renovations, you need to consider the safety of your children and pets in the home. Install child safety gates, keep dangerous tools out of reach and install electrical safety covers where needed. Stay extra vigilant for any pets you have too. Construction sites can have a multitude of dangers you need to look out for.