Are you planning a refurb? Here’s how to do it

By Jamie Hill - 28 November 2019

Home and Garden

Refurbishments can happen for a whole host of reasons. Perhaps you’ve inherited or purchased a house that isn’t quite up to date, for example, and you want to freshen it up. Or maybe you’ve decided that you’re sick of that lime green or bright yellow décor and you want something a little more neutral. Whatever the reason for a refurb, though, it’s important to go about it in a strategic way – and in a way that won’t break the bank or your energy levels! This article will act as a guide for planning the perfect refurb.

Save up

There’s no escaping it: refurbishments are highly expensive, and they’re unlikely to stop being so any time soon. Some of the costs are obvious: you’ll need to pay a tradesperson to do at least some of the work, especially if you’re renovating more than one crucial room (a bathroom will need a plumber, for example, while a kitchen might need a carpenter or an electrician).

However, some of the costs are hidden until you begin to get deep into the process. If you’re building an extension, for example, your local council may have decided to end free planning advice, and could charge you a decent sum to get an appointment with a duty planning officer! For these reasons, either saving up or ensuring that you have a sustainable finance stream with a huge buffer for unexpected costs is essential.

Prioritise first

When you have a lot of refurbishment work to do, it’s important to be sure that you prioritise when each part is going to happen. By doing this, you’ll be defending yourself against running out of money: getting the most complex and expensive bits out of the way means that you are less likely to be left with a crucial piece of the puzzle undone. You can live with an un-wallpapered wall, for example, for longer than you can live without running water! Remember that storage space for everything from paint strippers to supplies should be a priority – and you might consider stashing away anything valuable to avoid damage, whether aesthetic or a little more severe. Fortunately, a variety of large-scale storage units can be found less than an hour away from Swindon.

Do your research

Buyer’s remorse is a terrible thing – and it can lead to significant financial and emotional pain if it means that you end up having to change everything over once you’ve spent so much time and energy getting it done. The main line of defence against this is to get it right the first time around, and to do your reading in advance. By using online sources of inspiration (and also by leafing through DIY, home design magazines and more), you’ll be able to get a strong idea in advance of what works for you and what doesn’t.

Get plenty of quotes

When hiring tradespeople, it’s vital to always make sure that you get as many quotes as you possibly can before you press ahead. Going for the first quote you find is a surefire way to end up wasting money, and it could lead to you choosing someone who might cause you to have to spend more money further down the line to put things right. Remember to always pair up quotes with reviews, and make a decision about value for money as well as just the affordability involved. Choosing the cheapest person might not be the best idea, and going for the second-cheapest person if they have really good reviews is maybe a more prudent move.

Commit to it!

Finally, while there’s always something more you can check out and always one more thing you might need to do, in the end it takes a big, deep breath and then a commitment to moving forwards with the refurb. If you spend too long overthinking it, then you may well end up convincing yourself that it’s a bad idea or that it isn’t the best move for you. However, by planning the refurb methodically and diligently, you’ll be able to get through to the other side with ease – and come out pleased that you went ahead.

Refurbishments are never going to be easy – and anyone who says that they are is likely not telling the full truth! Unless you’ve got a full army of workers to help you out, refurbishing a house or a flat will always involve some element of stress. However, as this article has shown, there are some ways to get around this. From getting lots of quotes to creating a list of priorities, there are plenty of top tips and tricks offered by refurbishment professionals that can help you get ahead of the curve.

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