Pre-Checking Your Home Before Renovation

A quick pre-check on your home before you begin a renovation is always a good idea. Here are a few things you want to check before you commit to a minor or major renovation.

• Determine which items in the house you can reuse: doors, windows, timber, cabinetry, flooring, etc.

• Make a list of the things in the home that you don’t like. Determine what design changes would most improve the lifestyle of someone living there-you or a potential buyer.

• If you can easily access your roof space, check the insulation levels, condition of the roofing and whether there are any major repairs needed.

• Check showerheads to see if they should be upgraded for energy efficiency.

• You may need professional advice regarding your hot water system. An electric storage model will have the highest greenhouse impact. If you have one you should consider whether it’s worth upgrading to a solar or natural gas system.

• You’ll want to reduce the energy use of your lighting. You’ll save money if you replace incandescent bulbs with warm white fluorescent bulbs. You can also use 50W halogen bulbs instead of lower wattage IRC bulbs. This will save energy.

• Identify potential hazards like: termites, dampness, asbestos, structural problems or access to the site. These can cost you more money than you anticipated.

Unless you are a property expert or design expert, renovating on a small budget can be difficult. That’s why you should really plan and think about what we want to achieve in advance. It’s very easy to start changing your mind, increasing the scope of the job, while the renovation is in taking place. This can blow your costs out of proportion.

You can use your time wisely by understanding the scope of your design brief, knowing what you want your home to be and the form and function of every room in your home. You should create a plan that incorporates objectives and strategies to get you to the end goal. You’ll want to include financial, emotional or even design-related objectives.

It’s usually a good idea do a walk through and write down everything you can see as you walk up to the front door and enter the home. When renovating, first impressions count. The first impressions create the perception value of a house. One way is a nicely painted front door and new doormat. That’s more appealing than a dirty finger-printed door with dents and a dirty or torn door mat. You can take about $200 and a trip to a store like Home Depot or Lowes, and actually improve some homes massively with a “first impression” renovation. Fixing up things like the exterior or entry interior paint; mailbox, garden and landscaping; windows and curtains; front door, welcome mat, doorbell or hallway and even making sure there’s a pleasant smell-not too strong, can do wonders to improve perceived value.