publication date: Aug 11, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
With people deciding to stay at home rather than move this year, many are starting to spend money on renovations or home improvements instead! Be warned though, you will need to plan, organise and budget carefully so you don't spend too much and go over time.
Top three tips to plan your home improvement project!
1. Write a list of all the jobs that needing doing.
2. Make sure you add in ‘odd jobs' for example, if you need some electrics doing, is there anywhere else you need electrical work done?
3. Put aside a week or two to secure three quotes. Gain references and check they are members of a trade organisation for example: The Gas Safety Register or Federation of Master Builders.
To find tradesmen via trade organisations, visit our Helpful Organisations section.
Budgeting for your Home Improvement
Often we'll start a job only to find out that there is more to do than we originally thought! So always have a contingency budget of 20%-30% for your project.
1. Room preparation, including paying for storage.
2. Materials required.
3. Labour costs (ideally get these fixed).
4. Extras, for example if you are having carpets fitted, the bottom of the doors might need shaving to fit.
5. Work out what cash you need and when. Do you pay a deposit? When do you need to pay the rest? At the end or in stages?
Once you know what you are doing and how much it'll cost, create a time plan. Make sure you leave time for:-
1. Clearing rooms, for example, getting rid of furniture or carpets.
2. Preparation work such as filling in cracks.
3. Buying materials? Will they be in stock when you need?
4. Check what drying time materials need, for example paint could be an hour to four hours; grouting 24 hours to 14 days. Laminate flooring needs 24 hours to acclimatise.
5. Do you need time off work if you are using tradesmen? Can you be there first thing and last thing at night?
Best DIY tip? Always double the time you think it'll take you - just in case!