Our house has been one big renovation! It’s had its moments when we possibly regretted taking on something so vast. But we have carried on and slowly by slowly seen improvements taking shape. I think if your feeling ambitious when you buy a house of this scale there are some things worth bearing in mind!
How capable at DIY are you
If you rely on a builder for every little job, then the costs will escalate out of control. It helps if you can turn your hand to some of the renovation work. Watch closely what the builder does and its amazing what you learn. YouTube is great too, I have learnt so much following tutorials videos. My brain works quite quickly when it comes to practical stuff! The wife is the complete opposite.
I have learnt to fit laminate flooring, do some basic wiring and destroy walls! Make sure you check they are not load bearing first! You do start to gain confidence when you try new tasks, but it can be a bit of trial and error sometimes. A few false starts. I am tempted to order some metal studs and try and sort out our next ceiling project. I try and avoid using wood where possible as when we moved in we had wood worm to deal with! Kitted out in a mask and a full suit I had to spray the whole house with treatment. I had been quoted a pretty penny for a company to do it and saved a fortunate taking matters into my own hands.
Can you keep the renovation on budget?
We have gone over budget in places. We took time to settle on the builder we have now. The first one was more established but more expensive too! We listened to the advice of parents rather than going with our gut! Now we are much happier, and costings seem better controlled. We had to rely on borrowing cash from the in-laws to make ends meet for a while so prepare to make sacrifices or hope you have kind family who can come to your rescue. Make sure you have a contingency in place this should be between 10 and 20 %! Naturally we had none and regretted attempting a renovation this big for a while…
You must learn to bounce back when something goes wrong. My wife has cried some tears over this house I can tell you! But we keep on going and have learnt to love it again. We have made many mistakes, but we get better. We have a reliable builder to call on and my skill base has significantly improved! If we are still working on the house when the boys grow up maybe we could encourage them to become an electrician and a plumber!!! Until then I am going to keep pushing myself making the odd mistake but learning so much more.
You might also find my other article on tips for a successful renovation useful!