Friday, April 11, 2014

Renovating Tips for New Home Owners

This is a guest post from Turner Freeman, a law firm providing care, support and outstanding results to clients for over 60 years.

Turning the key in the lock, you try to quell your frothing excitement. The realisation that you have your very own home is finally sinking in and as you wander through the deliciously empty rooms, visions of future experiences overwhelm you. Dinner and drinks with friends, birthday parties, lazy Sunday mornings and cooking sessions that would make Jamie Oliver jealous; your new life and new home await you. Yet as you look around, noting the wall colours, fading façade of the kitchen and the er, unique carpet, you acknowledge that there are a few tweaks that need to be made. Before you rush headlong into your renovation project, read the tips below for ideas on how to make the process that much easier.


The first stage of any project is the planning process. Clearly define what you want to achieve, the timeframes for these goals and how much you want to spend. A budget will act as a guide, letting you know whether your spending is on track or out of control, while a timeline can assist in seeing the bigger picture. Taking the time to really think about the actual renovations will also help you avoid headaches or regrets down the line.

Work with All your Spaces

A common mistake that many aspiring renovators make is to focus solely on the house, instead of the entire property. During your planning phase, take into account your garden and backyard and determine whether any landscaping works are required. Outdoor space can be a very precious commodity, so ensure that you are making the most of what you have.

Don’t Overcapitalise

What is overcapitalisation? In the renovation world, this refers to a situation where the cost of renovations exceeds the actual added value to the property or item. Avoid this trap by spending your money wisely. Kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas are major features of any house, so invest in them by using high-quality materials and functional designs. On the other hand, overly expensive and garish décor can turn off prospective future owners and decrease the property’s value.

Use Professionals when Necessary

Inundated with grandiose ideas and innovations, it is incredibly easy to be overly optimistic when it comes to DIY projects. After all, how hard could it be? The reality is that DIY projects can go very wrong, becoming expensive and stressful. Unless you are qualified, it is best to call in the experts for any electrical work, plumbing, major structural changes and demolition.

Consider Asbestos

When was your house built? If it was constructed before 1990, the likelihood that it contains asbestos is quite high. Asbestos is a toxic substance that was commonly used in building materials until its harmful effects were established; since then there have been numerous medical cases that have resulted in legal action. Asbestos can be found in areas of your house such as wall sheeting, metal pipes, roofs, concrete and under floors. If you suspect that you have asbestos and are determined to continue with your renovation work, hire the services of a licensed asbestos removalist. For legal matters, contact a law practice such as Turner Freeman to confirm all the options available to you.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Have you recently completed some renovations? Leave a comment below to share your advice and/or personal experiences.