Home Home & Build Ideas An expert guide to Refurbishing or Renovating

An expert guide to Refurbishing or Renovating

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Refurbishment and renovation projects have become more prevalent in recent years, with home owners looking to place their personal design stamp. Renovation shows have become increasingly popular and Pinterest is filled with inspiration.

While jumping in head first is exciting, figuring things out further down the line can be a costly error. We have compiled a list of expert tips to help the project run as smoothly as possible. Ideally to debunk the saying that a renovation will take twice as long, and cost twice as much, as you initially thought.

What is your goal?
If your goal is design to dream home that you will live in for the next 10 years then you do have more freedom to choose what you like and spend in home comforts to suit your needs. However, if you are thinking of selling either now or in a year or two, it’s always best to have an Estate Agent through the property to determine where you can add value. You can still design it to your taste, however they will let you know whether it’s worth adding in that second bathroom or completing ripping out the kitchen. This can really benefit you further down the line when it comes time to selling.

Budget, budget, budget
Typically renovations cost anywhere from €1,000 and €1,500 per square metre to renovate an existing house or €3,000 to €4,000 per square metre for new build works including extensions. There will always be lower and higher options depending on the level of finish that you are aiming to achieve. Often you can select lower cost fittings and fixtures that provide a feeling of luxury. Deciding exactly how much you are prepared to spend before getting started is key, always include a contingency budget because it’s common for some things to go wrong along the way.

Make a Renovation Checklist
After you have decided on a renovation budget, take the time to research materials cost and create a list of everything you want to include in the remodel. It’s very important to not pick & choose what you itemise, have a good look around a finished room and notice light switches, window coverings, paint on walls, storage, door handles. You need to include all the smaller items on the checklist because these are often forgotten and can add up quite quickly. The larger items are easier and more obvious, including these together on a spreadsheet allows you to be organised and find suppliers or trade much more easily.

Hire an Architect or Interior Designer
In addition to the budget you have created, a professional will be able to help calculate unforeseen costs, permit expenses, and other additional fees. Hiring a professional from the beginning will save money in the long run. You can read our tips for choosing between an architect or interior designer here.

Check For Grants
The SEAI better energy home scheme will cover grants for “insulation and heating upgrade works, window replacement, re-wiring, plastering, tiling, new kitchens, bathrooms and painting”. Have a look online at a range of grants available, every euro will help in the overall project.

Insulation
Synthetic options will instantly improve your BER. If you do reinsulate this is the perfect time to do any work to the wiring or plumbing because the wall sheeting will be removed. This is where a plan helps you identify these types of opportunities.

Windows
In order to lower utility bills, professionals recommend replacing the window as a whole. It’s much more efficient long term to replace both the frame and glass as heat escapes through both. Consider allocating a higher portion of your budget to a quality replacement which will be long lasting and reduce energy bills.

Kitchen
The average kitchen renovation costs €10,000. Many home owners forget that there’s more to refitting a kitchen that just units, appliances and a benchtop. A kitchen requires plumbing, electrical, flooring, lighting, painting and often tiling, dependent on your splashback. This all needs to be taken into consideration before you pick that beautiful piece of stone that eats up half your budget.

Bathroom
The average cost for a bathroom remodel is between €8,000 and €10,000. If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom without breaking bank, try to keep the shower, bath, toilet and sink in the same location. If you choose to move these around, it will require plumbing work which will take away from your budget for tiles, fittings and fixtures.

Extensions
Consider extending to meet your family’s current needs. If you love to cook, choose a kitchen extension. If your in-laws are moving in, consider a new bedroom with a full ensuite. Hiring a professional architect will help with planning permission rules and regulations. Also consider speaking with your local Estate Agent to understand how much value it is likely to add, as this may assist in deciding the size and scale of your extension.

Don’t Forget Your Bedroom
“People often skimp on the areas that won’t be seen by guests like your bedroom.” Your bedroom is where you spend a large portion of your time, don’t forget to set aside some budget aside to create a beautiful oasis. You can read our tips for designing your bedroom.

Now that you have read all of our expert tips on refurbishing and renovating, how are you going to prepare for this exciting next stage of home ownership?

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