Relishing A Refurb

Have you ever thought about taking on a fixer-upper as a project? Maybe you’re thinking of investing but are looking for something a little more hands-on, something you can do yourself and actually see where your money’s going.

It’s not for the faint hearted and starting a renovation job on a property is going to challenge your project management skills to the limit but that’s not to say you shouldn’t go for it. If you have some practical skills, some money to invest and feel like taking on a totally absorbing project this could be for you. We take a look at some of the challenges and wins you’ll likely face when you step into the renovation game.

Exploding budget

You obviously want to maximise on your investment and spend as little money as possible doing up the property, but you have to realistic. Experts suggest that there are some things that you’re going to have to spend money on, often known as the big three: plumbing, electrics and central heating. You can’t put in an electric fireplace yourself without having it signed off by a qualified electrician and installing a boiler is going to need someone who knows what they’re doing.

Factoring in those costs, you can keep the rest of your fixtures and fittings low. Look on second hand sites like eBay for everything from carpets to fitted kitchens. They might be seconds, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re poor quality. You may have to take a drive and a van to collect them, but very often you’ll still be saving money.

When it comes to budget, you may have to accept that you’ll need a degree of flexibility either way and keep an open mind when it comes to finding bargains. Consider too, opening up an account at your local building suppliers and DIY store for discounts and credit.

Timetable

If you’re doing the redecorating of the property of yourself, it can be surprising how long this relatively simple task can take. Factor in unforeseen circumstances like a wall that needs some TLC before it can be painted over or some stubborn wallpaper that won’t be removed easily. Give yourself time by approaching the job logically. Make sure you have everything to hand before you start to save you rushing out to buy roller trays or dust sheets in the middle of a job.

Get your trades people on board with your timetable too. Make sure they can work to your deadlines before you sign them up and that they fully understand the scope of the job so you can keep your timing and your budget on track.

Challenging? Yes, but such an exciting and ultimately very satisfying prospect to take on. Remember you’re not creating a show home but a sound investment to either rent out or sell, unless you do decide to live in it yourself. You never know, you might be bitten by the bug and look for your next project before the paint is even dry.

*Collaborative post

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