As an aside to our Home Improvement 101 posts (back next week), the tips here seem simple, but will save you money…
1. PLAN THE @*”! OUT OF IT:
There’s no getting round it, do your homework!If you don’t plan what you want, how much you can spend and when you need this by, you cannot expect your team to know.And if they don’t know, there will be changes and unexpected surprises. And those cost.
2. TIGHT BRIEFS!
Yes, make your brief as tight as possible! This is your communication of exactly what you want, how much you can pay for it and when you want it. Get that right, communicate it well, and you’ll have fewer changes. End of.
3. K…I…S…S (Keep It Simple.. well, you know the rest!)
Can you actually get the ‘flow’ you want with internal alterations instead of extending? If you knock through, move a wall, change a doorway, add some windows, is that actually enough? It’s worth exploring.
4. A WISE MAN CHANGES HIS MIND AND A FOOL NEVER WILL
Yeah, OK for Confucius, but how many major refurbs did he do? Thought so. At certain stages of a renovation project, changes cost. They just do. Whether classic scope creep (see dream-big-plan-well-work-hard-smile-always ) or you just don’t like those tiles after all, it’s far easier to get the cost and time exact at the early stages than in the heat of building. It’s your home and if you want to change something and can genuinely afford to do so (in money and time), then do it. Just be mindful and don’t change lightly and check the true impact.
5. IF YOU BUY CHEAP, YOU BUY TWICE
Now we don’t advocate paying too much (doh!), but it can be worse to pay too little. Of course, make clever savings by mixing quality with cheaper products (eg, Ikea hacks) but for some items that’ll only cost more in the long run. If you use items all the time – like taps – buy the best you can afford.
But we’re not just talking taps here – apply this to choosing your design & build team.If you pay too little, the team you ‘bought’ may be incapable of doing properly what you think you’ve paid them to do. It’s just not possible to pay a little and get a lot.So, if you deal with the lowest bidder, you should add contingency for the risk you run and if you do that, you have enough to pay for something better in the first place.It’s that simple.