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The Extensive and Stressful Prospect of Home Renovation

- today's collaboration post really interested me as I am in the middle of my own house renovation so it seemed a perfect fit to include this on my blog - 

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Home renovations have become the preferred go-to solution when it comes to finding the perfect home. Indeed, modern housing comes with a long list of challenges, starting with climate and energy targets. In Europe only, the renovation road map to stay on track of our energy-saving objectives suggest that over 250 million homes need energy-specific renovations. For a lot of homeowners, it’s a long and stressful project that can take several months even for the most straightforward work improvements. Specialist builders and architects are not easy to find! More importantly, you need to apply for permission when you embark on a project that can affect the environment. In other words, you have to justify that your home improvement plans are going to reduce the overall energy consumption of your property, rather than increase it. While it’s a straightforward enough process, the administrative side of it is out of your control. Some people receive the green light in a couple of days while others need to wait several weeks or months to finally hear back from their local authorities. 

But, all things considered, renovating is still the most cost-effective option when you’re looking to make your home better. Indeed, it’s in theory quicker and cheaper than buying a new house. Things, in practise, may not feel as smooth and straightforward as they seem on paper. Aside from the indefinite decision-making delay when dealing with authorities, these are the other reasons why renovating a home is a stressful project. You need to be mentally prepared to tackle those challenges! 

#1. It’s a LOT of work

There is no denying that even if you find a building team who understands what you want to achieve, the work is not going to happen overnight. For a start, depending on the changes you want to inject, you are going to spend a long time in the demolition phase rather than the building phase. Needless to say, if you’re new to the renovation world, the first days on the project are going to send your stress levels through the roof. You are effectively going to have less house at this stage. It’s going to be a world or broken walls and rubble. Once the demolition phase is over, your building team can move on with the actual construction elements. You need to maintain regular communication with them to make sure that the building project is not only progressing at the right pace but that any issues can be rectified as they appear. The longer you wait, the longer it’ll take to fix – and the more expensive it’ll be! As a word of warning, it’s best to entrust major transformation to an expert. Don’t be tempted to save money by doing it yourself, unless you know what you’re doing and you’ve got enough time to dedicate to the project. 

#2. You might need a temporary solution

Delays are sometimes unavoidable. Indeed, even if you’ve agreed on a deadline, many factors are out of your control. For a start, poor weather can force your building team to pause work until the rain or the wind stops. Additionally, delays in supply deliveries or receiving the wrong materials can also affect the building project. In other words, there may be a hundred different reasons why your renovation project is unlikely to be completed on the agreed date. You need to have a temporary solution ready. While some homeowners choose to take a rental agreement to cover the period, you can also look for smart investment solutions. Indeed, more and more households opt for campers investments instead. Indeed, you can use your camper van as a temporary home until the building project is over. But you also gain a house on wheels for your next holiday tour. Alternatively, you can also choose to sell the camping van or turn it into a mobile business. 

#3. Prettier doesn’t mean better

A whopping 68% of Millennials prefer to buy a fixer-upper as a way to save costs on the property market. Indeed, buying a home is a substantial investment, which you can cut down by focusing your attention on houses that need to be renovated. As a result, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to want to take an active part in the renovation process, as a way of keeping their budget under control and speeding up the work. However, be careful not to get too involved in the aesthetic aspect of the renovation. Indeed, making everything look nice and welcoming is not quite the same as making it work. As an untrained DIY-er, you might find that you can spend too much time on getting the right colour or shape rather than making it practical and functional. 

#4. You need to budget carefully

When you’re completely new to the property market, and especially the renovation side of it, you may not know how to budget appropriately. Indeed, a property that needs renovating is likely to hit the real estate market at a lower price. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to spend less on it. On the contrary, in Europe, homeowners need to budget between €1,000 and €1,500 per square metre for renovating the existing structure. If the renovation also includes extension builds, you can expect to pay up to €4,000 per new square metre. In other words, you will need to add these calculations to your price offer when you apply for a loan. 

#5. Your garden needs to be part of the process too

Landscaping should be an integral element of your renovation project. Indeed, you can shape the garden to increase or reduce shade, depending on your requirements. For instance, if you live in a northern region, it’s a good idea to maximise direct sunlight to keep your heating costs down. In a southern area, however, you want to maximise shade to keep the house cool in summer. Additionally, you can also landscape to reduce water usage, creating an eco-conscious property – which needs to be a priority for new homeowners.

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Renovating is a long and challenging process. Not only do you need to be prepared in terms of costs, but as a new homeowner, you will also need to learn patience. Nothing happens overnight and rushed decisions can have a dramatic effect on your budget and your moving date! 


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