Top 5 Common Mistakes Before You Renovate
Buying a home is a life-changing experience for most people, but it doesn’t just stop there. For right after collecting the keys, is the headache of having to renovate the home. Some may, in the heady excitement of getting their very own love nest, sign up the first interior designer they see at the expo without doing their research. Others do so much research that they get totally overwhelmed. Whatever the reasons, there are bound to be mistakes made by first-timers so let’s take a look at the top 5 ones.
MISTAKE #1: NOT SETTING A BUDGET
I cannot stress this enough. Some people think that a budget is passé and prevents them from realising their dream home. The reality is even if you charge your renovation to your credit card, the bills will still come back to haunt you; albeit tacked with a high interest rate. In fact, Straits Times ran a story in September about the increasing number of people who are struggling to pay their credit card bills; 62 830 unsecured credit customers have yet to make a minimum payment in 2 months as of July this year. Setting a budget will not only help you spend within your means, it’ll also encourage you to search for better deals or come up with creative ways to achieve the look you want. If you can’t afford to do something, do the Math to see if you can do it in stages. I remember my parents’ first home when they couldn’t afford to buy furniture yet so they made do until they could afford it.
MISTAKE #2: NEGLECT THE DETAILS
After much searching, you finally found something that’s within your budget. But WAIT! Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure the quotation covers all that you need. Don’t be too anxious to secure a designer and then realise too late that you’ve missed a few essential items. Trust us, the add-ons will be costly. To counter such a possibility, try writing your priorities down beforehand so you won’t feel so lost.
MISTAKE #3: CHOOSING AN ID/CONTRACTOR WHO IS CLEARLY INCOMPATIBLE
While searching for a cheap ID package is paramount for many people, do remember that prices do not comprise the entire experience. Working with a compatible ID/contractor is important too! Someone who understands your needs and works to realise them instead of pushing their ideas on you is a rare gem that you shouldn’t let go. Such a person will also be able to give you advice on how to make your dream design work like a true partner. Word of mouth may all be very well when you’re looking for a reliable ID/contractor, but make sure your working style is compatible with them before signing on the dotted line.
MISTAKE #4: UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Fads come and go. What’s currently hot will definitely go down the popularity scale some time later, so why renovate your home to keep up with the latest trends? What you can do instead, is to do up the home in anticipation of future needs e.g. children. Keep to the basics and dress it up with furnishings or accessories. Above all, the overall home design should be something you can live with for a long time. Go over your plans again before signing the package to make sure they meet your needs in the most practical way. This is not to say that you should SETTLE for a less satisfying design, but it shouldn’t blow your budget into smithereens either.
MISTAKE #5: NO SITE VISITS
You’ve done your research so you’ve chosen whom you believe to be a trustworthy interior designer/contractor. Now you can sit back and relax, right? WRONG. You HAVE to be there every day to ensure that things don’t go wrong and when they do, you’re at least on site to rectify it or have someone see to it. Mistakes DO happen. The longer they’re not rectified, the more expensive it will be to correct them later.
And there you have it, 5 common mistakes that first-time homeowners could make. But don’t get too stressed over the renovation. Have fun, eat proper meals and above all, rest well so you can enjoy your beautiful home to come.