If you’re considering carrying out some home improvements, you’re far from alone. Over the course of the past year and a half, many of us have found ourselves spending a whole lot of time at home. This time has been difficult, as governments have implemented countless changes to our routines in a bid to slow the spread of the virus across the world. Lockdowns, stay at home orders, social distancing, social isolation – the list goes on. Spending so much time in our own four walls has changed many of our perceptions. It has also given a lot of us time to really look at our properties and evaluate them. We’ve spent a long time mulling over things we’d like to change – whether that’s to make our homes look better, feel more comfortable or to simply be more practical. On top of this, many of us have started to work from home and – even though vaccines are being rolled out and life is slowly returning to normal – many of our employers have decided to stick to work from home policies. Many of us, then, are also looking to create more permanent, comfortable and practical office spaces within our own properties. Now, whatever home improvements you’re considering, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to make the best of your money and time, as well as getting the best end results. Here are some areas to focus on while you get started with this process!
What Work Do You Want Carried Out?
First and foremost, you need to consider what work you’d actually like to be carried out on your property. There are so many different home improvement projects, renovations and other forms of work out there that you can choose from, that you’re going to have to whittle down your options and determine what exactly is needed to get your desired end result. Whether that’s browsing examples of loft conversions, looking into skylight installation or flicking through The Ultimate Hardie Board and Fiber Cement Siding Guide, you’re going to have to dedicate some time to research and planning specific requirements. There’s endless inspiration out there, from Pinterest boards to home improvement social media feeds to more traditional magazines. So, take your time until you find exactly what will tick all your boxes.
Set a Budget
Next, you need to consider what you’re willing to spend on your home improvements. Creating a budget will help you to be realistic with your ambitions and to ensure that you don’t overspend. The best way to set a budget is to determine how much disposable income you have each month and how much of that you’re willing to save towards this renovation work. Simple steps to determine this include:
- Determine your take home pay – don’t make the mistake of thinking your salary divided by twelve months is the money you will make. Keep in mind taxes and other essential contributions, such as national insurance, student loan repayments and pension payments will be deducted.
- Deduct your essential outgoings – next, deduct the costs of any of your essential outgoings. This commonly includes things like rent or mortgage repayments, council tax, energy bills, car payments, water and food shopping and more.
- Plan your disposable income – the amount you’re left with after the steps above is your disposable income. Now, you will need to determine how much of that you’re willing to spend on your project. Are you happy to save it all and not do much else until it’s complete? Would you rather save a bit at a time and still be able to afford social activities and other spends? The choice is entirely up to you!
Find Reliable Contractors
Once you’ve saved, you can start to seek out some reliable contractors. Generally, it’s best to browse a lot before settling on any one in particular. Make sure to read reviews, check out their portfolio and to see what others think of their work. This will help you to make a more informed decision and will give you confidence in the individual or company you choose.
There really are a number of steps that go into making home improvements – especially those that are on a larger scale. However, hopefully some of the information above will get your journey started out in the right direction! Have patience, make sure to take your time, be sure about the work you want done and find a reliable contractor. It should all pay off and your home will quickly begin to take the shape you want it to!