Home renovation: what to do and what to avoid

The steps to a successful home renovation are not always obvious. Take it from one of the very best modern minds, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, who explained that “sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” In the world of home renovation, this means constantly re-assessing why you’re making certain changes and whether you have kept your future buyers in mind. Here are a few renovation tips to increase value prior to a home sale.

Home renovation: what to do and what to avoid

Do: start with a declutter

Giving your home a refreshing makeover doesn’t need to include drastic building or remodelling plans. Sometimes a thorough clear-out can have just as much of an impact on your interiors as a full home renovation. Liberate cluttered corners or storage space from unwanted items, or empty your garage or out-house ready for re-purposing with a little help from our home de-cluttering tips.

Don’t: get idiosyncratic

Your home renovation may have come from an idea to tailor your surroundings to your own needs, but it never helps to forget your potential market. Whether you’re preparing for a home sale or are hoping to move on at some time in the future, it pays to keep your changes simple and within popular taste. After all, you need to appeal to the widest possible market in order to attract the most interest in your property. Jarring colours and flamboyant textures are best avoided. If in doubt, the understated option is always the wisest choice.

Do: extensive research

Once you have an idea of what renovations you might want, take some time to research and prepare your design concept. Enlist the help of an interior designer or architect to advise you, or use online tools and websites to look into the latest trends and see if your idea is possible. It’s also worth browsing other properties for sale in your area to see how your renovations could boost your asking price, or to get an idea of what your neighbours have achieved in similar properties.

Don’t: leave a job unfinished

Buyers fall into two categories: those keen to renovate and those looking for a finished product. With this in mind, don’t leave a job unfinished. If you don’t have the time to see a project through to its completion, it’s advisable not to begin at all, so as to avoid creating ‘loose ends’ for prospective buyers to fix.

Do: take breaks

Perspective is essential to achieving a complete aesthetic in your home. Taking regular breaks from your home renovation project can provide you with enough distance to gain an alternative viewpoint on the project’s progress. Setting regular review periods will help you track the work and make assessments of what you could do differently on future renovations.

Don’t: be afraid to back-track

While it can be tempting to race towards the finish line and list your property on the market, it’s important not to cut corners. This means being honest with yourself and owning up to mistakes. If a design element doesn’t quite live up to your expectations, don’t be afraid to stop, consult a professional and begin afresh.

If you’re looking to renovate your home, it’s worth consulting a real estate agent before beginning work. Your realtor will have a useful understanding of your locality and will be able to advise you on how to add value to your property in accordance with the market.

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