APPROACHES to renovating for profit or for personal pleasure, are different to some degree, however they follow similar principles and rules, just as any business does.
Regardless of whether you intend to sell your property in the short term for a profit, or whether you plan create your dream forever home, it is important to budget and plan for your renovation carefully, and not to overcapitalise on what is probably going to be the biggest investment of your life.
"Renovating is a costly, time consuming and often all encompassing endeavour. It must be treated the same way you would treat any other business venture."
After all, this is your money we're talking about. Your hard earned cash. You stand to save thousands of dollars by preparing well for you renovation and following simple business based rules and principles.
Approaching your renovating as you would a business proposal makes financial and management sense, and a well prepared plan will please your financier, your partner/family and your renovating team.
"Don't consider launching into a renovation unprepared, or your will suffer the consequences - trust me, I speak from experience!"
To start, just as you would write a business plan for a business, put in writing what your plans are and what you hope to achieve from your renovation.
Carefully list your dreams and plans for your property room by room, and your vision as a whole. Identity your style, or at least your stylistic preferences.
This information can be used for any number of purposes:
1. To show your contractor
2. To show your financier
3. As the basis of your design to present to an architect, building designer or draftsman
4. To create a 3D digital scheme for you project
5. To show suppliers when quoting for products.
6. To help you identify what your decorating style is.
"A carefully prepared, written reference guide is invaluable to any renovating project."
Think of it as an 'executive summary' for your project.
Next, make a list of the specific type of features you would like to see in your home.
This process will eventually need to be refined and specifics prepared for costings prior to commencing your renovation, but from the very outset begin putting things on paper.
Begin to clarify for everyone involved - yourself included - what you would like to ultimately achieve from your renovation.
Next, just as you would assemble a team for a business, you will need to do likewise for your renovating project.
Choose whether you would prefer to work with an architect, building designer or draftsman (more on that in another post), or whether you will owner-build or project manage the renovation yourself.
Establish costs/quotes for whichever you choose.
"Don't forget to factor into your calculations your own time - never under value your time and commitment to the project."
You will need to get quotes from building contractors for your job.
Establish whether you will need to engage other contractors aside from your main contractor - gardeners, landscapers, independent painting contractors for example.
How much will these cost?
Get quotes for as many products as you can, especially if you intend to be an owner/builder or manage the project yourself.
Finally, compile a thorough and accurate financial summary. This will probably be required for you financier, should you require one, but also most importantly for yourself to create and follow a budget.
"Budget, as you would of course for a business."
I have been involved with property in one way or another for the past 20 years, on a personal quest to create beautiful, classic, contemporary homes for my family.
Having renovated and built from scratch, I have experienced both success and failure, financial stress and financial reward, and have come to appreciate the types of challenges that renovating involves.
"I know first hand that avoiding unnecessary costs during renovating can result in thousands of dollars of savings, and ultimately mean the difference between making a profit or a loss, creating value or overcapitalising on your investment."
Our last renovation was by far the most ambitious, spanning almost three years and involving the transformation of a very large beachside home (my favourite type!).
The home, or rather house as it was in the beginning, was neglected and unloved, about as unattractive as they come and riddled with unforeseen problems.
The project was difficult, expensive, time consuming and at times harrowing - to describe it as a challenge would be an understatement, however the final result was a beautiful home of which we were very proud.
Ultimately, the project was extremely rewarding, however had known then what I know now - having learned the hard way - our profit at the time of eventually selling the property would have been significantly greater.
Aside from being an active renovator, my most recent work as a journalist involved compiling and editing the property lift out guide of a local newspaper.
During this role I witnessed first hand the good and bad and the very ugly of home renovation, and I know how easily it can go wrong.
However, by following some basic rules and tips, you can undertake a profitable, value adding renovation, and in doing so either create your dream home or gorgeous, appealing property to market and sell.
Things always go wrong at some point during a renovation, but if you treat it like a business, creating a structured, well thought-out plan with a contingency for problems, your road to success should be far less bumpy than mine!
Renovating with love,