8 things to consider before renovating your home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Linken Designs Built-in kitchens Wood Grey
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A home renovation can be a very fulfilling project, whether it’s renovating a small kitchen, redoing a bathroom, or giving your entire house a splendid makeover. No matter the project size or the aim of the job, there are a myriad of renovation ideas out there!

But do you know where to start? And what to consider before you tear down that wall or start shopping for new flooring materials? Most of us don’t, which is exactly where we start running into problems, specifically of the expensive kind.

Let’s take a look at some vital things to keep in mind before you start your makeover project – and as always, we’ll be highlighting a professional or two who might just be the ideal team to help you with your renovation project…

1. Renovation considerations: Decide who you’re renovating for

Generally, a renovation project can be completed for three groups of people:

• Yourself: A home makeover can be implemented to improve your own quality of life, and if this is the case, then you should ensure those changes you opt for are meeting your lifestyle- and family needs. From breaking down walls for an open-plan kitchen / living area to building a swimming pool, you should think of your renovation project as an investment for your family’s future. If it’s not going to add value to your home (and lifestyle) in the long run, then maybe it’s the wrong project for you.

• A tenant: If your renovation is for an investment property, you’ll want to attract as much rental income as possible while keeping the property low-maintenance. Take into account factors like tenants who usually don’t tend to their gardens as much as owners – rather don’t spend too much on creating a beautiful garden for your tenant, but instead focus on something that will appeal to their lifestyle, such as a bigger living space. 

• A buyer: Renovating to sell? Then you should have a pretty clear idea of who the buyer might be. For instance, if your home is family friendly and your target market is growing families, then the future owners might appreciate a garden and spacious outdoor areas – perhaps even an extra bathroom. On the other hand, if your target audience is a professional couple, then an easy living solution (especially if they’re first-time homeowners) where they don’t have to be doing any extra work after moving in might be better.

Read more:The top 5 renovation projects for your home

2. Renovation considerations: Do your research

Once you know who you’re renovating for, you can start thinking about how you want the space(s) to look. Take functionality, structure, and style into consideration.

Browse through online photos to get a feel for colour palettes, furniture styles, etc. Collect samples of materials and finishes that can enhance the look you’re after (i.e. wooden floors versus tiles; concrete countertops versus marble). 

Showing your research to the team that’s going to be helping you can take you one step closer to achieving your dream space. 

3. Renovation considerations: Plan for the unplanned

Having a strict budget is important, but it’s also vital to leave a little room for surprise costs or mistakes. Regardless of how much you plan and research beforehand, chances are likely that something unexpected is going to pop up – and you want to be prepared for that. 

Thus, leave a little extra money for unforeseen costs (about 10 – 20% of your entire budget), and meet with your professional team beforehand to discuss possible scenarios, such as electrical work not being up to code, finding mould behind plaster, etc. 

4. Renovation considerations: Follow a strict schedule

SANDTON KITCHEN - Grey cabinets Linken Designs Built-in kitchens Wood Grey
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You need to have a plan in place. With tradespeople overlapping, materials and appliances being delivered, and you still trying to carry on living around the renovation project as normal as possible, having a schedule in place can help prevent chaos.

Your schedule (which should be drawn up with your professional team) should list what work needs to be done to the house, and in what order. It also helps to break a project down into phases, such as “bathroom makeover”, “tearing down living room wall”, “loft conversion”, and having a separate schedule for each of these. 

5. Renovation considerations: Set a realistic budget

While you’re drawing up lists, make one for all the things you need for your renovations, and the cost of each of them individually. This includes all the small things (like new doorknobs and cabinet hardware) to larger items (such as new sofas and kitchen appliances). 

Also consider how much you’re going to be paying the tradespeople, which is where a quote (that lists all the costs) and signed agreement come into place. 

Read more: 33 ideas to renovate your house on a budget

6. Renovation considerations: Staying or going?

Depending on how large your renovation project is, you might need to make some alternative living arrangements. Plan for this at the very beginning of the project so that you know exactly where you’re going (and when) – you don’t want to be scrambling around for suitcases and searching for accommodation options while your home is under a mountain of dust! 

And of course this should also be factored into your budget.

7. Renovation professionals: Form Add Function

Thinking about giving your house a new look? Then Johannesburg-based Form Add Function could be the ideal team to consult.

As one of the county’s leading restoration and renovation specialists, Form Add Function are seasoned experts when it comes to providing clients with architectural plans (for both commercial- and residential spaces), taking on new build projects, managing extensions and additions, or implementing full-on renovations. 

Form Add Function have a strong team of architects with a shared love for many architectural styles, yet a focus on modern and classic buildings. Each client’s brief is approach uniquely according to lifestyle, wants and needs, and budget.

8. Renovation professionals: Kgodisho Solutions and Projects

Another team of seasoned professionals is Kgodisho Solutions and Projects. Based in Pretoria, this collection of general contractors has taken on numerous renovation projects and presented clients with first-rate results each time. 

Although Kgodisho Solutions and Projects is a small firm, they are regarded as quite the dynamic option when it comes to construction services – and their vast portfolio is pure proof of their top-notch dedication to client satisfaction. 

Accredited with the NHBRC, the firm’s core areas of specialisation are building and renovations, but they also provide various other services like painting, kitchen and bathroom designs, shop fitting, built-in cupboards, extensions, and much more. 

Speaking of giving your home a new look, take a look at our 8 tips for putting a style twist on your white bathroom.

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