A beginner’s guide to renovating a new home

  • 20.May 2019
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Whether you just want to put in a new doorway or completely remodel your property, home renovations require some careful preparation and a healthy dose of patience. This guide is all about how you can get your project off to the right start.

Budget, scope, and timing

Renovating a home, no matter the size, is a big step for any homeowner. But before you start picking out light fittings and putting down drop cloths, it’s important to do your homework on the scope of the renovations, when you want them to start and, crucially, how much it’s all going to cost.

Everyone wants to live in their dream home but, for many of us, that can take some time. While most will prioritise getting those essentials – electricity, plumbing, apertures and so on – in good order right off the bat, cosmetic renovations can be delayed until the bank account has recovered.

Think of your home renovation as a long-term project, with multiple discrete parts. This can help when setting the budget and deciding on the timing of each mini project. It also gives homeowners flexibility when they need it. House guests coming to stay? Leave the spare bedroom upgrade till later. Expecting a baby? Maybe not the best time to remodel an entire floor but minor alterations could be more appropriate.

Anyone who has done up a house will tell you that nothing ever goes completely to plan. When you buy property in Malta, your architect will evaluate the property to ensure it is structurally sound but that doesn’t cover hidden issues.

Especially in older homes, the chances of discovering new elements that need to be pulled out, replaced, repaired and/or reinforced is very high. Even a new home can throw up interesting challenges that could have your contractors scratching their heads and you reaching for the cheque book. Keep this in mind when setting aside the funds for your renovation and the time needed for completion.

Finding the right contractor in Malta

Finding the best person for the job is half the battle when it comes to home improvements. You want a team that is experienced, knowledgeable and communicative. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool in today’s world and the recommendation of a trusted friend or relative is invaluable, especially because you can see the workmanship in their property for yourself.

That said, a recommendation should not be treated as gospel. Have a chat with prospective contractors and do not be afraid to ask questions about how they work, the materials and products they use, and how amenable they are to your input throughout the project.

It is in everyone’s best interests to be clear about what is expected and how things will be resolved should something go wrong. If you intend on doing some of the renovation yourself, your chosen team will need to be able to accommodate that decision.

Expectations vs reality

The phrase ‘managing expectations’ can sound like a euphemism for ‘prepare for disappointment’ but it’s a crucial part of any renovation project. Grand dreams and big ideas are all well and good but things are very different when it comes to the real world. With so many moving parts, any number of things can happen to push the project past the deadline and over budget.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! Having a realistic budget, with enough wiggle room built in for the unforeseeable, will help put your mind at ease that the unexpected won’t put too large a dent in your finances. A committed and focused contractor will have the know-how to handle even the most unusual issues and will be able to advise on the best way forward.

To sum up

Making significant changes to your property can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavour. Responsible planning and the right people on your side will help make the whole process go as smoothly as possible.

For more advice on finding your dream home and the trusted professionals to make that a reality, get in touch with RE/MAX.

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