Whether you’re renovating a property to sell it on or renovating it to increase its rental value, here are some rules that make sure that you make as much money as possible.
1. Three Quote Minimum
One of the easiest ways to pour money down the drain is to only get one quote. Tradesmen, as in all industries, vary wildly in quality and price. It’s not unusual to find chancers who will give you a quote that is three or four times higher than the fair price. So how do you find a fair price? The best way to do it is to get as many quotes as possible. Any decent tradesmen will give you a quote for free, so get them round to the property and ask them to give you a price. Make sure to ask if that includes materials and VAT, and that they’ll give you an invoice at the end of it. Three quotes is the minimum you should get for a job, but more is better.
2. Quality matters
Going for the cheapest quote is always tempting, and many times it is the right strategy to go for. But sometimes a cheap quote signifies a shoddy workman- so satisfy yourself that they are trustworthy. Ask yourself the following: do I trust this person? Have they been consistent in what they have said? Is the time frame they have offered realistic? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, then don’t go with them.
3. Neutral tones
Maybe you think that the walls in the living room would really look better if they were purple. Perhaps you’re attached to the deep maroon carpet. But remember this: your tastes are not the tastes of most other people. In fact, people have a huge range of tastes. So the safest way to ensure that you’re not going to put anyone off is to decorate neutrally. Paint in light colours, like white or a pale yellow, and carpet similarly. When it comes to kitchens, white cabinets and a stainless steel oven and hob rarely offend, whilst white baths and toilets are a must- the seventies are long gone.
4. Space is king
If you can create more space, do it. When renting to sharers, increase sleeping space as much as possible. Merging a kitchen into a kitchen/living room is a great way of making the existing living room an optional bedroom. If renovating to sell to a family, assume that the whole ground floor is living space, and remodel accordingly. Knocking through walls makes sense here- for example to knocking a dingy back room wall out creates a massive living room/dining room with great light throughout.
5. Time is money
You might have your quotes, but are your builders neatly scheduled one after the other? If renovation works drag on then you lose money in potential rent, or in a quicker sale. Make sure that your tradesmen are committed to a timeslot and that there aren’t any lengthy gaps between different tradesmen. Waiting one month until the cheapest bathroom fitter can arrive isn’t worth it if the next cheapest is available immediately.