Look for any advice about home renovations, and you’ll pretty much see the same advice over and over: “do it! Go for it! Home renovations can increase the value of your home and improve your living space! Why would you not launch yourself full-throttle into it?”
That’s all true; renovations do all of the above, and more. That’s why it’s so easy to find yourself getting swept up into the fervor of renovation without fully thinking of the potential consequences.
You might think you’re going to be able to manage a remodel because you can manage the financial side of it. Or perhaps, your DIY skills are in good shape. You might think you’ve thought of all the potential problems and you know how to get the project complete, on budget, and on time.
Maybe you have – but the chances are, especially if you’re a novice at this kind of extensive remodeling, that you have missed something. Most worryingly of all, it’s often the easiest things to overlook that have the biggest potential consequences. So before you make any major changes or so much as look at your toolbox, there’s a few things that you need to be careful of…
Could You… Invalidate Your Home Insurance?
Home insurance is one of those things that most of us have. Even if we don’t entirely know what we’re covered for. We know we should have it. So we do everything exactly as we should. For example, follow the advice; we click here to get your homeowners insurance quote, others click there to compare the policies, and then we finally click submit. Receive the documents, we briefly scan through the mountains of text, and then file them and forget about them.
After all, in an ideal world, home insurance is something you’re never going to have a reason to need – so you have it, and then you forget about it aside from the annual renewal.
First off, did you know you should tell your insurance provider when you’re going to be doing any major work? Especially if it involves hiring in builders. That’s because the risk of an accident increases with renovation work, which may mean a temporary rise in the cost of your policy to cover for it.
Then, you have to consider security. Are you still going to be able to use your alarm properly during renovations? You might think that’s an obvious yes, but it might not be – what if you’re building an extension, are you going to have a sensor there? Are you going to put locks on temporary doors or any outdoor storage? You have to be able to say yes and, if necessary, prove you have done so to keep your insurance running.
Finally, there’s the basic issue of doing work that makes the house fundamentally more dangerous. Any work that involves structural change (extensions, loft or basement conversions etc.) is something that your insurance definitely needs to be aware of – so get in touch before you begin so you know where you stand.
Could You… Cause Problems With Your Neighbors?
For the most part, few of us really know our neighbors anymore; we might wave and have brief conversations, but we don’t count them as friends. So it might not occur to us to mention to them we’re going to be doing renovation work.
This is something that’s going to have an impact on your neighbors, so it’s absolutely essential that you keep them well-informed throughout. They’re going to be at the mercy of loud machinery, heavy goods vehicles dropping off supplies to you, and any potential issues that might arise from dust and debris.
You don’t have to ask permission, per se, but it is worth making sure they are aware. An apology in advance is always going to be better received than one you have to make after the fact. So apologize, maybe offer to buy them a meal sometime. Then proceed without damaging your cordial relationship with the people who share your space.
Could You… Reduce Your Home In Value?
The potential with home renovations is to think that they will automatically be an improvement. We all have different tastes, but you’d think some changes are always going to be beneficial. If you intend to sell your house in the future, it’s tempting to just think that any renovation will be a good renovation. Right?
Not necessarily; remember how we all have different tastes? What you see as essential and necessary might be a blight for someone else. Potentially even a deal breaker that makes them look elsewhere when it comes to finding a new home.
The following renovations might actually make your house less desirable when compared to doing nothing at all:
- Standing out for the wrong reasons. It’s natural to want to have the best house in the street, but it’s possible to take this way too far. If your house is standing out because it is massively different to everything around itthis can be an issue. People like a cohesive neighborhood, so while you want your house to stand tall and proud amongst everyone else, making it too big and too developed can actually be off-putting. It also means that you’re probably going to be expecting buyers to pay way over the current top price for your area. Which some are just naturally reticent to do.
- A swimming pool. Especially if you live in a hot climate, this can be a temptation that you’re sure both you and any future owners will love. That’s not necessarily the case. For a start, potential owners with young children will see the pool as a hazard. Secondly, anyone is going to look at the pool and immediately see that a lot of maintenance is going to be required to keep it usable – and they might not be willing to do that.
Home Renovations are beneficial in most ways. However, always ensure you’ve covered yourself by examining your plans from every perspective.
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