And so it finally happened! One of the things that kept me preoccupied the last few weeks was my small home extension project. Our family home has been aching for lots of attention over the years so this is a project that’s been a long time coming. I’m the eldest (and the only girl, by the way) and the breadwinner so I took it upon myself to just finally initiate this much-needed home project.
Doing real estate projects like this amid the COVID-19 pandemic may not be the most logical idea for many but I found that if one comes up with a solid plan especially in terms of finances, then achieving that dream space may just be smooth and easy, after all.
So allow me to share a few practical home extension tips. These may come in handy if you’re thinking of renovating your home and extending it so you can have an additional room or a new bathroom or perhaps another kitchen or, in my case, a small studio where I can do my podcasts, livestreams, photography stuff, vlogging and blogging stuff.
A little disclaimer, though. I am in no way an expert on home renovations but I’m pretty confident you will find a tip or two below very useful:
* Photo taken before all the madness
Plan and set a budget
Never go to war without your battle gear! Before starting your home renovation project, prepare a plan and plan to prepare. This includes being certain of the type, size and requirements of the project. Will it just be a room? What will be the measurements? How do you plan to use the space? My little project was a 15 sq. m. room and I had an idea of how many sockets I would prefer, how big the windows would be etc.
Next, get all necessary approvals from the local government unit and/or your homeowners’ association. Remember – construction work will involve noise and your neighbors would appreciate it if you’ll let them know about your home renovation plans.
Next, I suggest you check your finances properly. Do you plan to pay all the expenses in cash or do you need to take out a loan?
Should you need to check how much home you can afford, you need to check on home loan limits. A popular option would be to take out a mortgage loan and you can use mortgage calculators for that purpose.
Hire reliable workers
This has to be my most important tip. Make sure that you don’t rush and hire just about any contractor or construction worker. Ask for referrals and don’t hesitate to take your time before you sign the dotted line. It’s crucial that you hire reliable workers especially if you’re following a certain timeline and/or budget.
You should also set expectations with the builders before letting them begin. This includes agreeing upon work hours and other obligations such as meals and gas for their vehicles.
Research and monitor
More often than not, contractors would just let you know which materials and equipment are needed to complete the project. Do your research as well. Familiarize yourself with the materials, the prices of the materials, the store/s where the materials were sourced from etc. This would help especially if you have another home project in the future. Moreover, this keeps you on top of things and sends a signal to the builders that you are keeping an eye.
You should also always be careful with the expenses especially if you took out a loan. There will always be a possibility of additional or unexpected expenses. If you’re like me who wants to know exactly when to pay and what to pay, amortization schedule tools like this can help.
A final tip I would like to share is this – when things go awry or hit a snag, take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, consult with your builders and look for ways to solve the problem. One of the big lessons I learned during this home project ordeal was to not let things get to me. Problems are inevitable but solutions are always possible!