10 Mistakes people make when renovating

The 10 biggest mistakes people make in renovation and building projects in India and how you can avoid them.

1. Renovating too early without a masterplan:
Many people start doing small scale renovations without considering the property as a whole - or without getting a ’masterplan’ design done. It then often happens that when it comes to a more major addition or renovation that their newly renovated bathroom or kitchen needs to be relocated.

2. Undervaluing your property:
Renovations that are well conceived and constructed add significant resale value to a property. Consider also the day to day experiences you and your family can enjoy from a well designed home. Hire an architect to maximise your resale and daily enjoyment.

3. Only thinking short term:
It’s always a good idea to think long term about your property and how it might best suit your needs over time. It’s common for people to enjoy a single life and entertain frequently, then start a family, start a home based business, have relatives move in, take in boarders, or have the kids grow up and leave home. How best can your property cope with these changes?

4. Skimping on design to save money:
If you are planning a budget renovation, then you are likely to need good advice first. It is often easier to do something well when you have plenty of money to do it. The best advice is more important when you have less to spend, so find out the best way to achieve what you want first and then look for ways to do it inexpensively.

5. Not asking the architect to save you money:
Architects are skilled at planning. A well planned design can save you the cost of building larger and less flexible spaces. Architects can also advise you on how to minimise ongoing running and maintenance costs over the life of your home. Consider what value an architect can add or save from your bottom line.

6. Tendering off council drawings:
Going to tender with incomplete documents and then being unsure of what you are buying from the builder. This can mean not getting what you imagined and leaves you vulnerable to paying a premium for extras, additional work or changes.

7. Being impatient:
Sometimes people try to save time or money by short circuiting the design process. This is often a road to disappointment. It is important to consider all aspects of your renovation and progress through each stage. Allow enough time for the design to evolve to meet your needs.

8. Not hiring a suitable specialist:
Since architecture is such a broad field, there are many architects whose experience and skill has been developed and honed for certain jobs i.e. retail fit-out, commercial office, Industrial, public works, shopping centres, town planning, interiors etc.. Find and compare architects whose speciality relates to your project.


9. Not stating your budget accurately: Brief your architect accurately - most people understate their building budgets. It can be difficult and time wasting for you and the architect if the budget is not clearly stated. Your architect understands the likely extras, submission fees & deposits, payments to consultants etc.. It also often pays to include an amount for unforeseen work that may be needed (contingency sum).

10. Not understanding quality and value: Most of us want value for money renovations - it’s only an elite few who just want what they want regardless of the cost. Spend some time with your architect and determine what level of quality of finish and detailing you can afford that way you’re less likely to go over budget or get a poor quality job.

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