Renovating a house when you can't afford to do it all at once

Home renovation is a great way to add value to a property. Buying a house cheaply then investing  in improvements can lead to big increases in value, and can bring a healthy profit. However, you’ll need more than just time to renovate a home - you’ll need to spend money to bring a home up to scratch. Unless you’re a professional developer you probably don’t have the cash on hand to pay for everything in one go. If that’s not an option, where do you start? This guide points out exactly which areas you can focus on first, giving you a head start on home renovations.

First Steps For Your Property

If you haven’t already had a chartered surveyor look over the property, then your first port of call ought to be to schedule a thorough inspection. They’ll look for any underlying structural problems such as subsidence, damp, drainage problems or infestation. It’s essential that you know about these as soon as possible, since these will need to be resolved before renovation can continue. You should also have the surveyor draw up a measured survey, which will provide you with a detailed schematic of the building; essential if you need planning permission in the future.

Next, if the property isn’t fully waterproofed, you’ll need to make sure that it is. Water penetration isn’t always obvious; a property that hasn’t been lived in for a while may well be suffering from moisture through loose tiles, poor sealing and other tiny gaps. Be sure to check carefully for any signs of moisture and have these entry ways sealed professionally. Once the property is in stable condition, is properly insured and has all the relevant permits in place, it’s time to get to work!

Where To Start With Home Renovation?

The aim of renovation is to focus on the living areas first. This is where you’ll spend most of your time, so you’ll be able to constantly enjoy the benefits of renovation. Don’t be tempted to spread your efforts around - it may seem sensible to paint the walls in every room first, then start thinking about furniture, but in reality this’ll leave you spread too thin. Begin with the living room; this is a great opportunity to make big improvements.

Where Should You Begin In Each Room?

OK, you’re ready to start renovating. What’s your first move? Well, if you don’t already have a detailed plan, then that’s what you’ll need to start with. This should include an accurate floorplan (measure it out with tape), budget and timeline for the project. This will make sure you stay on track from start to finish, and you always know what the next job is going to be.

Remember, don’t spend all your money on the big items. There’s no reason why large pieces of furniture, such as sofas or tables, have to cost the most. Look in second-hand and charity shops to see if you can pick up a bargain - you can always have a table refinished or dress up a sofa with throws and cushions if necessary. Instead, save your investment for high-quality furnishings that you touch every day; lights, door hardware, kitchen cupboards, appliances and taps. The tactile pleasure of using these objects every day will be a constant reminder of your hard work.

Once the living room is finished (don’t leave it half-done and start another project), move on to other important rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The same concepts apply in each room; spend on quality furnishings that you’ll use every day, but don’t splurge when you don’t have to.