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Looking to figure out the estimated cost of home upgrades? Well, check out this post from Kevin Jefferson over at the DIY blog, Plain Help. Kevin is a dad, newbie blogger and newbie homeowner who is known to tinker around the house. He now has a bunch of skills and experiences he shares with his online audience. Let's see what Kevin has to say on home upgrades. Enjoy!
We all dream about breathing new life into our homes by upgrading in style. The only difficulty is that if you don’t work in the building trade, it can be hard to know where to begin. You may feel like you get lost in the details, and many of you will feel daunted when it comes to asking for quotations. To take the stress out of it for you, let’s take a look at some handy hints and tips that will make things that little bit easier for you.
This is one of the main things that homeowners struggle with, and with good reason. With so many contractors to work with, if you want to upgrade your entire home, you may feel like you’re bound to get charged over the odds at some stage. This is only natural if you feel like you don’t have a firm grasp on what to expect for you money, but it needn’t be that way.
The best way to circumvent this issue is by getting multiple quotations for any given job. Whether you need a plasterer, electrician, or builder, make sure you get at least three quotations. This will allow you to compare rates and lead time estimates from different people, so that you can see where the value lies. If all three come back to with quotes that are closely aligned, then you can be confident that you’re being quoted the market rate. Perfect for the peace of mind that you’re heading along the right track when it comes to getting the work done.
There are two key things to consider at this point. First of all, you want to be able to add value to your home, so that when the time comes to sell it, you can make a profit in return for your hard work. Secondly, you need to make additions and upgrades to your home that enhance your standard of living. This one may sound obvious, but many homeowners become fixated on the first consideration and forget that upgrades will largely be for their own benefit. At least for the foreseeable future, as they’ll be the ones making a life there.
The secret is to combine the two by looking for opportunities to upgrade that give you more options when it comes to using your home. This might include an open plan living area that’s great for the family, new decking installed in the garden, or making better use of the front garden, so that you have off-street parking. The specifics will depend on the size and location of your home, so some careful thought is required before you make a start.
Let’s take the example of adding some decking to your backyard so that we can see how you’d go about doing it the right way. Firstly you need to come up with a rough idea of the scope of the work. How big do you want it to be and where will you want it in your backyard? At this point you’ll want to have an idea of how often you’ll use it, and how many people you’re likely to have over for those summer BBQs.
Once you have a rough idea you can start calling contractor for quotations; remember we want at least three for ease of comparison. A professional contractor will happily come to your home free of charge and provide you with a no obligation quotation. Ask them for an estimated lead time on the work and if there are any adverse weather conditions that could delay the work. You might also ask for any photos they have of previous installations.
Now repeat this process with the other two contractors. Comparing the specifics of their offers and their relative experience will give you a great idea of what you can expect for your money. Once you decide on the best fit, book them in and then get ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor.