Buying a home, moving into it and then planning a renovation are massive projects and can put a huge strain on your lifestyle and finances. However, whilst it can be a very stressful time, with a little forward thinking, it can also be an extremely exciting and rewarding experience.
Follow our top tips on how to reduce stress when moving home and plan for future renovations.
Hire a professional removals company
Many people mistakenly fall into the trap of undertaking a move themselves to try and keep costs down rather than calling in a professional moving company. Moving home and organising a property renovation while keeping on top of your day-to-day work and family commitments will leave you feeling burnt-out and open to making costly mistakes. Investing in the right removals company can save time, money and stress when moving house. After all, they are experts in moving people every day and have perfected their craft through many years of experience. Just make sure that you choose a BAR accredited company, get quotes from 4-5 different firms and once you have made a decision, don’t risk booking too late.
“Hiring your moving company at the last minute is a recipe for a stressful move. Not only will you have less time to prepare for their arrival, there’s also the possibility that they will be unavailable on your desired moving date,” advises Anthony Robinson, Managing Director of Oxford Removals company Robinsons Relocations. “Take the stress and uncertainty out of choosing a moving company by booking your movers ahead of time. Let them know when you’re moving, how much space you’ll need and where you’re moving to so that they’re 100% prepared for your big day,” he adds.
Prioritise major repair work
Before moving into your new home, make sure that you prioritise work that will ensure its structural longevity. To make an informed decision on essential work that needs carrying out on the house and the order it needs to be undertaken, bring in various contractors (plumber, electrician, carpenter etc.) to provide you with a written report of the condition of the property and the problems they find. This will give you key information on structural issues as well as plumbing and electrical problems, insulation and the house’s electrical system. Analyse the reports in turn, starting with the condition of the roof and then looking at the structural, electrical and plumbing recommendations.
Let the dust settle
Before rushing into any remodelling, expansion or improvement projects on the house, it is advised that you live in the new house for between six to ten months (or until you feel comfortable). Your perspective and priorities may change once you are more settled since you will have a better idea of how you use the space and therefore which renovations will be practical and which ones won’t work for you and your day to day needs. It will also give you time to get your finances together and mentally recover from the move.
Create a budget and schedule
Once you have identified which areas would most benefit from improvement in your new home, it is worth creating a spreadsheet detailing each renovation task, how much value each one will add to your property and prioritise them. Being impatient and trying to take on too much at once can put pressure on your finances as well as your family life, if you are having to reside in the property while renovations are under way. When taking on any kind of renovation work, having a clear plan, budget and timeframe is essential as is being realistic about the work you can do yourself and what you are going to need to outsource. Don’t forget to have a contingency of 10-20% to cover unexpected expenses that can arise when undergoing a house renovation and remember to keep this separate to the budget you have for decorating and furnishing the property.