Not many of us get to move into a property which is already the home of our dreams.

And with creeping property prices to contend with, the only option is often to move into somewhere that needs a bit of work and plan a renovation. If you have a family, however, there’s an added complication. Trying to keep family life running while designing and creating your ideal family home us a big ask. Careful planning is needed if you want to stand a chance of completing your project with your sanity intact…

Pick Your Projects Carefully

House renovation is a long game investment that can really pay off – if you do it correctly. You have to understand which projects will enhance your home and give you the best return on investment should you come to sell, and which are likely to over developments where you might have hit the ceiling value for your property and be unlikely to see all the money back. In general, projects which add square footage without detracting – such as a loft conversion if it’s a decent space or a ground level extension if it can be done without sacrificing too much garden – are likely to get most of your money back. Things like replacing flooring, redoing your kitchen or updating a bathroom also go down well and certainly make your home more saleable, which can drive up the value through creating competition. However, it isn’t purely about the money – you have to design a space which suits the needs of your family. That goes for now and also in the future – like converting a basement to provide a play room which can then turn into a games or cinema room when your young children become teenagers. Decide what you’re hoping to gain from the remodel and work with your architect to create a space which shoppers that vision. Think about what you already love about your home, what’s missing and what your family will need now and in a few years down the line.

Get The Right Contacts

A smooth, stress-free renovation project absolutely depends on finding the right contractors to work with. Simply going for the cheapest quote for the work you want can be a very false economy – especially because many firms will deliberately put in a low quote to secure the job and then find any excuse to up the price with extras. Trust the recommendations neighbours and family may have for you when finding bricklayers or choosing a local window & door installer. Never be afraid to ask for references or to see their past work – if previous clients are happy to speak to you it’s a very good sign.

Keep Your Kids Safe

The renovation project that you have in mind has to be designed around the fact of your family. Make asking your contractors about their safety policies a must. All tools must be removed at the end of the working day, and make sure measures are taken to reduce the amount of dust coming into your home, such as asking for temporary walls to be put up. Look for paints and flooring that are low VOC to stop the toxic emissions harming your children, and make sure they are wearing closed toe footwear  in the house so there’s no chance of a stay nail or shard of glass hurting their feet. A good contractor should understand how to help keep your family safe while they are working on your home.

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Disclosure: Partnered post

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