How to plan renovations of your home?

- - Category Constructing or renovating

What do I want to renovate?

You cannot start renovating everywhere at the same time. In addition, you have to take into account that every home is unique, the costs and renovation work therefore vary greatly. So make an overview of your entire home so that you can map all possible works. You can then view which priorities must be set for each room. Consider the following things:

  • Be sure to check the minimum requirements such as your heating, water supply, gas connection, boiler and electricity. If these meet the technical standard you can save a lot of money and resources.
  • Check basic facilities in your home such as your kitchen and bathroom. Although these are sometimes outdated, you can find a temporary solution by, for example, using a mobile cooker or installing cheaper bathroom furniture. This saves you money that you can invest in things that are necessary.
  • Determine what is priority. Make sure that the basic facilities and larger renovations are in order. In the long term you can spend more time and money on small things, such as furniture, to give your dream house the perfect atmosphere.    

What is my budget and how am I going to pay it?

Plan your budget in advance. How much you will spend and on what. Good budgeting ensures that you keep an overview of your costs and in turn avoiding impulse purchases.

  • Make up your budget and keep an emergency purse on the side, which is 10% of the total budget, for unexpected expenses. This way you can handle possible price fluctuations.
  • Compare supplier prices. Don't buy everything at the first store and ask for quotes. Also check whether additional services, such as delivery, are provided for free.
  • Grants can often help you out. The Flemish government and municipalities often offer grants for certain renovation works. Be sure to inquire about this.
  • Save on building materials. Find out which possible materials you can use to carry out the renovations. Cheaper building materials still offer decent quality and sufficient warranties against manufacturing defects. In addition, they save a lot of money that you can later invest in decorating your home.
  • Do you pay with your savings or take out a loan at the bank? Can you possibly divide the costs between the two options? Be sure to ask your bank what the options are. In addition, consider whether you can take out an interest-free loan, for example, until the end of 2020 the Flemish government offers an interest-free energy loan for certain target groups and renovation works.         

Who can help you?

Who can be your loyal right hand during your renovations? You can certainly ask some friends or family members to help you out repainting the walls. But for specialized matters such as the insulation of your walls, it is best to turn to professionals such as contractors, coordinators, interior architects or architects so that the renovations are 100% in order and meet the necessary conditions. This also prevents headaches and expenses if the work is not done properly.

Do I need a permit to renovate?

A permit is not always necessary to renovate, but sometimes you have to report the renovations. Therefore keep the following rules of thumb in mind.

  • When can you renovate without a permit? The general rule is that normal maintenance works such as replacing plaster, installing new windows, replacing roof tiles, furnishing a new bedroom or changing the room layout do not need to be reported nor do they need a permit.
  • Reporting obligation means that you report all renovations to your municipality. This applies to minor works on buildings that are no larger than 40 m2. Make sure to check with the town hall whether the specific works you want to perform are exempted from this rule. 
  • For renovations with a permit, this usually concerns an urban development permit where you are also obliged to hire an architect. This rule applies if something has changed on the surface of the house. For example, if you change the living function or divide the house into several houses. A building permit can be requested by the architect or you can do this yourself via the digital platform or on paper.     

Let's get to work

Wonderful, the plan is ready, everything has been worked out to perfection, you have all the materials ready, you are ready with your team to go for it. But wait! How exactly do you work? Try to find a sequence in the work to save you costs, time, damage and cleaning.

  • Start outside and work your way inside. A well insulated and waterproof house provides a safe roof above your head so you can work at your ease.
  • Work from top to bottom to ensure that all the dirt and dust does not fall on the brand new floor if you have to re-plaster the walls.
  • Have a logical sequence, after the large works such as connecting the pipes and tiling your bathroom floor come the smaller renovations such as installing those new faucets and cabinets.
  • Work from room to room as you renovate the entire house. This way you keep a good overview of the activities.

Take enough time to plan

Finally, take your time to prepare a good renovation plan. Whether it is for a rural house among the dunes with a beautiful view of the sea or a modern apartment in the city where you can enjoy the view over the rooftops every day with a cozy breakfast. Your renovation plan is definitely worth the effort to put in enough time so that you can create your dream home.

Need more tips to make your renovation or renovation successful?

View our other blogs in the building and renovating category. Discover how you can renovate cheaply and which tax benefits can be of interest for you so that you can save money during the renovations.