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your 5-step guide to stress-free home renovations

Maybe you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, turn your garage into a home office or simply update your bathroom. Before you start any renovations, here’s what you should know.

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Renovating is exciting, and you’ve no doubt spent ages dreaming up exactly what you want your home to look like. But, once the work starts, the bills can begin to add up. And quickly.

We’ve put together a handy 5-step guide to help turn your renovation nightmare into a dream.

Step 1: Do your research

Before starting any project, you need to have a good idea of what you’d like the result to be. Spend time gathering ideas and filling those Pinterest boards.  

There are many online apps to help you plan your renovations. With Homestyler, for example, you can create your dream home from scratch using their floor-plan solution. As a bonus, you can also decorate your new space using products from more than 200 global furniture brands. And, once you’re happy, you can take a walk through your brand-new home in realtime using the 3D functionality.

Step 2: Set a budget 

Next, you need to set a budget. Start by asking why you want to renovate. Are you remodelling your kitchen to have more counter space? Do you want an open-plan living area so you have more space for entertaining? Is it to increase your property value?

Knowing what your goal is will help you work out how to budget for it. Not sure where to start? Use our budgeting tool.   

Renovation costs can add up quickly, but you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to spend. For major work, such as building a double garage, you may need to have plans drawn up and submitted to your local municipality. This will add to the total costs and take more time. Building plans might be required if you’re planning to:

  • Remove, move or add walls
  • Raise or lower walls
  • Make changes to doors or windows
  • Convert a carport into a garage
  • Enclose an existing patio
  • Change the use of a room (for example, convert a garage into a habitable space)
  • Add a mezzanine floor

If you’re unsure, speak to your contractor for advice.

And don’t let your contractor talk you into unnecessary changes that will add to the total cost, unless it fits into your budget.

Step 3: Shop around

Now it’s time to shop around. You’ll need to collect quotes for both the building materials and the labour. Always check to see if you can negotiate a discount, and keep an eye out for specials.  

Don’t forget to ask for contactable references for the contractors you find – and check these references. Questions you can ask:

  • What kind of work did the contractor do for you?
  • Was the work done on time? Did they show up on time?
  • Did your job come in according to your budget?
  • Did you get the results you expected?
  • Would you hire the contractor again?
  • What guarantee did the contractor offer you on the work done?

Remember, cheapest isn’t always better. You want to hire contractors who are qualified and recommended to do the work you’re planning to do.

Step 4: Don’t underestimate the hidden costs

Chances are, if you had to ask someone who’s renovated recently, they’d tell you they underestimated the hidden costs. Aim to budget at least 10 – 15% extra to accommodate those sneaky hidden expenses.

A Capitec access facility is the perfect solution for home renovations; you can get up to R500 000 revolving credit. With an access facility, you:

  • Apply only once at a Capitec branch
  • Decide when you want to access the money and how to use it
  • Choose a monthly repayment amount or period you’re comfortable with. If your financial situation changes unexpectedly, you can adjust your repayment amount or period
  • Access your available balance at any time, and deal with the hidden costs when they pop up

Step 5: Create a timeline. And stick to it as far as possible 

Work with your contractor(s) to put together a realistic timeline for your renovation project. To help avoid delays, remember to include a corresponding list of materials that will have to be bought in time for each stage.

It’s also a good idea to avoid planning any major renovations close to holidays like Easter or Christmas. 

Get the ball rolling 

Applying for an access facility can help you set your renovation plans in motion. And it’s available to anyone who qualifies, whether or not you already bank with us. Simply visit a Capitec branch with your valid SA ID document or smart ID (new clients only) and your latest 3 consecutive salary slips. If your salary is not paid into your Capitec account, you should also bring a bank statement that shows your last 3 consecutive salary deposits.

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