If you're considering buying and renovating a dilapidated property, here are a few tips which should enable you to keep your costs down, without compromising on the quality of the finished house.
Get a building inspection report
It may seem a bit illogical to spend several hundred dollars on a building inspection report when you're trying to conserve funds. However, this type of service could save you thousands in the long run.
The inspector who draws up this report will thoroughly examine every inch of the house's visually accessible areas, including the basement, the chimney, the doors and walls, and the roof. They'll check for signs of damp, masonry damage and subsidence, and they will also look for indications of rot in the property's framework. They may also check for the presence of potentially toxic substances (such as asbestos).
The information in their final report can help you to determine if there is any major repair work that needs to be done and make it easier for you to accurately assess the cost of carrying out this work. These figures will, in turn, enable you to determine if you have enough cash to pay for the necessary renovations, and thus ensure that you don't end up sinking your money into a property that you cannot afford to remodel.
Furthermore, the facts gleaned via a building inspection could also help you to purchase the property for a lower price; if, for example, the inspection reveals that the house needs a new roof—and this information was not disclosed by the seller when they first advertised the property—it would be perfectly reasonable for you to put in an offer below the asking price.
Be willing to carry out minor renovation work
Major renovation work, such as replacing the roof, tearing down a wall or addressing structural issues, should always be carried out by a qualified, experienced team of builders. Amateurs who attempt this type of construction work will inevitably make serious errors, which could have a negative impact on the structural soundness, appearance and market value of the property.
Minor renovation work, on the other hand, is something that you can easily do yourself. The skills needed to install cabinetry, paint walls, refinish wooden floors and lay carpeting are easily acquired; there are plenty of books and online tutorials which can teach you how to do these things in as little as an hour or two. As such, you can drastically reduce your labour costs for your construction project, simply by rolling up your sleeves and doing some of the renovation work yourself.