Renovation & Co. Correctly estimating renovation costs

What you should keep in mind with regard to maintenance and renovation and how you can prepare for this financially.

by Felix Hauser 27 Sep 2016

It is difficult for most homeowners to correctly estimate their renovation costs. After all, not only do the costs of material have to be included, but also the useful life of some building components and the time frame for replacing them. To retain an overview and make a long-term plan, you should find out as much as possible now about later renovation costs. That’s the only way you can estimate the time frame for minor and major renovation and maintenance work and calculate the costs.

The size of the renovation is the key factor

Of course, not only does the required renovation play a role in calculating the costs, but also the individual renovation plans of the owner. You, as the owner, should think about whether you want to do only the most urgent renovations or you want to go a step further to boost the value and quality of your real estate. The planning should also include energy and environmental considerations. Does it make sense to renovate your home to reduce your energy consumption, save on operating costs and improve the heating of the house?

Long-term planning pays off

The useful life of various construction components can vary, and they can grow older at a different pace. For example, the average useful life for a pitched roof is 40 to 50 years, while for a flat roof it is 25 to 30 years. A kitchen should be remodeled every 25 to 30 years, while the useful life of a heating system is 20 to 30 years. Regular care and maintenance can extend the useful life of some construction components. Keep in mind, however, that renovation work has to be coordinated with other work. For example, if you want to replace your old, relatively large heating system, it doesn’t make much sense to replace it with a similar system if you are already planning to optimize your windows and facade within the next few years to save energy, which means that you will need to consume less energy to heat your home in the winter.

In your cost planning, differentiate between installation and maintenance costs. Installation costs include the costs that are necessary to replace a construction component. Maintenance costs include the costs for ongoing maintenance, cleaning and service.

Make realistic plans for renovation costs

Develop a long-term strategy for renovation, maintenance and remodeling, and take this plan into consideration for your individual financial planning. As a homeowner, the owner of an existing property or the buyer of a property, you should always attempt to realistically estimate the costs. Especially if you are contemplating buying an older property, it is a good idea to calculate the expected renovation costs at the time of purchase. This enables you to make a cost calculation more easily and realistically, but it also offers you a reasonable basis for negotiating the conditions and the price. If you need help with estimating the costs, it is recommended that you obtain the advice of an experienced specialist. If you know what is awaiting you, then you won’t have any nasty surprises, which will make living in your own home even more enjoyable.