If when you hear the letters B L T, you can’t help but think of a ginormous sandwich with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is another meaning behind the iconic acronym. Indeed, if you’re a homeowner and considering transforming your home, B L T is exactly the way forward. B stands for Budget, as unless you’re blessed with a bottomless well of gold, you need to stick to a clear and established budget. L is for the law, as your transformations need to be legal and accepted by your home insurer – more on this specific point later. And finally, T stands for training because you need the relevant knowledge of tools, structure and materials to complete the renovation work safely. When there’s a need for home improvement, there’s a BLT project to manage!
#1. Budget: Keep it within your budget
The main issue with renovation projects is that they can rapidly go off the financial scale and leave you with debts if you’re not careful. For instance, let’s take a common remodeling work: the bathroom. Being one of the first rooms to show signs of tear and wear, the bathroom is likely to be your first remodeled room. The condition of the bathroom will determine your investment, but simple decisions such as painting vs installing a new bathtub, or doing it yourself vs calling the plumbing expert will have an impact on the overall expenses. Admittedly; you need to have a good eye for details when you’re working within a budget, as the difference between getting a new shower and changing the showerhead can be thousands of $ on paper, but you may not even notice it in the room. In short, think carefully about what needs doing vs what you want to do – these are two different kettles of fish – and the level of expertise required for the renovation.
#2. Law: Keep it legal
You may not be aware of it, but renovation works sometimes require a construction permit. This applies to situations where you undertake major changes, such as extending your kitchen, building a second bathroom, etc. Minor remodeling requirements, such as tiling a room or putting the carpet down don’t need any permit. If you’re not sure whether your project needs legal approval, you should get in touch with a professional advisor. This friendly family law firm, for instance, has an in-depth knowledge of construction law. They recommend you get in touch with an advisor at the start of your renovation project, in order to define the relevant legal obligations.
#3. Trained: Keep it safe
In old houses, the presence of unsafe materials is not uncommon. Before starting your renovation work, you should be testing for the presence of lead in old paint or even checking the safety of your electrical systems. More often than not, the easiest way to deal with old structures is to get in touch with a trained professional who can warn you about the risks.
So, here you go: This BLT has a lot less bacon and tomatoes than what you might be used to. But it could save you a lot of home troubles in the long term!