Renovating made easy: Planning is the be-all and end-all

Renovating: What you need to consider during planning 

Planning is key if you want your renovation to be a success. Matters such as the cost of renovating your home and how you will finance this are not the only things to consider. Find out which building elements should be replaced and when, and what you need to consider during planning.

Renovating: Good planning takes time

You may start off wanting a new kitchen, improved energy consumption, or maybe an additional skylight. But before you carry out the renovations, it is important to pause and allow yourself enough time to plan the work. This is the only way for the renovation to succeed and for you to fully enjoy your "new" apartment or house.

Last but not least, there is the question of how much the renovation measures cost and how you can finance them. It is also important to specify what you want to renovate and how. For example, is it really a good idea to demolish the whole kitchen, or are there parts of it that you can keep using? Or should you renovate the entire roof at the same time as installing your new skylight? The important thing is to have a long-term perspective in mind instead of just a short-term one.

Do you need a building permit for the renovation?

Sometimes you can't go it alone with your renovation. Depending on the project, you may first need a building permit. To find out for sure whether you need a permit for your planned renovation, it is advisable to ask the building authority for your local municipality. Permit requirements differ from place to place. For instance, each canton has its own building code.

There is generally a distinction made between standard and simplified permit procedures. For example, enlarging a property requires a building permit obtained through the standard application process. A simplified application process is generally sufficient for converting rooms for a different use or making alterations to the façade (e.g. installing a new window).

Experts can help you plan the renovation work

An architect or an independent building advisor can organize the building permit if necessary. Sometimes there are restrictions when it comes to imagining your new home – whether as a result of your canton's building code or your municipal building or zoning laws. For example, in the case of horizontal extensions, regulations must be observed that specify the distance to the property boundary and neighboring building.

If larger and more complex alterations are required, it is therefore worth consulting a specialist. It makes sense leaving the coordination of the work to a specialist, not only to deal with building law and permits, but also for renovations that require tradesmen from different fields. This allows you to maximize time and plan your home renovation efficiently.

Set a limit on costs for your renovation

Even before you plan your renovation in detail, you should find out what the remodeling includes and roughly what it costs. In particular, a thorough analysis of the basic structure is important. That way you can see everything that needs to be renovated, which is essential for drawing up a rough cost estimate.

What structural elements need replacing and when

Building element in years
Wallpaper, paint 5 – 10
Parquet 20 – 40
Kitchen appliances 10 – 20
Heating and ventilation systems 20 – 30
Window frames 25 – 35
Slanted roof with tiles 50

Source: Credit Suisse, Average useful lives of building elements

Plan enough time for home renovations

Once you have determined the cost ceiling and clarified the financing, you can proceed with renovating your house or apartment. Now you will work on the detailed construction plans. Special attention must be paid to a realistic timetable so that your party to celebrate your new kitchen is not ruined by construction dust simply because your new skylight is not finished in time.

Are you planning a renovation or modernization?

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