Author: Allen Setliff

Remodeling – What Should You Watch Out For?

What you are allowed to do exactly during a renovation depends on whether you are the owner or the tenant. A precise plan of the work to be carried out and a careful elaboration of the financing strategy have top priority in all cases.

Whether and how you can remodel your apartment or house depends first of all on whether you are the owner of the property. As the owner, conversions both inside and on the building envelope should not be a problem. However, one should first clarify whether a building permit is necessary. This can be the case, for example, if you want to convert a room into a study or build a garden house. In the latter case, it is also worth taking a look at the land register because restrictions can be set there that make the building project impossible – e.g., a minimum distance to the neighboring property. If you own a condominium, you are a little less free because you usually have no say in exterior facades, floors, and load-bearing components. As a tenant, you should come to an early agreement with your landlord; otherwise, you may have to undo all renovations when you move out.

When renovating, you should know what you want and then plan sensibly.

Once you have clarified what you are allowed to do, you should clarify what you want. Prepare a clear plan that fully documents which changes are to be made in which locations. In any case, if you are a tenant, have this plan approved by your landlord. If you intend to have some or all of the work done by craftsmen, this precise plan will help you to precisely define your requirements and, on this basis, to obtain at least 3 different offers for the same work at the same time.

You can insist on type designations for devices; otherwise, the most cost-effective solution will be chosen that meets the contractual conditions! Inquire about your insurance situation. In the case of major renovation work on your own home, it may be necessary to take out the builder’s liability insurance. Last but not least, you should keep an eye on the finances: If you renovate in an energy-efficient manner, for example, subsidies are available through the building program. There are also tax advantages for value-preserving investments. In terms of financing, it can be worthwhile to top up your own mortgage. However, the property is re-valued, which sometimes results in additional amortization payments or an interest rate hike.