For many, buying a second home abroad is a long-held dream. For others, it’s a dream come true. Owning property in another country isn’t easy,. Aside from the long hours and expense that most likely went into making such an expensive daydream come true, there are some added complications ordinary homeowners will never have to face.

Many of these come to the fore when it’s time to renovate. With everything from language barriers to a lack of understanding surrounding local planning regulations to contend with, we look at how to overcome these roadblocks and get it right.

Make sure you understand what’s being said

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Before we go any further, we must emphasise understanding the conversations surrounding renovating your home. Say you’ve bought a property in Portugal, for example, but your grasp of the language is limited. You have a couple of options to explore.

Firstly, you can go the whole hog and try to learn Portuguese. Even the most arbitrary grasp of the language can be helpful here, and sites like Preply make it easier than ever before. In addition, they can connect you to experienced online for one-to-one tuition via video chat.

Alternatively, you can hire a translator or find a professional/s who speaks English. This way, you make sure you understand what’s being said and can explain your preferences, keep abreast of progress, and ask any questions you feel are pertinent.

Cost up the price of renovating

Whenever you’re carrying out property renovations it’s important to know what you’re signing up for. This means understanding how much any work is likely to cost. Even if you’re au fait with estimates in your country of origin, this won’t necessarily be the same when you’re renovating abroad. In fact, it could be significantly more or less expensive.

For this reason, it’s important to get an idea of how much the work will cost. You’ll need to search around for quotes and, if you can, run these by unbiased local professionals to see if they sound fair before signing up for anything. Remember, amounts are likely to be in the local currency, so you’ll also have to consider the exchange rate to understand the “real” cost involved.

Visualise what you want

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Even with the best will in the world and a professional translator, language barriers are likely to cause difficulty. As communicating with the professionals you hire is a really important part of renovating your home, you’ll need to be imaginative and find other ways to get your ideas about bringing the outside in across.

Luckily, there are alternatives to spoken communication. For example, drawing up what you want can be a great, confusion-free way to explain your vision to someone who speaks a different language, and even if you’re not artistic, there are always mood boards.

You can also use sites like Pinterest to help envision what you want and then share your ideas with the professionals by providing links to them. Even sending across articles on the kitchen remodelling ideas you like can be helpful.

When it comes to renovating your holiday home abroad, there are no denying additional challenges you’ll face. Still, here are also several effective ways around them. Use our handy guide today to help you achieve the home improvement makeover you’ve always dreamed of, so that whether you have a property in Dubai or Dresden, you can make it look exactly how you want it to.