You’ve finally come to a decision. You want to buy a house that you can make yours. You see yourself as the next Sarah Beeny or Laurence Llewelyn Bowen (perhaps with not so many loud shirts) moving around the dilapidated property, assessing every corner and picturing it, as it will be, your own masterpiece. Regardless of where you are in the stages of your renovation, we’ve compiled a list of tips you might not have thought about so you can carry out your home renovation dream flawlessly.
The Beginning Stage: Ask yourself these questions
How much potential does this property REALLY have?
Estimate the profit you think you could make by adding together the house cost + renovation cost against the selling prices of renovated properties in the area.
Is it in a good location? (near schools, hospitals, network links, nice neighbourhood, etc.)
Is there off-road parking or scope to put some in place? (has it got a garage or room to build one)
Have neighbouring properties built extensions or undergone conversions?
What are the building regulations and/or planning permission guidelines?
All of these questions have fixed answers, so it’s best to answer them as accurately as you can, before snapping up a property that you can make look good but that has no other market value. The most important thing is to survey, survey, survey – that way you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for.
Another thing: Do you see yourself living here long-term or are you looking to renovate and upsell?
This question will make you consider the implications of the size of the property. For example, if you want to make this property a family home, does it have bedrooms and bathrooms, if it doesn’t can you afford and are you allowed to build an extension? Does the space flow nicely and will it work for your family?
Questions serious renovators ask themselves:
– Will the property need rewiring/plumbing?
– Can the loft be renovated to make extra space?
– Will the property need new windows?
– Is the property well ventilated and insulated?
– Are there signs of damp?
– Are there signs of structural movement?
When you complete the deal have you got the right RENOVATION INSURANCE and WARRANTY?
The Design Stage
It’s easy to get carried away, but impulse buys could cost you thousands that you didn’t account for. A contingency fund of 20% is normally recommended but it’s best financially to make sure you have a design you love from the get go so that you don’t have to pay more after work has started. If you work with a “make do and mend” attitude, then you can look at things to fix rather than buying new.
Always round up the materials you are buying. You don’t want to stall a stage because you don’t have what you need. Just like a contingency pot, you will need contingency materials, as normally things will break along the way.
Keep things simple. Once you have everything structurally in place, everything else can be added or emphasised over time.
Work to a schedule and keep an open communication with everyone on site – this will keep confusion to a minimum and keep costs to budget
Repair and restore existing features – keep those quintessential, charismatic features of the property. It may seem like a pain, but by keeping existing features you are adding an elevated charm to your property and increasing its value.
Remember you are in charge, not the builders. Therefore, every decision, and there will be countless to make needs to reflect what you want, not what’s easier for your builders.
When it comes to your property renovation make sure you’re working in the right order:
Assess the property – deal with damp or further decaying elements
Structurally stabilise the property
Assess features that need to be repaired and make sure everything useful or aesthetically pleasing is salvaged
Start the building phase – from the roof to the walls to the floor
Make sure the property is entirely watertight and weather proof
Assess and fix the interior – including plumbing and electrics
Repair walls and ceilings – plastering, dry-lining or repair work
Start the interior – paint walls, fix skirting boards, fit tiles and install the necessary equipment for your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc.
Sort out your tax payments – make sure you’re paying the right amount and that your contractor is VAT approved.
Now move in and style to your taste. Enjoy seeing your vision complete and in it’s full finery. Then get ready for your next renovation property.