A Guide To Home Renovations
There are two reasons that you might want to embark on a home renovation project. The first is that your existing home is looking tired and in need of an upgrade. The second is if you have ventured into the world of property development and have picked up a property at auction or at a bargain price that needs a complete transformation. Whichever of these applies to you, home renovations take time and if you are not careful, they can go way over budget. As with any construction project, good planning is essential and getting the right people on board from the start is crucial.
When you are faced with a million tasks to do and no idea where to start it can be completely overwhelming if not a little scary. Knowing where to begin or what you need to do first can be a challenge, but luckily, we have put together this guide to make the process of renovations a little easier.
Step 1: Start with the BasicsWhile your mind may be bursting with ideas or swimming with issues that need to be resolved, go back to basics and make a list. Note down everything that needs doing, both to the interior and exterior of the building. If you are renovating a house that you’ve just bought, you may have received a survey as part of the purchase. If you did, this is a great starting point, but be aware. Surveys often don’t cover everything that needs doing so it’s best to consult a professional builder who you can trust to have a look over the property if you haven’t already. Explore the loft, lift carpets, test walls to see if there is any loose plaster, check the windows, the brickwork and pointing and investigate any cracks that you are unsure about. If on the other hand, the renovation is to your existing home, also make a list of everything you need to do not forget about plumbing, electrics and any building regulations that you must comply with.
Step 2: PrepareWith your list in hand, you should have a good idea of what needs to be done. Now that you do, it’s time to start prioritising the tasks on your list. Where will you start first? What is most urgent? If the renovation is on your existing home, you will need to think about living arrangements during the work. Depending on the renovation, building work can get dusty, noisy and disruptive so make plans to protect furniture, personal belongings and clear out rooms. If there is anything that you are unsure of in the renovation process such as bowing floors, damp patches or cracks, it’s always best to consult the experts. Also consider the addition of windows, doors or even a conservatory to your renovation.
Step 3: IdeasNow, this is where the fun starts. You can think of ideas and be as imaginative and creative as you want to be. Collect cuttings, read home interior blogs for inspiration or talk to your building team about what would work best. This stage is important because the wrong decision can cost you both time and money.
Step 4: QuotesOnce you have an idea in mind of what you would like to achieve from the renovation, it’s time to start contacting some construction companies to give you a quote. Ask your builder whether the renovation also includes project management or whether any other specialists will be needed such as architects or structural engineers.
Step 5: Your BudgetWith your quote in hand, you will have a better idea of how much your project is going to cost. As well as the renovation, factor into your budget other costs such as your mortgage for the property while it’s being renovated or if it’s your own home if you’ll have to move out temporarily and rent somewhere while the work is being carried out. There is also the cost of fixtures, fittings and furniture as well as decoration and accessories. Also, add at least 10% to your budget for contingencies.
Step 6: PermissionsDepending on the scale of the renovation you may need to seek planning permission if it includes an extension or substantial alteration to your property. The local planning team and your builder will be able to advise on any planning requirements in addition to building regulations that the work must comply with. Also, if the work is near to the boundary of neighbouring property or piece of land, check whether the Party Wall Act will have any impact on the project.
Step 7: Written AgreementsOnce you have all the designs drawn up and you have given your builder the green light to go ahead with the project, you must get what was agreed including timescales, costs and what’s included in writing. This is important if there are any disputes later down the line and it gives you peace of mind that you know exactly what will be delivered and when.
When they are properly managed, home improvements can transform your home. Not only can they add value, but they can also make your home more practical and convenient for your family. If you follow these steps in the renovation process, chances are you will have a stress free project that will lead to a successful outcome.
Here at Castle Home Improvements, we have been working on renovation projects for several years, coordinating even the most complex of renovations from start to finish. If you would like to discuss any of our building work, please contact our team today to find out more details or book in your free quotation.