Tips On How To Start A Renovation Project

Not all renovation projects are created equal. A renovation project can take many forms – from making small changes to spruce up a property to changing the whole layout and configuration to retrofitting the whole property to make it energy efficient. Regardless of what your plans are, a renovation project can feel like a daunting task. However, these are projects that can yield huge rewards, like being able to afford your dream property in the perfect area or allowing you to explore your inner designer and create your forever home.

Keep Things in the Right Order

Create a Schedule of Works. So what is the right order for a home renovation? We believe that every project is unique and as such, there is no one process that fits all. However, many projects do share similar requirements.

A key component to keep any renovation project on time and on budget is a Schedule of Works. A Schedule of Works should outline all jobs required to complete your renovation project successfully laid out in the correct order of execution to achieve maximum efficiency. It will tell all involved parties when they are expected to carry out their designated chores and when these are to be completed. And, it will help you keep financially organised so you know when certain expenditures and disbursements are expected.

Finding the Right Property for You

Finding the right property to renovate might prove more elusive than you think. As renovation projects have become highly sought after, many buyers feel pressured into purchasing projects that are not a right fit. Make sure you know when to walk away from a project or you might end buying a money pit.

Some homes that are marketed as a renovation project, are indeed overpriced. It is a common belief that these type of projects are an effective way to get more house for your pound. While many times this is true, others, the competition amongst buyers inflates the price to a point where the project ends up being purchased for more than it’s really worth.

When first viewing a property consider the following:

  • What is its design potential?
  • Is there enough outdoor space for you to extend?
  • Have other properties in the area been extended in similar ways?
  • How much structural works is likely to be involved?
  • What are the ceiling prices of similar properties in the area?

Many Renovation Projects are sold at auction, end up going to sealed bids or sold to “best and final offers”. Familiarise yourself how all these processes work so that you are fully prepared to move quickly when you find the right property. Properties in need of renovation are in high demand which means you might need to move swiftly so have all your finances sorted so you are in the best financial position possible before you make an offer.

Keep in mind that the price of the property and renovation costs are not the only costs you need to consider. Budget for other costs such as: Reconnection fees, valuation fees, council tax, legal costs and professional fees. You should also always factor in a contingency fund just in case there are unexpected expenditures.

Do Your Homework

You might consider hiring a chartered surveyor to carry out a building report. These should unearth any area of concern such as: Infestations, subsidence or heave, damp or drainage problems. This will give you a much clearer idea of the kind of work and budget you are really looking at, future insurance considerations and potential resale issues. It will also tell you about the original construction methods used when the property was first constructed which will come in handy when considering materials and construction methods for your renovation.

If you think you need to get a planning application, you will need a measured building survey. This will give you a precise scale drawing of the existing building. You might also consider a drainage survey to give you some peace of mind.

Also, always view the property – at least twice. Believe it or not, people sometimes buy properties off a catalogue without ever seeing the property first. If possible during one of your visits take a detailed video so you can review it later at home.

Be Insured

Once you exchange, you are responsible for the site which means you will need insurance. In many cases, if you are funding your renovation through a mortgage, your lender may not release any money without proof of insurance so make sure this is sorted out early in the game so that your project runs smoothly. Insurance will protect you against issues such as flooding, theft or fire. You should also include public and employer’s liability, cover for building materials, plant, tools, temporary buildings, the existing structure, personal accident and legal expenses.  

Once these things are in place you are good to start your project. There will be many other things to consider while renovating a property, such as which contractor to work with, the decision to work with an architect or creating your own design, choosing the right finishes, etc. but the above should give you a good idea on how to begin the process.

At Dominant Construction we are always happy to have a chat and guide you through the renovation process. If you are looking at renovating a property give us a call. We are always happy to help.

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