Undertaking a renovation project is challenging and can often put a huge strain on your daily routine and personal relationships, however, putting in the time will come with a huge payoff.
Unlike, a self-build project, which is essentially just drawing on a blank sheet of paper, a renovation means you won’t be starting from scratch.
Renovations are lengthy, complicated processes and can often fall foul to circumstances that you can’t predict, which incur added expense.
We’ve compiled several tips to help you get the most from your renovation and to avoid costly mistakes.
Get a Building Report
It’s always a good idea to commission a report on the building from a chartered surveyor before buying and beginning your project. This way you can collect some vital, impartial information about the property you intend to renovate.
Develop a Strict Plan
With no schedule, things begin to overlap and become erratic. While many jobs need to be undertaken simultaneously to save on costs, others must be done separately.
Creating a list of what must be completed and in what order, makes thing so much easier. It’s also helpful to split the project into sections, room-by-room.
Electrics, particularly in old buildings, will often need updating. You should put aside up to five thousand, which covers rewiring, new units and lifting floorboards. Although it will often come in cheaper.
Early subsidence warnings include small cracks evolving into bigger ones. However, this isn't a sign of subsidence on its own. Look for cracks that are also becoming wider and those which appear at the edges of doors and windows.
Cracks that are more than 3mm wide on the exterior of a building should undoubtedly be cause for concern.
The problem with subsidence is that it can become difficult to ensure the building. You’ll be required to pay for the repairs and then ensure the place, which is likely to incredibly expensive. Or you'll have to get the current holder to claim their current policy to have the necessary repairs completed.
There are several ways in which damp is caused; some are more expensive to repair than others. When you enter the property the smell of the place normally gives you an indication, you may also see watermarks on the floors and down the walls.
Damp can start from a variety of sources, such as leaking gutters, blocked drains, cement renders and leaking pipes. The worse it becomes, the more it will cost, so it's best to get on it straight away.
Rot absolutely decimates timber. Rot thrives in poorly ventilated conditions, which why it is common in roof spaces or under floorboards. A musty, dank smell will be your first clue.
Inspect the Roof
Broken or missing tiles, flashings or underfelt, and worn pointing should be inspected and noted. If a couple of tiles are broken, it’s not really a big deal and won’t require much work. However, if the damage is considered a completely new roof costing thousands may be necessary.
Plan Your Living Situation
If you’re planning to live in the property and it’s not yet fit to live in, you’ll need to make alternative arrangements until the renovation has been completed up to a certain point.
Prepare For Life Without Mod-Cons
Depending on the size of the project, if you’re living in the property while the work is taking place, you should prepare for a time without basics like washing machines, hot water and electricity.
You should also cordon off any living spaces to prevent dust and building materials from taking over. Complete renovation on these areas as early or as late as possible.
Once you sign on the dotted line, you're responsible for that property, and you must take out appropriate insurance. If you’ve taken out a mortgage on the property, a lender will not release funds until you’re covered for things like floods, fires or theft.
Renovation insurance covers liability, building materials, accident cover and any associated legal costs.
Overall, renovation is a costly business. You may be required to reconnect the water supply, clean out gutters and septic tanks or pay valuation fees. So, you must try to be as prepared as possible to ensure that the building work can run smoothly and you have aside enough to pay those extra, otherwise you could be risking the entire project.