Sometimes property renovation is a necessity. Your whole home might need a refresh or it might just be a single room that needs an update, but refurbishing a property doesn’t come without its potential pitfalls.
So, if you are planning a makeover of some kind, there are things you can do to increase the chances of everything passing off without a hitch.
With the help of Jon Over, Owner and Managing Director of at Goldstone Homes, we have come up with some top tips for a successful, hassle-free refurbishment.
When you are considering a major refurbishment project, you should always check with the local authority to see if you need any planning permissions or notifications in order to update/renovate a home. Jon says: “A good builder will be able to advise you accordingly and provide an outline of which permissions you will need to apply for if applicable.”
It’s equally important to ensure your property isn’t listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest before starting any renovation work. As Jon explains: “If your home is a listed building, you will need to get listed-building consent before undertaking any work involving demolition or partial demolition, internal and external alterations or extensions.” You should be 100% certain about your property’s classification before you begin a refurb, as it is an offence to carry out any work on a listed building without the appropriate permission.
You can consult the National Heritage database to discover whether or not your property fits into the listed building category.
You can never be completely sure how much a renovation will cost – these things do have a habit of costing a little bit more than what you’ve budgeted, such is life. As a result, it’s a prudent measure to have a contingency budget in place. Jon describes it as essential for any refurbishment or renovation project. “Use the estimate of potential costs from your builder as a benchmark allowing for a contingency of between 10% and 15% on top of the total amount,” he adds. “It’s a good idea to prepare your own budget for any other items and materials you may require.
Once you have decided on the refurbishment project and ensured that you have the money, rights and permission to proceed, it’s time to call in the professionals to carry out the work for you. Make sure to research the firm you use before you hire them, as well as getting references and recommendations from previous clients. “If possible try to view examples of similar projects they have completed previously and do not be afraid to ask questions,” Jon says. “Any legitimate tradesperson will be happy to demonstrate they are reliable, trustworthy and can complete your project on time, within budget and to a high standard.”
It is then important that you keep in regular contact with your builder throughout the project. Ensure that they know exactly what you want from the outset, and be on hand to answer any queries the builders may have. “Schedule regular meetings with the project manager and ensure you get daily updates on progress,” Jon recommends. “Good builders will want to communicate with you so that you are delighted with the end result.”