14 things to consider when renovating your property
Renovating your property?
Renovating your property is a time consuming but rewarding process. Property owners are always looking at how they can make their home more comfortable and safe, or adjusted to new members of the household.
However, if you fail to plan properly (or get the appropriate planning permission), that dream makeover for your property can become a living nightmare. So, to help you get into the groove, in no particular order are our 14 top tips to consider before you embark on renovating your property.
The first thing you have to set is your budget. It’s no point starting out with “blue sky” dreams and then finding out that kitchen you set your heart on just isn’t a viable reality. As property owners we all dream of grandeur, but being realistic and aware of cost effectiveness from the outset will help you control the urge to overspend or over commit when renovating your property.
Find the right contractor. Do not ask friends or family, quite often when things go wrong, the person you blame is the person who referred you the workman. It is a good idea to prevent fallout and find someone whom there is no emotional attachment to. This way if things go wrong and you need to take action, you can do it in a professional manner without any guilt.
Be realistic. Look at the properties around your own. Does the scale of your dream property renovation actually fit the surroundings? Most properties will have a ceiling on what renovations will return a profit in the long term, especially older property.
If you are in doubt, speak to your local estate agents and get an opinion on what you have in mind. They are the perfect people to know what refurbishments will add value and which ones will not.
Research is a very important factor on many fronts. Whether it is your contractors, suppliers, cost of fixtures and fittings, prospective works, value the works add, timescales, time of year, in short everything! You can never be too prepared, remember that!
Again the same as research. Don’t feel embarrassed or too proud to ask for a second opinion on your ideas. Try the local Estate agents, check with your friends and neighbours if they’ve had work done and ask questions.
What was the worst thing that happened? If you had to do it again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? Knowledge is power so arm yourself in advance.
This is also a key ingredient in the mix. If you are a young couple without kids, would it be wise to consider that possibility in the planning of your renovation? Maybe you’re an older family and the children are leaving home. It’d be great to get your study and games rooms installed but what about the grandchildren, where will they stay in the years to come?
Remember, any property renovation requires a degree of packing things away. If you are starting a major kitchen extension and you don’t have a garage or loft, where will you store the kitchenware and white goods if they’re not being replaced? If it’s a loft conversion, where would you store the years of goods collected when you have to empty that space?
This is such an important and overlooked consideration. We all like to give the benefit of the doubt to the professionals we meet in our lives, but do we really know those people? Yes, we trust them to do the job they profess to be able to do, but we don’t know them.
So, if you want to save money and be safe, not sorry you should secure all precious items in a safe or off-site whilst works commence, to ensure that temptation is removed rather than suffer the heartache of loss post completion.
Protect your privacy (plan)
Remember during any renovation, walls can come down stairways can be moved, so try to ensure that your privacy is maintained by staging the process in a way that it works for you. Side extensions and loft conversions often mean workmen upstairs early in the mornings. If this is a problem, ask your project manager to ensure you get time to get ready for work etc in the mornings.
Find the danger areas
If you have children and or pets, they are always susceptible to getting injured. When planning your property renovation, ensure that the danger areas are well mapped out in advance. This could be where wall supports are put in place, where supplies are being stored or where workmen have access routes with a scaffold.
Manage the sleeping arrangements
Manage the sleeping arrangements. When you are having a lot of work done simultaneously, such as walk-in wardrobes, ensuite bathrooms or bedrooms moved reduced or enlarged. There could be a need to have to sleep out for a few days. Remember to plan well in advance so you don’t end up in a hotel.
Always set goals and stick to them. If you have clear ambitions and set time frames to achieve particular results, build out a list of milestones and ensure your project manager keeps your workmen to the task.
Remember, this should be an agreed timescale, not a dictated one. Often your project manager can advise from a works perspective what should flow in what order, so liaise constantly.
Timing is everything. Quite often we look to use the summer holidays as good times to put our projects in play. Mostly because we get time off work to look after the children, so we can be there whilst the work is going on.
This also means our children are present and this can be a nightmare to control. Logically, if you are trusting enough, you do it whilst you are working so everyone is pretty much out all day, either at work or at school.
Holiday after the finishing touches
The treat. Remember, these projects are often as stressful as moving in. Unforeseen problems can occur and accidents may happen. These can cause delays and delays cause unhappiness.
When it’s all finalised, there’s nothing like a holiday to really appreciate the changes when you get home.
Award Winning Service
Hunt Property Services are proud to announce that Hayley Hunt has won two Women in Build Awards. Best Emerging Business Leader in Property – West Essex & Award for Excellence in Property Renovations – West Essex. If you live in East London or West Essex and are considering a renovation or home refurbishment, please get in touch for some free advice by calling 0208 502 7667.
You can also have a look at some of our previous renovation projects on our Renovations page. We have more great advice on themes such as home refurbishment and interior design on our blog, and if you would like regular advice and inspiration on renovating your property, you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.