Are You Ready to Renovate Your Home?
Deciding you want to refurbish or renovate your home, or buying a property that you wish to completely rework requires vision, perseverance and nerves of steel!
I recently sat down to chat to one of our customers, Michelle Terras, to discuss the pros and cons of buying a house that needs work.
Michelle bought her house in 2014, (we moved her in!) and has completed extensive work to it. The house already boasted amazing views and great light, but Michelle wanted to extend upwards.
With the help of an architect to help realise her vision and builders to create it, Michelle’s house now has a lovely light extra bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
The freestanding bathtub is the ideal place to unwind and take in the stunning views westwards across Brighton and beyond, and the large skylight in the new bedroom is perfect for a spot of nighttime stargazing!
Refurbish, renovate, extend or develop – whatever you want to call it, taking on a project to recreate your home can feel a little daunting.
So what are the key things to remember when taking on a project like this? We talked to Michelle about what she learnt, and came up with this handy checklist to help you decide whether buying a home to refurb is up your street (no pun intended!)
Rachel and the Lix Removals Team x
HOME RENOVATION CHECK LIST
To undertake renovations, there are a number of costs which can elevate as works get underway. It is important to have a clear idea of costs and try to stick to your budget as much as possible. How much you paid for the property, the extent of the work that needs doing, and how much time you have before you need to move in, or sell the property are all important factors which will influence the amount you can spend.
Make a note of all your costs as accurately as you can, and then allow for an additional 20% on top of that.
Once you have this figure, ask yourself: “Will the renovations add value to my house?” “Can I really afford to renovate my property?” “Can I live in the property while work is ongoing?” “Where will I live if I cannot live in my home while the work is carried out?”
If you don’t have the time or money to renovate a property it is best not to start to save yourself potential issues and serious stress further down the line.
Try and find professionals who understand and share your vision, and are excited about working with you on it.
You need to be able to sit with an architect, builder or project manager and talk in basic terms about your project and feel you are being heard. Clear communication from the very beginning avoids misunderstandings later on. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and establish costs from the outset.
Get all quotes in writing and don’t be talked into indefinite answers regarding money. Unless you have a bottomless pot, the finances can drain quickly so be precise about costings and insist on the same from them.
Work with builders whose reputation you can check. It’s worthwhile talking to past customers about their work. Those who provide consistent, fairly priced, high quality work will have plenty of customers willing to say so – so be wary of those where you can’t find any testimonials, or where they are unable to provide evidence of successful past projects.
Creating a time frame for your project helps to establish a beginning and ending to your work.
It can take 8 weeks or more to hear back from planning applications regardless of the decision. Professionals like architects and builders often have lead times on work and can be very busy so ask ahead of booking how long your job will take.
It is also worth checking if builders will be dedicating a block amount of time on your job or whether they will be working your job into their schedules. Smaller refurbs are often fitted into a daily/schedule so do take time to check this through with your builder and understand exactly what this means in terms of the time it will take for your job to be finished.
Despite the many obstacles that can stand in your way, millions of us dream of owning a house and turning it into our own unique home.
From self-build projects to Help to Buy schemes, or complete wrecks to those that just need a lick of paint, there are lots of ways to put your creative stamp on a house, so take a moment to dream and visualize exactly what you want then figure out how to get there!
THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF RENOVATION
Construction or deconstruction: This relates to the nuts and bolts of your building. Your builders will take down or build upwalls, and partitions where needed.
First Fix: This is the more practical cosmetic works such as plaster boarding, painting, and fitting basic electrical and plumbing points.
Second Fix: Interior Décor – this is often the most fun – where you get to put the final touches to your renovation prior to furnishings.
Making sure you are compliant with the law before you start your renovation is hugely important and will save you time, money and getting into serious trouble if you start before you have done so!
Here are a few of the compliance procedures you may need to research.
Building Regulations: To make certain changes like extensions and loft conversions, for example, building regulations need to be registered and approved. Not all renovations need permission but do check everything through with the planning department at your local council prior to going ahead with your project.
Insurance: Your building insurance policy doesn’t necessarily cover your home while renovations take place. Check with your insurers prior to make sure you have the correct policy in place. If anything should happen you want to know your home is protected and costs could be recouped.
KEEPING YOUR POSSESSIONS SAFE
Once you decide whether to buy a house that needs renovations, or to renovate your existing property, we can help with moving, removing or storing your possessions to protect them free from damage.
Ask us about storage solutions or hire us to stack and pack your possessions in a renovation free zone within your home.
You can get in touch with our friendly team on
01273 499051/07557 919524
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
Brighton and Hove City Council Planning department: 01273 292222
Worthing Council: 01903 220165
Lewes District Council: www.lewes.gov.ukGo back