How to renovate a house
Any house renovation project requires sound planning but also a willingness to expect the unexpected.
Here hardhatrenovationguys guide to renovating a house step by step, and the considerations you should make, to achieve the perfect renovation.
1. Buying the right property
Buying the right property to renovate is crucial, but not always easy.
You’ll need a property that will work for you once your renovation has been completed, but also one that will hopefully see you make a profit when you do eventually come to sell it.
It’s easy to spot a property in need of work simply by looking through online portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.
But that doesn’t always mean value for money – particularly if the property is on a road with a ceiling price.
When looking for a property to renovate, you should always:
- Look at any work neighbouring properties have had done, like extensions
- Consider the outdoor space to the rear and sides if you’re planning an extension – is there enough room?
- Research the most recent sale prices in the road and check out any work that has been done at those properties to establish if the road has a ceiling price
- Have a survey done on the property you’re looking at – a surveyor will check for major, potentially costly problems like subsidence, damp, or drainage issues
- Obtain a building report, which will tell you which construction methods were used throughout the house so you can plan how you’ll renovate the property
- Get a measured survey, which will provide detailed drawings of the property’s layout – you’ll need this for any planning application
2. Planning permission
When looking for properties to renovate, it’s hugely important to consider planning permission before buying.
Buying a property only to later be denied planning consent is one of the most expensive mistakes you can make.
So, when looking for properties, start by searching for those that have outline planning permission, or full permission, already in place.
Outline permission means the local planning department are aware of proposed work to a property and have agreed to it in principle ahead of more detailed plans being submitted.
Alternatively, you should look for properties where work can be completed under Permitted Development.
A lot of work can often be carried out under permitted development, including:
- Single storey extensions
- Loft conversions
- Basement development
However, while this means no planning permission will be required, there are some size and scale limitations for things like extensions.
You will almost certainly need building regulations approval for any structural work or electrical installation.
3. Design, builders and architects
Once you’ve found and purchased a property that suits your needs, you’ll need to plan and design how you want it to look.
As part of the planning phase, you should consider work you want to do yourself (if any) and what you’ll outsource to contractors and professionals.
And if you’re thinking of using an architect to plan your renovation, now is the time to start contacting them.
The best way to plan a home renovation project is to spend plenty of time considering all the options for work.
Then speak to several builders before opting for the best fit.
Once you have your builder in place, you’ll be able to agree a clear schedule of work, so everyone involved in the project is abreast of what’s expected and the timeframes.
4. Budget and finance
How much your property renovation will cost depends on a whole multitude of factors.
Firstly, the amount of work you’re undertaking and the time it will take.
Secondly, your budget will be affected by any issues you encounter during the renovation – all houses can have gremlins and surprises lurking, so you should always expect your budget to be tested no matter how prepared you are.
5. Schedule of works
When renovating a house, you’ll require a clear schedule of works.
This is essentially a list of every job that needs to be done during your renovation project, listed in order.
When working with a builder or contractor on a home renovation, a schedule of works also acts as a loosely binding contract between you, the homeowner, and the person doing the work, helping you ensure everything remains on track and within budget.
6. Work begins
This is where your schedule of work becomes to the go-to document for your home renovation.
Once your property is stripped back and ready to be remodeled or any extension built, your builder or contractor will move on to what’s known as first fix jobs.
7. Snagging your renovation
If you think of your home renovation like a major surgical operation, it should come as no surprise that your property needs time to recover from lots of renovation work.