Where Do You Start When It Comes To A Home Renovation Project?

 The last year has seen almost all of us stay at home much more than ever before, thanks to the pandemic. It has led to us critically looking over the houses and apartments that we live in, thinking about where we can make improvements and make it a nicer place to live, should we face similar lockdowns in the future.

It has been a catalyst for many people to start a home renovation project of their own. Santander found that 61% of homeowners carried out a DIY project or renovation project during the lockdown, and a further 81% plan to make changes to their home in the next year or so. 

Obviously, a simple lick of paint to the walls doesn’t need too much forethought or planning, but extensions, knocking down walls and whole rebuilds do require you to know what you are doing - and doing them in the right order. Of course, if you have an external team and project manager do it for you, that will be their responsibility, but if you are giving DIY a go, here are some tips to get you started.

Lay down your budget - with wiggle room

Before you start anything else, make sure you have the money to carry out your renovation project. One of the worst-case scenarios is to take the roof off your house/knock down a wall/take out a window and find you have no money left to finish it. Remember that whatever budget you set, you will undoubtedly go over it, so make sure that you do have some wiggle room available.

You must be realistic about what jobs you can afford to do and when you can do it.g If the property isn't habitable, the first priority should be to make it secure and dry, with hot water and heating, so you can move in — particularly if you are spending money living elsewhere while the work is being done. You can live amongst cosmetic alterations as long as you have safe spaces to sleep, wash and eat.

Check any restrictions or caveats against your home

Depending on what you are hoping to do, you may need planning permission from your local council, any leaseholders, your insurers or mortgage company and so on. The last thing you want to do is to build something to find it goes against the laws and you have to knock it down. You may need to make sure things like windows and doors are in keeping with the rest of the area, that particular trees are left up and so on.

Prepare a schedule of works 

Once you have got the money and permission to carry out your intended works, you need to prepare a schedule of works. Work in one room will have an effect on those in another, especially when plumbing and electrics are involved), so have a clear understanding for the whole house and plan a schedule of works listing the order of jobs – for example, re-wiring is done before walls are replastered and damp proofed with RIW.

Once you have all in these place, you are ready to go! A home renovation project can be expensive, hard work and stressful, but the end project can be more than worth it.

What tips would you add to this for any new renovators?

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