Are you ready for a renovation property?

There are pros and cons to renovating. If you’re deciding whether or not to take the plunge, try our renovation checklist.

Lady using an electric drill

Have you seen a bargain property that needs renovating? It’s an exciting prospect. Renovation projects can be an opportunity to let your imagination run free and create a space that suits you – or make you a tidy profit.

It’s also a big decision. There are some things to consider before diving in at the deep end. If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of a renovation, this checklist could help you make the right decision.

Renovation checklist

  • Make a detailed list of your costs and then add 20% to it.
    It’s important to have a realistic budget. Often there will be unforeseen expenses, so it’s good practice to add another 20% to cover yourself. If you’re ripping out old fixtures and fittings, you never know what you’ll find as you go.
  • Get planning permission as early as possible.
    First, see how easy it will be to get planning permission. This is dependent on your Local Authority and your surrounding neighbours will be given a say. It can take up to 12 weeks for the council to make a decision, so the earlier you get your planning application in, the better. Some smaller renovations don’t need planning permission. If you want to find out if your potential property requires planning permission there’s more information on the Government’s planning portal website.
  • Decide who will manage your renovations.
    You can project manage your own project, or employ a dedicated project manager. Getting someone to look after the day-to-day, liaise with builders and merchants and stay on budget can be worth the extra cost. It also means you don’t have to be on-site all the time. If you want to project manage yourself, make sure you take into account your time and your living arrangements if it’s a hefty project that means you’ll be living on a building site.
  • Be realistic about how much you can DIY.
    You might be a dab-hand with a screwdriver and a set of tools, but when it comes to full-scale renovations it pays to be realistic about how much you can really do yourself. Can you fit a kitchen? Plumb in a bathroom? Tile the walls? Plus, it could take you much longer as a novice. Make sure you stay real at the beginning to avoid any delays and having to call in the professionals further down the line.
  • Look out for older houses.
    The older the property, the more likely you are to have hidden complications along the way. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for an old renovation project – but it pays to go in with your eyes open. To start with, make sure that the property is worth what you pay for it. An old cottage may look quaint – but all that charm could be hiding damage, subsidence and previous renovation work. And things like subsidence can affect your home insurance. Or it could be that the electrics need rewiring if they’re old-fashioned and outdated – a task that can run into the thousands. Get a thorough buildings survey and get as much information as you can before diving in.
  • How much time do you want to spend renovating?
    Renovations can be a lengthy process. Work out a timeframe that works for you and is realistic – taking into account planning permission, ordering materials and time to deal with the unexpected. And make sure to take breaks from it. If you’re in it for the long haul, plan a holiday or two into the schedule, so you get some rest and peace away from the project.

Are you looking to buy a renovation project? Compare our range of mortgages.

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