Planning your home renovation: Where to start
Your home renovation should be an exciting step to improving your quality of life, as well as increasing your home’s value.
It’s also a great way for those entrepreneurs, looking to climb onto the property ladder, to make money from renovating run down properties.
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to planning a home renovation, you don’t want to discover ten years down the line that you’ve breached any regulations or building guidelines and have to tear down any work.
Lorna Sowrey, in Devon, discovered this the hard way after renovating her home only to discover that because it is listed as a historic agricultural building she must continue using it as so and her renovations do not allow her to use it for such a purpose.
However, Sowrey’s house is not open to the public so she disputed the issue – but Dartmoor National Park Authority rejected her planning permission and has ordered her to pull down any renovations that she spent her life savings completing.
The moral of the story, and the first place to start, when renovating your home is to obtain planning permission and to not begin any work until you have complete clarification from your local council that what you wish to renovate is approved.
You must also ensure you stick rigidly to the plans you submitted for permission, if your property is later inspected and does not reflect them you could find yourself in hot water.
You should also be considerate of your neighbours when it comes to renovating your home. Late or very early working hours using power tools can cause strained relationships and less than thoughtful designs can even impact upon other people’s property values.
An example of this occurred in 2014 with an extension that left just 24 inches between two properties and blocking all light entering the neighbouring property. This could reduce the neighbours’ property value by an estimated £100,000, according to the story.
Budget is an important factor to consider at the planning stages. Be strict and don’t let those numbers spiral out of control.
However, if something does cost more than expected but you know that you will benefit in the long run do try to factor it in – a good example of this could be installing an underfloor heating system, which could save you around £30 a year or solar panels on the roof.
Utilities are an important factor to consider when planning your home renovation.
If you intend to move rooms around, your current pipework might have to be drastically adjusted, resulting in huge expenses.
Timeframe is also important, the last thing you want is for a job to stretch out for longer than it needs to. Without a strict timeframe work can roll over until it’s half a year later and you’re still not finished.
You should also inform your home insurance company before any work begins – let them know important details such as your time frame, costs, what is being renovated on the property and who is doing the work.
Your home insurer should then go away, work out any extra risks and come back to you with an amended policy for the duration of the renovation.
It’s important when planning your home renovation that you cover all bases, ensure you have everything in place and have accounted for anything that could change or go wrong.
But once this is all done you will be left with a newly renovated home, ready for you to enjoy for years and years to come.