Renovating your home can be an exciting time, it can breath new life into your space and make your home finally feel yours. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to go and carry out more “extensive” projects such as conservatories, wall removals and extensions.
In this article we are going to share a number of tips for building renovations which will help you decide on if you have what it takes to go through this challenging, but hugely rewarding process. Renovating your home can do several things such as:
- make your home fit your family
- add value to a property
- make a home feel yours
These are just some of the benefits, but it’s not all plain sailing. Things can go wrong, this is building work after all. So let’s get to it and hear what our experts have to say.
Expert 1: Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs on channel 4.
Giving the kiss of life to a tired or ruined property can do wonders for the finances whether you buy at home or abroad. Take Liz and Dan Burgess, who won the 2013 Homebuilding and Renovating awards. They converted a crumbling Berkshire bungalow into a handsome, two-storey modern family home (pictured). It cost them £825,000, but the house is now worth £1.2 million. It also took them five years to complete the scheme. This is par for the course, explains Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud. “Everyone approaching a project like this should spend three years on planning, and six months on the really expensive bit – the building.”
But rich rewards await those with patience, perseverance and a tight grip on budget.
Expert 2: George Clark, business owner.
Don’t go down the DIY route if you don’t have to. Employ proper partners and builders, but don’t give them an easy time. Get three quotes for each job and references from previous clients. Follow up by asking how much work each firm has on at the moment. This is a coded message for “How quickly can you get around to me?”
Draw up a written agreement regarding how long the project will take and what it will cost. Keep back five per cent for snagging work once the job is done. “Hold that money back for six months,” urges Channel 4’s Restoration Man George Clarke. “Unprofessional builders will hassle you for the money at this point. At the end of this six-month period, though, at their cost and not yours, they are obliged to fix any problems.”
Expert 3: Vicki Wushe, blogger at Property Mermaid
You may love the vibrant combination of pink and yellow, but when you are decorating with a view to selling, opt for less controversial colours. Buyers want your house, not your taste.
The same rule applies if you are renting out a property. “It’s your job to create a space that a stranger can make their own,” says Vicki Wusche, known as the Property Mermaid (). “In a kitchen, you can’t go wrong with mid-oak-coloured cabinets and a dark, grey granite worktop.”