Getting set up in your perfect home can be tough. You may need to work hard and save for a considerable amount of time. All the while, paying for your life elsewhere. Sometimes your ideal property may be several steps away. You might have to start off small or in an area that you don’t want to be in order to make the necessary leaps toward the end goal.
If you want to move up the property ladder at a fast pace, but your dream home feels out of reach, one option that may be open to you is to buy a restoration property. Often, you will be able to find at a property for a considerably lower price because it needs the work doing to it. If you are savvy with the way that you carry out the work, you may add some real value to the place, and you could turn a run-down ruin into a manor house.
Be aware that if you are buying a property that is in a severe state of disrepair, you may be unable to buy this using a mortgage. When a lender agrees to provide you with the money to buy your property, they do so on the condition that the property will pass a survey. This will look at the safety and integrity of the property. In this instance, you may only be able to buy the property using cash. However, this will generally mean that the house will be even lower in price.
Planning Your Renovation
Once you have bought your house, you will need to start your planning. A survey on the property will flag up all of the major concerns. These will be the starting point. Your survey could pull up a whole host of issues such as structural movement, woodworm, Japanese Knotwood, problems with the roof, electrical issues, asbestos, and damp. Some issues will be easier to rectify than others.
Following the major areas of concern, you will then need to move to the aesthetics. Walls may need replastering, particularly if you have had to have any modernizing work done to your electrical wiring installation. Creating a smooth, professional finish will be essential to allow you to decorate easily.
Windows and doors are not only important for how they look, but they are also good for keeping out sound and keeping in heat. If you want an energy-efficient home, having well-fitted UPVC doors and windows is a good place to start.
You may need to replace or repair the boiler. This can be a costly task. Following this, the building may need new radiators too. If you are replacing any of the heating in the home, you should look at fuel efficiency and try to try to save some money on your home heating bill in the long run.
Kitchen renovations may be needed. This can be a significant task if all of the units need to be replaced. You may need to fit new appliances such as the oven and the hob.
Next, you can deal with aesthetics. Give your property a good lick of paint, or wallpaper throughout. This is your chance to add style and character and to really make the place into your own.
DIY Vs. Contractors
When it comes down to getting the job done, one of the major factors that you will no doubt wrestle with is going to be how much everything is going to cost. House renovations don’t come cheap.
If you are handy with some tools, you may be tempted to undertake all of the work yourself in order to save yourself some money. And, while there are many people out there that can take on a project such as this, you should ask yourself if your skill level is up to the job. There are going to be some tasks that most people would be able to manage to do. However, there may very well be some specialist tasks that require the experience of a professional with a good degree of experience.
If there is a risk that you will not be able to do a task to a high standard, then you should get professionals to do the job for you. Far better that they take it on from the start, than have to come in after you have already wasted time on doing work that now needs to be undone.
It can be soul-destroying, too, when you feel as though you are not making progress at the speed that you would have expected to. The house may look as though it is ages away from being habitable, and everything is half done and dirty. If you are doing this work yourself, you may feel as though your own efforts are not getting you very far.
Allowing others to deal with the workload will help you to detach slightly from the process. Things will naturally move faster when you have a good team of professionals working on the project.
Finding The Right Contractors For The Job
Getting the right people for the job is vital. You are putting your property in the hands of workers that you may not know. You will expect a good job and for it to be done on time. You may need to hire several companies to do different parts of the house, and there may be a knock-on effect if work is not carried out by the agreed date.
Ask around friends and family for some recommendations or read reviews online. Then, approach the companies that come highly recommended and ask for some quotations. You’ll want to get a few for comparison. Try and get as detailed a quote as possible, that way you can really compare what is on offer.
Make sure you agree on a competition date and start your working relationship off with some clear communication.
When it comes to working with contractors, often, the biggest problems come out of a lack of communication or clarity. Always check to ensure that they understand what you want, and if they provide you with any information, check that you know exactly what they mean.
Make sure you project manage the whole project. Don’t just leave everything to chance. Check-in for regular updates. If you have any questions or concerns, ask them in a polite manner along the way and try not to come across as being difficult. Sometimes a job may look half-finished for a reason, so don’t assume that there are mistakes that are getting made. Coming across overly critical may end up causing a breakdown in your working relationship with the contractors.
There will be an opportunity after the contractors have finished to check over the work and get any snagging issues fixed. You will need to thoroughly go through and inspect the whole property and make a full list that covers anything that may need fixing.
Budgeting For Your Renovation Project
Getting your project off the ground is going to need a considerable amount of money, and you may be able to take out a loan to help you get the work done. While you will need to have an overall budget in mind, it is important that you understand that things may run over the cost that you had in mind. Things do go wrong, and mistakes happen. You should plan to keep some money spare in the budget for any problems that crop up along the way.
Get quotes for every aspect of the job before you engage anyone. If there are areas of the refurbishment that you do need to cut back spending on, it is better to know before any materials have been bought.
Ensure all of your possible costs are accounted for. If you run out of money and have forgotten something, you may end up living in a semi-refurbished home. Living in a restoration project can be stressful and overwhelming.
Keep a running spreadsheet where you tally up budgeted amounts and actual amounts and check on it regularly. You may have money coming out for certain things, and it can be hard to track all of your spendings thoroughly. Try and check-in and balance your spreadsheet every couple of days, if not daily. This will ensure that you do not have any nasty surprises.
Enjoying Your New Property
Completing a refurbishment project can be a very rewarding experience. You will see all of the changes along the way, and maybe nice to keep a photo journal documenting the progress. Developing your home in this way will give you a greater sense of ownership of the property, and you can be proud for many years to come about the achievements you will have made in that home.
If you decide to sell your home, you will hopefully have added value to the property. You may want to get it valued once your renovation is complete just to find out what a difference you may have made.
Latest posts by Kori (see all)
- How to Winter-Proof your Home (And What Could Happen If You Don’t) - November 12, 2019