If you’re considering renovating a property, either to live in or to sell, the first thing you will need to do is work out the tasks involved. This process will establish the limits of what you can reasonably do yourself and will help you set your budget. It will also enable you to set a schedule for the work so that tasks proceed in a sensible order and don’t interrupt one another. The better your understanding of this process, the larger the profit you are likely to make if you sell, and the less likely you are to lose control of the project and find yourself in trouble.
The first thing to understand is that unless you are a very well-qualified construction worker, you can’t do everything yourself. Your plumbing and electrical work will need to be done by licensed professionals who can make sure that it meets safety standards. If you need to construct all or part of a floor, you’ll need to bring in a professional joiner – the risk of not doing so is that the floor may give way, leading to serious injury. When it comes to jobs that don’t entail these risks, it’s still often worth involving professionals because you may end up paying them a lot less than the value of the time that it would take you to do the work otherwise, and they can give you guarantees that will keep your insurer happy.
Kitchens and bathrooms
The two most expensive parts of most domestic renovation projects are kitchens and bathrooms. It’s actually not that expensive to put in a basic fitted kitchen, but investing in high-quality appliances – especially an Aga – can significantly increase the value of the property, so if you’ve got the capital, it can be wise to spend it. Bathrooms are inescapably expensive, especially if you’re building them where no bathroom has been previously, but it doesn’t cost much more to fit a luxury bathroom than it does to fit a basic one, and this can make a big difference to the property’s appeal. Consider double shower units, wet rooms, Jacuzzis and large corner baths.
Large scale renovations
If you’re taking on a big renovation job, such as a church or barn conversion, it’s generally a lot more practical to go through an umbrella company to find skilled contractors rather than seeking them out individually. This makes it much easier to find suitably able people for each obscure little job you need done, whilst keeping payments simple.
Every little thing
Once the big jobs have been done, pay attention to the details. Often, it is little things you can do by yourself that ultimately make the biggest difference to the value of your property. Use light-coloured paint and mirrors to make spaces feel bigger and brighter. Make sure everything is sparkling clean and add fresh flowers to make it feel welcoming. Make fresh coffee before people come to view it. These subtle details will add the magic touch, making it feel like a home.