This guest article is brought to you by Steve Gilbert who has more than 20 years' experience in the building industry. He runs a family business that prides itself on making a change to homes that truly make a difference. Proud members of the BNI, Steve has extensive experience in a range of properties, from modern new builds to heritage homes. Below, he shares some words of wisdom written to help prepare you for your home renovation project.
If this is your first renovation project you may feel unsure of how or where to start, especially when renovating a house can be full of surprises. However, if done carefully and with the right guidance, you can transform your home from being that roof over your head, to something special that enhances your lifestyle. Take the wise words of an expert who's been in the industry for over 20 years, and you'll be at least one step closer to knowing how to start.
Have a Strict Schedule
Getting organised can save you the headache in the long run when you feel as though you're living on a building site. Renovation projects are notoriously chaotic, so avoid the tradesmen having to clamber for space around the family. A schedule will help you to see what needs to be done and in what order. If you have the help of an architect, they will be able to advise you of the timescales needed for each phase of the project.
Many jobs may be able to be carried out at the same time to save on costs, but ensure you consider your options before booking them in, and always advise the tradesman if this will be the case so that they know the space will be limited.
Know your Planning Permission
It's a common feeling to fear planning permission as depending on your local council it can take weeks or months to secure. But many people don't realise that planning permission is not always needed. Internal improvements that don't affect the external look and small extensions will be classed as 'Permitted Development', which you can find out about on the government's planning section on their website. Larger extensions that dramatically change the appearance of your home will still need planning permission so to avoid any delays on your project, place your paperwork in with the council as soon as possible.
Set a Budget
It's tempting to go down the DIY route to cut down on costs, but don't go there if you don't have to. Bodged jobs can unfortunately cause more harm than good if you end up going through a pipe or an electrical wire. Instead do your homework as to how much the project is going to cost you before you commit. Gaining quotes from tradespeople and even asking any of your friends or relatives who have had a similar project can help you to set aside the money you will need to finance the project. Most suppliers will add 20% VAT to all quotes so keep that in mind as it can significantly differ the price.
A top tip to any homeowner considering a renovation project would be to consider insuring the project against any accidents. Renovation insurance should include cover for public liability, cover for building materials and works, the existing structure, accident cover and legal expenses.
Find a Trustworthy Tradesman
Unfortunately, we are all well aware of the pain and devastation that a cowboy builder can cause to home and more importantly people's lives. The all important factor here is to do your research and then check again. Many trading standards services operate a Builders Register with lists of trusted tradespeople who have been recommended and undergone strict vetting procedure. However there are now many other providers who list trusted tradesman such as Which?, RatedPeople and TrustaTrader.com.
While commercial sites such as these are useful for checking reviews of other customers, they do not give the same assurances as the government backed sites. Once you've contacted a tradesperson that you feel comfortable with, request a viewing of their previous work so that you can see for yourself the quality of service.
If you are on the lookout for the perfect property to renovate and bring back to life, waste no time and contact your local Whitegates branch today, who will be more than happy to help with your search.
Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Whitegates blog are written by external companies. Whitegates do not endorse the products or services of these companies.ï¿½