House renovation costs: What to expect (and five things to consider)

House renovation costs: What to expect (and five things to consider)
If you're looking for a house to buy, it's likely you'll come across a 'doer-upper' on your journey.

For some people, the sight of tens of thousands of pounds worth of work to bring a property up to scratch can make them run a mile.

For others, the opportunity to create something bespoke (and potentially increase the property's value) is just too good to turn down.

But whatever you're thinking, buying a house that needs renovation is a lot of work and can carry a degree of risk.

So if you're thinking of buying a house that needs updating, take a look at our guide below...


Buying a house that needs renovation: The costs

As a rule, you should expect the unexpected when renovating a house.

Things can, and do, go wrong and costs can, and do, go up.

But if you've done your due diligence on your property and completed thorough planning, there's no reason why you can't bring the project in on budget.

Of course, how much your renovation project costs will depend on the type of property you are doing up and the amount and complexity of the work you are undertaking.

Much, also, will depend on whether you decide to bring in quality tradespeople or do some of the work yourself.

If you are completely gutting a property and starting again, some of the costs you are likely to incur will include:

  *  Design and specification from an architect
  *  Planning applications and building control
  *  Contractors and build costs
  *  Snags and unforeseen issues

The biggest cost, and again this will depend on the amount of work you are having done, is likely to be structural and building work, which can run into tens of thousands of pounds.


House renovations: Seven things to consider

1. Assess the property's potential before you buy it
It might sound obvious, but it's easy to get carried away when buying a home, particularly if you have a real vision for how you want it to look.

And that can mean missing key things that could cause you problems and cost you money during your renovation.

Consider what is physically possible with the house design and really think hard about the value any work would add against the costs of undertaking it.

Problems can almost always be overcome, but make sure you find out about any potential structural problems early as this can have a huge impact on your budget further down the line.


2. Think carefully about the design
This is where living in the property as it stands for a short time can pay dividends.

Until you live in a house, do you actually really understand how it works and how it could work?

Consider the property as it is and how it needs to work for you and look at things like where high levels of natural light enter the home and where pockets of additional space can be used better.

Thinking carefully about these things will help you when coming up with a design.

And this is where hiring an architect can help. Yes, it's an expense, but professional home designers often see things us mere mortals don't.


3. Consider what original features to keep or restore
If you're lucky enough to be renovating a Victorian or Edwardian property then there's a chance there will be original period features you'd like to keep.

Due to the time they have been in place, sometimes it's not always possible to preserve things like sash windows or period fireplaces.

But take a good look at everything you want to keep and assess it.

And most importantly, keep an eye out for hidden treasures - many Victorian fireplaces were covered over by home buyers in the 1950s and 1960s.


4. Use electric and heating installations to your advantage
If your property is in need of renovation then it's likely that the electrics and heating system will be out and date and need replacing.

This can make a big dent in your budget.

But it also means you can make modern changes to these systems to both suit your lifestyle and potentially make your home more energy efficient.

And there's a strong chance that an energy efficient, modern heating system will add genuine value to your property, in which case you'll get your money back and more.


5. Quirks aren't always a bad thing
During your renovation, you might find a few unexpected quirky issues along the way.

For instance, if you're doing up a period property, you might discover that a floor is not level.

This could be a big cost to rectify, so why not embrace the slanted floor and leave it in place?

A home is unique to its owner, so if you like it, leave it!


If you are looking for a property to renovate, take a look at all of Whitegates' available properties here.