Property renovation can be an extremely lucrative field for investment. Maintain a property and refurbishing can also be a risky business, if your end goal is to sell the property for profit. However, if you’re not in the business of property development and merely looking to gut out a property you have recently purchased, with the view of living in it full time, there are a number of considerations to assess before jumping on the bandwagon and getting carried away. After all, getting carried away can come with its problems and a large bill to pay at the end.
Refurbishing a house needs to be assessed according to its current value and the value it may sell for once re-decorated. Consider the aesthetic features prospective homebuyers would look for, if you choose to sell the house in the future.
Here are some of our top tips for refurbishing a property, without overdoing it!
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Manage the project from the beginning to end
When managing a project to refurbish your property, it is integral to get all the quotes well in advance, and be sure to shop around! You need to know that all your quotes match your budget and your tradesmen are aware of the work that needs doing. Managing the project yourself will ensure there is a strict regime from beginning to end and all the jobs that you need doing, get done. Perhaps even before you have exchanged, you will know from the survey if there are any immediate refurbishing jobs that needs doing; so assess the urgency of what needs doing. With this information, you can decide if there are extra jobs that you would like to complete at the same time. You can make as many visits to the house as possible, and by taking your tradesmen, they will know exactly what to achieve. Ultimately, managing a project requires patience, and the number one rule of renovating a house is not to create scheduled timescales for things to be complete.
Set yourself a budget
Be prepared to spend more than you anticipate, so be realistic in the budget you set. Ultimately, having a budget may be limiting as to how much work you can do. The most common saying cited by homeowners when refurbishing a property is: ‘it costs twice as much as I thought it would’. You should factor in some contingency funding – 15% of the total cost is a good guideline. How much you choose to spend is also factored into the type of house you purchase; so don’t bite out more than you chew. Also bear in mind, if you leave your architects, specialists and tradesmen to do everything, your bill will rack up quickly – think about the jobs you can do yourself and save some cash.
Ask and trust the experts
The reason they are called experts is for the reason, we don’t know the ins and outs of refurbishing a property safely, efficiently and correctly. Roofers, timber and damp specialists and electricians will charge nothing for quotes. So trust their expertise, but don’t be fooled by their price packages. When employing your tradesmen, the JCT is an independent body that produces a standard contract for use between you and the builder. It avoids all the technical jargon that you won’t understand; confirming the arrangements, price, pavement terms, working hours, insurance and guarantees as to how to resolve disputes.
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