House renovation if successful can be a very empowering experience but when you feel you are battling constantly with planners, builders, the bank and your family about all aspects of the project, whilst trying to hold down a job, the experience can be unpleasant and drive many people to say “never again…”.
Here we hope to give you a handful of tips about how to make your project a success which usually hinges on spending your precious budget wisely.
Although suring up the property structurally will not in itself add value, not making these sorts of improvements will make a house impossible to sell for a good price in the future. Surveyors examining your house when it’s eventually put up for sale will see through the expensive kitchen and beautiful décor with their damp meters, lasers and experienced eyes. If you don’t sort out damp issues, subsidence, dry rot, leaky roofs etc, you are wasting your money in making any other improvements to the property, which may need to be ripped out later on in order to remedy longstanding issues.
Should you keep all of your original period features?
In an ideal world, you would preserve all the period features present in your property such as coving, skirting, period wallpaper, floor tiles. However, sometimes this just isn’t viable. Take plaster coving for example. A roof may have leaked and ruined the plaster coving in one corner of a room. Similarly damp could be coming in from underground and rotted some of your skirting boards. In an ideal world, you would find a matching coving or skirting profile and simply replace what has been damaged at a reasonable cost. However, the world of renovation is less than ideal therefore it’s unlikely that you would find an exact match for these profiles readily available; then the only way of matching them would be to have a bespoke item made for you. If you are looking to replace 5 metres of coving, with the setup charge and the manufacturing cost, this may add up to £300 or more with a lead time of several weeks. You will find that simply removing all of the existing coving and replacing with a similar profile would cost you considerably less, around £160 for the coving for an average sized room of 4 metres x 4 metres, plus labour costs for removing the existing coving and fitting the new stuff. An added advantage is that you will know that the coving in the entire room is new and damp free and also newly fitted meaning the risk of it crumbling or degrading any time soon is minimal (make sure you’ve fixed the leaky roof first).
UPVC or Aluminium windows will always be bad news for a period property. They will devalue the property and with double and triple glazed wooden period windows readily available, there is no justification for using these materials.
When considering an extension for your house, you need to assess the value this may or may not add to your house. Our house refurbishment project management service can help with this assessment and we’d love to lend an experienced hand. If it’s extra space you need and your investment will be repaid when you come to sell the property it’s a no brainer. If it’s an extension that is not really necessary as your house is already large, and it wouldn’t actually add any value (consult a few local estate agents) your money is best left in the bank. Extensions can be some of the most stressful projects as the mess usually impacts on the rest of your living space. Think very carefully before you venture into this arena and know that our house refurbishment project management expertise is available to you – we’re just a phone call away on 01525 750333. You may also like to read our article entitled "Things I wish I'd known before buying my period house" full of tips and advice from our customers, many of whom are experienced renovators.
If you would like to find out more about our house refurbishment project management service covering Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, please email [email protected] or call 01525 750333. You can read our ultimate guide to period property renovation here.