Many of us live in houses dating from before the first half of the twentieth century so it’s hardly surprising that skips and scaffolding are a familiar sight on our streets. Whatever the age of your property, it’s likely that you are going to want to make home improvements, either to reflect your personal taste or to make your home a more convenient environment. It’s easy to get swept away by enthusiasm and take actions, which on reflection, might have benefited from more consideration. So, here are some suggestions for a less stressful, more successful, outcome.
Making Home Improvements
Do you need planning permission?
Don’t be put off home improvements because you think that you’ll need planning permission, you’ll be surprised at the range of work which can be carried out under the heading of ‘permitted development’. If your house isn’t listed, internal remodelling, loft conversions, conservatories, porches, gates, fences and outbuildings can usually be worked on without planning permission. Use the government ‘planning portal’ to find out what you can and can’t do.
Get inspiration from Pinterest
You may have great ideas but seeing what others have done will help you shape and refine your plans. You can use a group board to invite collaborators to share their ideas and you can find and follow boards to seek inspiration. Follow my Home Decor board on Pinterest.
Get quotes and plan your budget
Generally speaking, these things always turn out to be more expensive than planned and running out of money is a common experience when it comes to renovation, especially on older properties. Get a range of quotes, do your sums carefully and build a little extra into your budget so that there aren’t any nasty surprises further down the line.
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Do you need to revise your building insurance?
It’s easy to overlook this one but if you’re building an extension or doing substantial renovation, you might need to take out a new insurance policy because the building’s structure is changing. Be sure to shop around and compare quotes online.
Don’t miss the opportunity to insulate
Insulating your home will soon pay for itself in the money that you will save on heating bills. We’re all familiar with the need for loft insulation but you should also be looking at the opportunity to insulate flat roofs, walls, floors and windows.
Have a schedule
Are you going to need to move out of your home for a while? If so you need to know that the work is running to a tight schedule. Don’t rely on word of mouth agreements, get the schedule in writing with agreed penalties for late completion. If you are doing the work yourself don’t be unrealistic about how quickly it will be completed, this is particularly important if you are going to hire equipment.
DIY or tradesperson?
When DIY goes wrong it can end up costing more than employing a tradesperson from the outset, so be realistic about your capabilities and the time available to you to complete your project. If you are using a tradesperson, make sure that they are qualified, have references and insurance by using a vetting website.