Before you renovate, here are 25 things you should know.

A renovation project may be both difficult and rewarding. We’ve compiled a list of our best advice for making your project a success.

Taking up a renovation job can be both difficult and rewarding. Renovations, unlike new house renovation, never start with a clean slate.

As a result, renovating a house may be complicated and subject to unanticipated complications and costs, thus being properly prepared is essential for a successful project. We’ve included some of our best advice for completing your project and selecting the ideal house to renovate.

It is critical to do a building survey.

Before purchasing a house to renovate, you should always have a building survey from a professional building surveyor. Depending on the size, location, and age of the house, these can cost anywhere from £500 to well over $1,000.

A building survey will reveal any serious concerns, such as the need for a new roof or issues like moisture or structural movement. The survey will also inform you whether you require any additional surveys, such as an asbestos report.

Keep in mind, however, that a surveyor will not be able to detect concealed issues and will not normally provide an estimate of the cost.

Prepare yourself for competition.

When there is a lot of interest in a property, sealed bids are frequently used. The estate agent will inform you of the day and time when all bids must be submitted. You must include a letter outlining your final offer, your solicitor’s contact information, and, ideally, a mortgage offer in principle from your lender when submitting your bid.

It’s a good idea to write the owner of the house a letter outlining why you’re a good fit—no chain, hefty deposit, etc.

Include some personal details, such as why you want to buy the home and whether you are a trustworthy candidate.

Surveys aren’t as important as they formerly were.

Your lender will demand a valuation if you need a renovation loan. Whether you also want a thorough building survey, ask your lender if your preferred surveyor is on their panel for valuation reports and, if not, if they can recommend someone locally who is – this will save you money because you won’t have to pay for two studies.

Before you start working on your renovation, take a breath.

It’s tempting to jump right into work, especially if you plan to live in the house while the renovation. Let’s face it, no one likes to spend more time than necessary on a construction site.

It may, however, be beneficial to take a breather before commencing work. This will not only give you time to prepare carefully, but it will also allow you to get to know the house. For example, you can keep track of which rooms get natural light throughout the day and which places you typically go toward — as well as which ones don’t and require remodelling or repair.

Plus, unless you have a builder or tradesperson lined up throughout the purchase process, they won’t be able to start for a few months.

Plan for Investing in New Electrics

Look for historical fuse boxes, light switches, round pin plugs, and fabric-coated flex in older buildings that need to be renovated.

A three-bedroom terrace will cost between £3,000 and £4,000 to rewire. This should entail removing the old wiring, installing a new consumer unit, and elevating and replacing the floors, but not replastering.

If you opt to add more light fixtures and plugs, the price may go up.

Keep an eye out for radiators.

The absence of radiators should alert you to the absence of a central heating system. Old storage heaters, for example, might be used instead.

A new heating system (a boiler and radiators) for a normal house would cost between £3,500 and £5,000+, so keep that in mind when planning your budget. If you need to connect the property to mains gas, or if you need to build an off-mains option like an LPG or oil tank, or a heat pump, the cost may be greater.

Old radiators and boilers can also indicate that the present heating system needs to be updated with new, more energy-efficient radiators and/or a new boiler.

Savvy on Subsidence

Cracks aren’t usually a cause for concern; they’re often the consequence of thermal movement and slight past settlement.

However, when buying a home, it’s critical to consult a building surveyor as soon as possible. They will usually utilise the BRE Digest 251 Assessment of damage in low-rise structures to access fractures and identify locations in their report that may require further study (by a structural engineer, for example).

Cracks may be a symptom of sinking at the most serious end of the spectrum.

The main issue with subsidence is that getting building insurance will be difficult — you’ll either have to pay for any necessary treatment yourself, then get insurance, which will almost certainly be expensive, or get the seller to file a claim against their insurers, allowing work to be done under their policy.

All that may be required is the removal of trees or the repair of drains. If the structure has begun to crumble, though, underpinning may be necessary, which may cost $10,000.

Moisture should be avoided.

There are a variety of reasons for moisture, some of which are more expensive to repair than others. Water marks on floors and walls are common indicators of damp, although this is not always the case.

The causes range from easy fixes like leaking gutters and blocked drains to ineffective contemporary treatments like cement renders, concrete floors, and injected damp-proof courses, which prevent a historic structure from “breathing.” These are a little more expensive to fix.

Check for rot.

Make sure you keep an eye out for rot, which is a fungus that may harm wood. Rot thrives in poorly ventilated areas, such as the roof space or beneath the flooring of older homes. When you lift the carpet, look for cotton wool-like lumps and a heavy musty odour.

It will cost roughly £1,000 to get rid of it. Wet rot isn’t a major issue. When wood is exposed to a lot of moisture, this happens.

Create a work schedule.

Make a work schedule before you begin any work on your renovation. Without a timetable, the process may become chaotic, with tradesmen overlapping and several projects that should have been completed at the same time to save money being completed independently.

The work that has to be done on the house and in what sequence is listed on a schedule. In addition to having a single calendar for the entire project, it is sometimes beneficial to divide a project into stages, such as “kitchen expansion,” “moving bathroom upstairs,” “loft conversion,” and so on, and have a timetable for each.

Is it possible to live there?

Be aware that certain mortgage lenders may refuse to lend on uninhabitable buildings, while others will lend based on the existing worth of the house but then refuse to lend again until the project is completed—this is known as “putting a “retention” on the borrowing.

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Bathrooms on the ground floor should not be demolished.

Bathrooms on the first floor are fairly frequent in older homes. A new bathroom on the first floor to replace an existing bedroom may cost £2,000 or more, but you’ll have to give up one of your bedrooms.

On the positive side, if you’re replacing or installing a bathroom upstairs, a downstairs bathroom allows you to keep using the facilities while the new one is being installed, and plumbing and waste will be in place if you choose to install a downstairs shower room or anything similar.

Take a look at the roof.

Roof tiles that are broken or missing, flashings that are missing, underfelt that is missing, and worn spots on the roof should all be documented. It will only cost a few hundred pounds to replace a few tiles, but if the damage is substantial, a new roof will be necessary, which would cost around £5,000–£10,000 for a normal three-bed house.

Obtain a Survey that is Measured

If you’re going to do a lot of design work on the new house, make sure you have a thorough survey first (i.e., laser measures and scans of the property). It guarantees that the design is precise and eliminates any uncertainty.

Prepare for Auctions

Purchasing something at an auction might be a difficult task. It necessitates rapid decision-making and the understanding that if you are the victorious bidder when the hammer falls, there is no going back. It’s a good idea to attend a few auctions to gain a feel for the procedure, as well as to properly investigate the property before the auction, conducting all essential property and land searches to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

In the four to six weeks between the auction’s announcement and the bidding day, you’ll also have to complete a survey. As a result, you must be willing and able to invest a large sum of money without knowing if the property is yours, as well as a 10% deposit on the day the contracts are signed, and the rest 90% within 28 days. You’ll need to employ a lawyer to examine the boundaries, title paperwork, and ask questions of the seller’s lawyer when purchasing a house.

A Living Strategy

If the home you purchase is uninhabitable, you will need a place to stay while you renovate it. If you wish to stay in your old house while the work is being done, some mortgage lenders will allow you to have your home evaluated first, and then the sales numbers for your property will be used to determine your borrowing needs.

You’ll place your old house on the market after your renovation is finished, or typically shortly before. The final stats are calculated when it sells.

It’s tough to renovate

You should be prepared for a few practical challenges along the road, depending on the scope of the task you’re doing. As a result of changing boilers, electricity metres, consumer units, and other basic services, there will be a period of time when you are without basic services (also, a common cause for delay at the start is dealing with utility companies, so plan ahead).

Dust is another thing that annoys a lot of people; decrease it by closing off work areas in stages and postpone the major knock-through until the last feasible minute (i.e., keep the work outside as much as possible).

Recognize Your VAT

For anybody doing work on an existing property, most suppliers will have to add 20% VAT to all quotations. If the house has been vacant for more than two years, however, you should be charged a reduced rate of 5%. For further information, see HMRC VAT Notice 708.

Obtain Adequate Coverage

You become liable for the site once you exchange contracts, thus you must have proper insurance. Your lender will not release any funds unless you have insurance in place to cover disasters such as floods, theft, or fire to the property if you are taking out a mortgage to pay the renovation. Public and employers’ responsibility, building supplies and work, the existing structure, accident coverage, and legal fees should all be covered by renovation insurance.

Keep the windows closed.

If the original windows – which are likely to be wood or metal – are still in situ as part of your renovation project, do all you can to save them before replacing them. They can always be fixed, even if there is major damage. According to conservationists, if at least 50% of the original window remains, it should be fixed rather than replaced.

Engineers that specialise in structural design

If you’re planning to remove load-bearing walls, cut into roof timbers, expand window or door openings, or remove a chimney breast, contacting a structural engineer is a smart idea and frequently required. They’ll be able to advise you on the size, location, and type of steel beam you’ll need to remove walls, among other things. A straightforward job should cost between £500 and £1,000 to complete.

Think about getting a warranty.

Warranties aren’t required, but they’re always a good idea. They’ll protect your house against defects in the design, materials, or construction, as well as any problems that arise as a result. Warranties normally last ten years, so if you want to acquire one, do it early on because the premiums will rise as the project progresses.

Be wary of hidden fees.

You might have to pay some expenses to get the house back up and running, such as reconnecting the water supply or cleaning the septic tank.

Other fees that may surprise you include valuation fees (usually based on the completed property’s value) and, with some renovation mortgages, a fee to pay before each stage payment is released.

Simply simply, acquiring an antique home entails confronting the unknown. This also has unidentified costs.

Planning Permission Isn’t Always Required.

Planning authorization is not required for a large percentage of renovation and extension projects. Internal upgrades that do not change the building’s outward appearance, as well as tiny additions, are examples. Permitted development rights, or PD rights, will be assigned to these.

It’s recommended filing for a Lawful Development Certificate for tiny expansions that do fall under PD rights. This is proof that your construction was legal and did not require planning approval, which may come in handy if you decide to sell the house.

If you’re making significant alterations to an existing structure, such as constructing a major addition, you’ll almost certainly need to apply for planning approval.

Request a Drainage Survey

When purchasing a renovation, it is not always clear if there is a drainage problem. As a result, performing a CCTV drainage study will reveal any problems with below-ground drainage. A good survey might set you back around £200.

It will also alert you to any public sewers that may be affected by the expansion. If your drains just service your house, you may make any necessary adjustments. However, if those drains also service a neighbor’s property, you’ll need authorization from your local water authority board and a Build Over Agreement before you begin work.