Although the UK Government is currently working on ensuring more new build properties are constructed, there’s still plenty of older housing stock that’s in desperate need of some TLC. For those among you for whom only a renovation project will do, there’s a lot to consider. While some properties require a little bit of modernisation, others need a new kitchen and bathroom and new windows too. And then, are the complete fixer uppers – properties that need everything ripping out and replaced with new, modern and safe-to-use alternatives.
“The UK’s stock of older properties is a mixed bag and you need to take a good look at each one before deciding whether or not it’s the right renovation project for you,” said Fulham estate agent, Lawsons & Daughters. “While you might want to put your own stamp on an old wreck, if you’re a beginner with a limited budget and not a lot of time on your hands, that’s probably not the right decision for you, right now.”
Never underestimate costs
This might seem like an obvious detail to point out, but it’s something you need to remember when you’re making your calculations. And we’re not just talking about the 10% contingency. That 10% needs to be added on to your already very generous and completely realistic budget of what it’s going to cost to get your renovation project into the shape you want it.
Even if you’re planning to undertake the works over a number of years, each step is probably going to cost more than you anticipate. Even without the unexpected problems that are sure to crop up if the property you’ve chosen is really old.
In addition, the level of your costs will also differ depending on whether its an investment project or you’re renovating a home for you to live in. If it’s for you, then your costs will be even higher. After all, if you’re going to all this effort, you need to have everything you want!
“When you visit an older, run-down property and can envision it as the perfect home for you, you’ll find it’s hard to choose the cheaper, less attractive option in favour of the budget-busting, all-singing-all-dancing one,” said Reigate estate agent, Robert Leech. “Do your best to put aside as big a budget as possible so you don’t have to make that choice too often.”
Patience is a virtue…
…that you really need when renovating an old property!
Even if a job should only take 2 weeks, you have to factor in booking the relevant workmen in, as well as ordering any specialist materials. It’s rare that a renovation project comes in on time. Rarer still that they’re ahead of schedule.
The trick is to add some time on to any estimates you’re given. Then, if you do come on time, or even ahead of your elongated schedule, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Also, be aware that any bespoke made items will also take time, probably longer than you were initially told, too. But, just suck it up and picture how amazing said item will look, or it will feel using it, once the perfect, made-only-for-you item is finally delivered and fitted.
“Not everyone is blessed with patience and if you’re one of those who is lacking in that department, you’re going to have to try very hard to learn some,” said Plaza Estates. “Even though it doesn’t always feel like it at the time, it will definitely be worth it once your renovation project is no longer a building site and is finally your dream home.”