New advice is being provided by experts on the best order to renovate a property after it was revealed that more than half of homeowners have made mistakes, and 36 per cent regret their renovations.
Radiator specialists, BestHeating, polled homeowners on renovation habits, revealing that nine in 10 have taken on a renovation project since 2020. According to the research, more than a third of homeowners will spend up to £10,000 tackling renovations, so it is a costly project to get wrong.
“When renovating a home, it can be confusing to know what to focus on and what will add value,” says John Lawless of BestHeating. ‘Write down the order of plans and priorities as this will provide a list to stick to, and budgets can be set for each change. If the transformation involves structural or electrical wiring work, professional help should be sought, as a substandard job could cause huge problems in the future.’
Here, we look at how to organize your renovation projects to avoid wasting money.
1. Tackle sstructural issues
Results from BestHeating’s survey show that one in 10 have made mistakes when changing a property’s structure. Not only is this costly to rectify, but it can also impact the resale value – 63 per cent of potential buyers have been put off by structural issues.
Before any work is done, the building needs to be structurally sound, this includes replacing ceilings, stabilizing walls and fixing dampers or leaks.
Once you have decided on the work you want to do, it’s important to choose the best tradesperson for the job. It’s a top tip from Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud who says this is often a common mistake when renovating.
Look out for certification from the National Federation of Builders, Federation of Master Builders and TrustMark and ensure all plumbers are Gas Safe Registered.
2. Reconfigure your space
Sometimes the flow of a home will be at odds with your lifestyle – you might need your kitchen to overlook a garden to keep an eye on children or pets playing outside, or a bedroom might need to be moved to the back of a property to mitigate outside noise.
If you plan on changing the layout of the property, now’s the time to do it.
It is of course much easier to move living rooms or bedrooms, where kitchens and bathrooms may need extensive plumbing work. If you are removing a wall to create something open plan, make sure you get the advice of a structural engineer to ensure it’s not load bearing.
This is also a good point to consider your electrics – you may need to do some work to bring them up to standard, or you could use this as an opportunity to install additional sockets or light switches.
3. Make adjustments to your doors
Once the properties are arranged to suit your lifestyle, look at your internal and external doors. This is an easier job to tackle before making larger changes like a kitchen renovation.
‘Doors also leave a lasting impression on guests and even smaller adjustments such as replacing handles or adding a door knocker to provide character in the front,’ says John. ‘If on a tight budget, paint and sand doors rather than replace, as this will transform and bring doors to life without the expenditure.’
4. Replace your radiators
With the recent rise in cost of living, next on the list should be replacing radiators. It’s a project that can save money on bills as well as adding value to a home.
The average three or four-bedroom property has 10 radiators, which could be replaced for a cost of around £1,600 – doing so is estimated to add up to £10,000 in resale value.
‘With the current economy it is vital to focus on future costs when renovating,’ says John. ‘Modern radiators are 50 per cent more efficient and can save more than 10 per cent on heating bills, which is a massive benefit following the energy price cap rise.’
This is also a great opportunity to consider having walls and ceilings replastered to create a better canvas for decorating.
5. Consider flooring
Next in line are floors, where the main purpose is to update the design, get rid of markings caused by wear and tear, and problems such as damp and creaks.
When tackling a flooring renovation, longevity should be the priority. Vinyl is a good choice in terms of durability and affordability if you’re replacing a good amount in your home.
“Vinyl flooring is a great and inexpensive way to add color, pattern and personality to a room without compromising on safety or quality,” says David Snazel, hard flooring buyer at Carpetright. ‘It’s a great choice for busy families with children as it is highly durable, moisture proof and slip-resistant whilst being softer and warmer underfoot than laminate.’
6. Start with the kitchen
When these tasks are done, if needed, the kitchen should be the first full room to be renovated. As one of the busiest areas in a home, a kitchen requires a great deal of attention and coordination to function smoothly.
Consider if the electrics are all secure, the positioning of your oven, fridge and kitchen unit, and you may need the help of a designer to rework the layout. Plenty of high street retailers such as Homebase offer free kitchen design consultations, whilst IKEA have a handy 3D kitchen visualiser to experiment with styles in your home.
According to BestHeating’s research, a kitchen renovation can add as much as 10 per cent to the price of a property, so it’s well worth the investment.
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