WORDS: Kristi Carignan
The London property market is booming, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Renovating a London property is a great way to get your foot on the ladder, refresh your current home, and let off some creative steam. There are few things more satisfying than finishing a successful renovation job, but it’s not always a straightforward process. So, what should you consider before embarking on your renovation journey?
According to the London Data report, in 2018 the average house price in London was £475,000, and the typical first-time buyer in London had to take out a loan 4.4 times as much as their income to be able to afford it. London is expensive because it is one of the most desirable places to live on the planet, with statistics showing almost 20 million visits to the city every year. Many people are choosing to buy fixer-upper properties to reduce the amount of stamp duty they have to pay, and give themselves a project to work on that’s rewarding creatively as well as financially.
London renovation requires careful planning and adherence to strict building regulations, especially with regards to fire safety and getting hold of the necessary permits. Whether you’re dreaming of a spanking new kitchen or looking to renovate an original Victorian fireplace, make sure you do your research before you dive in.
What to Do Before You Start
The first step towards renovation is to consider your reason for the project. If you want to renovate to sell, you need to know exactly what the modern buyer is looking for. To focus your design plans, contact an estate agent and get some tips and advice to steer you in the right direction. If you’re renovating to sell, try and set aside your personal tastes and opinions: what might seem like a great idea to you might not be the most profitable decision.
If you’re renovating a property that you plan to stay in, think about what renovations would improve the quality of your time there, and what would be practical for your future plans (e.g. if you’re planning on starting a family, you may want to build an extension).
Undoubtedly the most important thing to do, though, is to set a strict budget and stick to it. Consider the cost of the design process, materials, labour, and any updates to heating, plumbing and electrical systems. If you think you’ll need to live elsewhere during some of the renovations, make sure you factor in the cost of that accommodation, as well as any storage costs for your possessions.
It’s easy for all these expenses to spiral out of control, and the last thing you want is to run out of money before the project is complete. A project manager can help prioritise your spending and keep costs down, so you don’t have any nasty surprises.
Do You Need Building Regulations Approval?
Before you begin making changes, you need to check whether building regulations approval is required. You might also need planning permission if you’re thinking of building an extension or making a major change to your property. You can find out who you need to contact and how to get approval by visiting the direct.gov page on building regs.
Hire A Professional
If you’re new to the renovation business, you’re going to need a helping hand. Hiring a great professional contractor can take a lot of the weight off and save you serious money in the long run. A renovation project manager’s job is to walk you through the building process from start to finish, offer tips and advice on how best to achieve your goals, communicate with other contractors, and ensure the whole project is delivered on time and within your budget.
A project manager will also help organise your insurance, and reduce the risk of anything going wrong, so you can focus on the exciting bits and start planning what’s next for your London property.
Make sure you get the right contractor for the job. Finding the candidate with the right experience, and someone with whom you can have a great working relationship is essential for the success of your project. With Refresh Renovations, it couldn’t be easier to find the perfect person for the job.
Whether you’re renovating a property to let, sprucing up your own home, or looking to sell on, always ask for help and advice where you think you might need it. Plan carefully, budget realistically, and do plenty of research, and your renovation project is set to succeed. Good luck!
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
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