Market Thoughts column: Tips on how to approach a renovation project

Andrew Marshall is a manging partner at Fine & Country at 36 High Street, Market Harborough
Andrew Marshall is a manging partner at Fine & Country at 36 High Street, Market Harborough

Revamping a property can add value when it’s time to sell, but it can also be a minefield or a money pit.

You’ve found a home perfect for renovation – that needs just the right amount of work, which won’t stretch your budget to breaking point and which will result in a beautiful home whether it’s destined for you or for resale.

Renovation is a rite of passage for anyone hoping to climb the housing ladder.

It is not without risk, but if you work logically, the risk is minimal and you can avoid undoing completed work to tackle basic repairs and improvements. Preparing a plan of attack or a critical path, should be your first step and it will also help estimating cost and timelines.

If your budget is tight, it will also allow work to be prioritised without compromising the end result. The first stage of any project, big or small, is to assess the property. For a major project it’s worth commissioning a chartered surveyor. This will identify repairs and ongoing concerns before it’s too late as well as information on types of construction.

If you’re remodelling or extending, get a measured survey. This will be an invaluable starting point and will be necessary for any planning applications or building regulations approval. This is a definite likelihood if you are renovating an historic building or converting a commercial property for residential use.

While you wait for approval, you can start on any projects that don’t need consent. If you’re renovating a wreck, your first task is to ensure structural stability, then tackle any issues with damp or infestation before you move on – the last thing you want is to accidentally conceal a problem that will damage other work.

This is where the hard graft starts, from plastering to wiring and fixtures, and this is where your plan of action will be vital to avoid additional work.

Reap the benefits of your work and enjoy living in the space you have created.

Andrew Marshall is managing partner at Fine & Country in Market Harborough

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