Five things to consider before taking on a home renovation project

From DIY SOS to Grand Designs, we all love watching home renovation projects on the TV; inspiring many of us to take up the tools and take on renovation projects of our own.

But before you start knocking down walls, ripping out your kitchen, or converting your loft, you should consider these five important things...

Will you be able to live in the house while you complete the work?

A simple loft extension, kitchen re-fit or garden redesign probably won’t require you to live elsewhere during the project, but for more extreme home renovation jobs, you may need to move out while the work’s being completed.

Speak to your builder before the project begins, and work out if you’ll need to leave, and how long for as this could be the entire length of the project, or just for parts of it. If the electricity or water is going to be turned off for any period of time, this may require you to vacate the property.

Think carefully about where you’ll go - can you stay with friends or family? Will you need to stay in a hotel or a B&B? If you’ll need to pay for accommodation, factor this cost into your overall predicted spend.

Do you have the funds to finish the project?

Bigger projects like adding an extension, converting a loft, or fitting an entirely new kitchen can cost thousands, often run over on time, and more often than not go over budget.

Make sure you add a ‘buffer’ to your estimate, so that should the project cost more than you thought, you’d be able to finish it without affecting your finances too much. If you can’t afford a buffer, you may need to think about scaling back your plans.

Are you spending more than you’re adding value to the house?

If you’re in your ‘forever home’ then of course you can do whatever you choose, without worrying about the value of your house too much. If, though, you may still want to take a step or two more up the property ladder, it’s worth considering whether the project you’re undertaking will actually add value to your home.

If the answer is yes, it will add value, make sure you’re not spending more than you’re adding. For example, if you’re spending £25,000 on a brand new designer kitchen and your home’s worth £300,000, you’re unlikely to see the return, and could end up out of pocket. Do some research to find out what your renovations are likely to do to your home’s value before you go any further.

Can you do it yourself, or do you need to get help?

If you’re planning a simple paint job and decorative update, you may be able to complete your home refurbishment yourself. If you’re thinking bigger, though, you may well need to get the professionals in.

Whether it’s builders, plumbers or electricians, trained professionals often don’t come cheap, so get a quote before you start work, and make sure you factor in the cost of tradesmen to your budget.

Do you need to seek planning permission before starting your project?

You may be surprised by some of the home renovation or improvement projects require planning permission in the UK, especially if you home is a listed building.

Make sure you consult the council before you begin your renovation project, as the last thing you want is to have to put your home back to how it was before.

Take a look at our favourite home renovation projects on our Pinterest...