Taking on a renovation project could be a great way to get your dream home or to make some profit from a property investment venture
We’re currently in the middle of a property renovation ourselves, so we’ve put together some hints and tips to guide you along the way.
Finding the property
Make sure you do your research in the area that you are buying in. The best way to make money in property is to buy at the right price. Check the sold prices on the street to check the price of the property which you are interested in, is in the right ball park. The street will have a ‘ceiling price’, so will dictate what you might do to renovate the property, and what to spend.
If you will be renting the property, out then check the rental figures in the area to find the yield for the property, make sure it all stacks up. Around a 7% yield is a good basis to work from.
Define your budget in advance and do your due diligence before you buy the property. Once you’ve got your budget, you should stick to it! Particularly if it is a property that you’re going to sell on. Find out costs beforehand and identify everything that you might need to spend. Add a contingency of about 10% for all those unforeseen costs. You know it makes sense!
If you are renovating the property to sell on and make a profit, make sure you price the renovation to fit with the selling price. Don’t get personal with the property and spend too much money. This is a common flaw.
Get recommendations from friends and family. It always helps if you know someone who has used any considered company before and if you can see their work. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Identify all the tradespeople that you will need for your project and get them in place. To find a reputable building company you could look at one of the myriad of trades portals where customers rate their experiences, and thus this minimizes your risk.
Get your architect on site to draw up your plans. They will probably have several ideas on how to best utilise the property. Once you have your plans, you will find it easier to visualise the layout of the work, whether that is an extension or a loft conversion.
The architect will work with you on what permissions that you need and also any special requirements, for example, if you are in a conservation area. Getting approval for your plans can take a while if you are in a conservation area, so make sure you apply well in advance.
Make sure you have the right consents in place before you start the renovation. You may need to apply for planning permission which needs to be done before the work is started. You will also need to contact a Building Control Officer to get the correct building regulations in place. Party wall consent may be required from your neighbours – such as if you’re doing a loft conversion for example.
If you have a main contractor they will arrange everything for you, but you will pay a premium for this service. If you have put your power team together yourself, then this is often the cheaper way. Liaise with each one and make sure the timings work with the other tradespeople. Schedule the works and communicate with all the trades so they can plan around each other.
Speak to your neighbours about the project. Warn them in advance that it will be happening. There’s probably going to be some noise; so, you may want to take them a little gift as a gesture of good will!
This is the fun bit of renovating a property. If the house is going to be your home; then the World’s your oyster with colours and wallpaper. If you’re going to sell it on, then make sure you have a neutral decor to appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers.
We are currently in the middle of a renovation project. The latest piece of work is the loft conversion. This is going to be the master bedroom, bathroom and a storage room. It's currently week 3 of the 12 week build. The builders are working in difficult conditions from the bad weather from the Beast from the East but they are soldiering on! Here are a few pictures of the work so far.
This is just a taster of hints and tips but for more information be sure to visit and sign up for our FREE e-newsletters at www.justdoproperty.co.uk