How Do I Start a Renovation Project?

So you have now found and purchased a property for renovation. How do you actually start a renovation project?

Getting a Structural Survey.

Well, we have to assume that prior to purchase you visited the property and made a list of what needs doing. You may have even had a structural survey done. Many people do not actually bother with this step because of course it costs money. However, it is money well spent. Even if you don’t buy the property it is safe to assume that you will have saved money in the long run as the survey may have highlighted problems and issues with the property that were not obvious to the layman.

Some of the less risk-averse buyers would rely on the own eyes and of course the mortgage company would have had their own less in-depth survey done (a valuation) which should highlight the obvious issues. Mortgage companies always do this because they want to be sure that the property they are lending you is worth the purchase price, and that therefore their money is safe. I remember I had to pull-out of the purchase of one property I intended to buy because the mortgage company’s valuation highlighted a subsidence issue that I hadn’t noticed.

So you have inspected the property yourself, your structural survey (or valuation) has been done, and you are now in possession of the property.

Make A Detailed List

When you first visited the property before purchase you will have, at least mentally, noted the work that needs doing. Now is the time to make an in-depth detailed list.

Go round every room of the house, the garden (if the property has one), and the exterior of the house and make a note of everything that needs doing. Perhaps even better is to create a spreadsheet on your laptop as you will also want to cost out all of the work and make additional notes as you go along.

One thing to note is what work you can do yourself, and what work will need to be done by tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians. Perhaps also, some of your proposed work will need planning permission – such as an extension. If so, then you will need to get the planning application in very quickly as getting planning permission can be a long process. If you have bought the property to rent out then you will want to be able to do that as quickly as possible to avoid having to make mortgage payments without any rental income coming in.

Set A Budget And Timeline

You will of course have worked out the expected cost of renovating the property before you decided to purchase it, and the time it should take to complete the renovation. But now is the time to make that more accurate and detailed. And as every property programme on TV will have already told you, you will need a contingency sum because invariably renovations cost more than anticipated due to unforeseen problems and issues. Having said that, you may be lucky and actually complete the work under budget and in good time.