So, it has been years that you’ve thought about it, dreamt about holding the keys for the very first time, being the master of your own destiny and owning your own home.
Now its becoming more of a reality as you approach the day of exchange and looking around the property you know it needs quite a bit of work.
But you have a lot of practical questions that are still running through your mind…
Will you do work on it before or after you move in?
What actually needs doing?
How much will it all cost?
How long will it take and where do I begin?
This article aims to give you some key tips before you step out into this exciting new adventure. Whether you’re doing it alone or with a partner you are bound to find some valuable insights and ideas that will leave you feeling better prepared for the journey ahead while saving you time and money.
Refurbishing Tips ... Create A Plan
Before you start, the first question you need to ask yourself is…
Is it best for me to do the works before I move in or will be doing the refurb while I’m living there?
Either way you will need to create a plan, but if you choose to live in while you are refurbishing your new home, you really want to have an idea of the type of living conditions you may face before you get settled in.
Do Major Works First
I have seen so many people move in to their property with hopes of doing works in stages with it later ending in them recounting a story of years living in an unfinished home, endless microwave meals and waking up to daily dust in their socks and underwear.
For many, doing all the work before moving in isn’t an option and it is understandable especially in this climate of austerity. So, if you need to move in straight away and do the works over a period of time we would always recommend that you do as much of the larger works before you move the bulk of your belongings in to avoid them being damaged and becoming obstacles.
Of course, health and safety could mean that some works must be carried out before you occupy the property. It is worthwhile speaking to a builder to check if the works you require can be carried out while you are in the property or if you may need to vacate the premises for a week or two while certain works are done.
Commission A Homebuyer Report
If you’ve not already had a Homebuyer Report done on the house as part of your due diligence, then now may be a good time to request one. The report will highlight the work that needs to be carried out on the property. As it is usually recorded using a grading system (major to minor) this document will tell you which works need to be immediately repaired and others that can be done in the future. It is the best way to comprehensively identify the works you need to carry out. We have contacts that we work with on a regular basis who we are happy to recommend.
Just a side note… Homebuyer Reports can often be useful in helping negotiate with the vendor as you can explain that the immediate or major works that need to be carried out cannot be delayed. A conscientious vendor may accept it if you asked for a small reduction in the price of the property to assist in the purchase.
In response to the guidance provided in the Homebuyer Report and your personal preferences, you may use the opportunity to refurbish and upgrade your home.
Define Your Requirements
When beginning to plan your refurb it is always best to think about how you will use your home. Positioning tables, chairs, seats, imagining how you may like to use the room during entertaining and fun time, if you will require a break out space for children, snug for the family to gather or an office.
All of these desires will require different needs for fixtures, fittings, equipment, electrical, heating needs and they will also have an aesthetic in terms of how they will look.
Depending on the size of your refurb you could be spending in the tens of thousands so you really want to make sure that you are forward planning and have a clear idea.
Refurbishments can include…
Removing walls to open up spaces and bring more light
Repositioning new sockets and switches
Removing of walls and redundant fittings
Enhancing traditional features
Adapting the locations of walls
Creating an under stair toilet
Why Having A Plan Makes Refurbishment Easy...
In this case you will definitely benefit from having a set of plans that will help you to see how your room layout will work and also enable you to clearly explain your thoughts to builders and tradesmen that you will employ to do the work.
Often, in the case of a refurbishment many homeowners know exactly what they want, however get a little lost in explaining it to the multiple trades that visit to provide quotations for the works. A plan is also helpful in this process as it eliminates misunderstandings and also the need for you to explain your desires to multiple people. Having a plan could also mean that you could send it out to multiple builders via email.
Having a plan cannot be overstated, it often all seems simple, however, the issues primarily come when trades interface. Simply put, if you want to plaster your wall you want to make sure that all of your sockets have be installed first which requires chasing out walls (creating channels in the brickwork for new cables to run). Otherwise, you could later realise that you need a plug socket in a specific place then have to disturb the fresh plaster or live without it. A well considered plan helps you to get it right the first time.
We have worked on numerous internal remodels and it has been very helpful for our clients to see where appliances, tables and chairs can be positioned as well as what they can actually fit in the space.
Typically we can get this done for you within a few weeks on simple projects. It just gives you that peace of mind and also helps you along the way with no nasty surprises.