Whether it’s a newer property or you’re renovating an older house, if you’re making the commitment of doing it up, take time to investigate what you need to do; even as far as the basics of the property. Assess whether you need a damp proof course (DPC), electrical rewire, new central heating system, plumbing, structural work, and anything else that requires you to go back to the brick. If you’re hacking off render and knocking walls down, you may as well get some of the basics addressed should they need it. There’s nothing worse than undoing perfectly good work that’s not long been done!
Challenge your initial thoughts
A common mistake is not putting enough scrutiny on your decisions. Share your ideas with friends, family, and any experts you may know. Having a fresh perspective can gift you new ideas and improvements that you hadn’t considered that may well cost you more money or indeed save you a few pennies.
Start with your dream scenario
An important consideration is to start with why you are making the changes to the property. If it’s down to size and space required, make sure each room and area flows into each other. It’s easy to address renovations room by room, but by taking the approach of always working towards your dream scenario, you can get the best result.
Get drawings from professionals
This is entirely budget-dependent, but one to seriously explore. Take time to speak to a professional architect who can mock-up your desired work to spec and to scale. This will help contractors, as well as yourselves, to plan accordingly and accurately carry out the work. It gives you a blueprint to work from and ensures that there are no oversights or surprises along the way.
Consult with your contractors
When choosing who to work with, take a consultative approach. Ask their opinion and get their buy-in to the project. It’s important they know your vision and expectations. Simply instructing tradespeople will get you varied results but by working with someone whose opinion you value, you can truly realise the potential of collaboration and expertise.
Draw up a Gannt chart
Along with your chosen contractor(s), plan a Gannt chart so you can forecast the sequencing of works, mapping out which activity follows which. This will not just help you plan effectively and avoid lost time, but it can assist you in having early conversations, making orders for equipment and fittings ahead of time, and giving you peace of mind that everything is on-track and is as it ought to be. Of course, if you fall behind schedule, you can identify why and amend the chart accordingly. Also, it’s a useful tool from a budgetary perspective, allowing you to have control of what happens and when.