Getting on the property ladder can be difficult, which is why many people choose to buy a house that’s in need of renovation. Despite the extra work, it can be a cost-effective way of achieving your dream home. But without proper planning, renovation costs can spiral. Knowing what to look out for and how to spot problems can save your dream from becoming a nightmare.
Beware of hidden dangers
Hidden dangers can be lurking in all kinds of places, especially in older houses. If you’ve just bought your house, the survey may have picked up on some. But surveys can’t spot everything.
Asbestos is a common problem and can be found in multiple places. Textured ceilings used to be fashionable but be careful when removing them as many contain harmful asbestos. Other common places to find asbestos are old garages, outbuildings, and lean-tos.
Removal and disposal of asbestos should only be done by professionals. Be aware that prices for asbestos removal can be quite significant, so you may need to budget for this.
It’s not just asbestos that could hinder your renovation. Structural defects are another big problem for renovators. Many defects such as cracks from subsidence and rising damp can be spotted quite easily. But other issues such as previous building work not being carried out properly, may not be obvious at first glance.
Other dangers to look out for include lead paint and faulty wiring. Make sure you do your homework, so these hidden dangers don’t catch you and your budget out.
Hire contractors or do it yourself?
If you’re planning to do renovation work yourself, you’ll need to plan your budget carefully. Materials and tools, including any delivery costs, will need to be added up. Quantities of materials should be calculated accurately, allowing a bit extra for mishaps. You will also need to plan the order in which you’re going to tackle each job, otherwise, you could get into a mess.
Certain tasks require qualified professionals and shouldn’t be done as a DIY project. This includes gas and electrical work requiring certification. And always consult a structural engineer before taking on any major work, such as taking out internal walls. Even if you’re planning to do work yourself, you will need to budget for these unavoidable costs.
If you’re hiring contractors to do the work for you, make sure you get plenty of quotes and check the reputation of the company or tradesperson before you hire them. Be clear about the work you want done and the standard of finish you’re looking for. Don’t be shy about asking questions or checking in on the work to keep things on track.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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