Renovations and conversions are both great options if you want to create the home of your dreams, As with any project, you should approach the project with the right mindset and knowledge to ensure everything goes right. This includes knowing about any areas where hiccups might arise because these issues can cause costly delays that you may not be ready to deal with. To this end, we have provided several tips you can follow and use to ensure your home renovation or conversion project encounters the least resistance.
Renovations and conversions of existing buildings can be a good investment. However, there may be serious issues lurking in the building that the seller has not told you about, so it is always wise to have a full survey done.
You can do some checks yourself because things like loose plaster and poor plumbing are things you can identify easily. However, a professional survey is advised so the surveyor can see if there are underlying issues you wouldn’t spot, such as subsidence.
During the assessment phase and if nothing too serious emerges, you can start thinking about potential designs, and layouts and if you can add potential living spaces.
You can also think about things like moving the windows to bring in more natural light or changing the balcony so you have one area to relax in. By doing so, you will get ahead of the planning stage while also dealing with any building control issues early on.
It is quite common for conversion or renovation to cost a lot more than you anticipated. Every project is different so it is also difficult to use the cost of another project to estimate how much yours will cost. The best way to know this is to get detailed quotes from contractors. Many contractors will visit the building and give you an estimate for whatever you need to be done.
This works well for homes that you already own, but if you are buying to renovate or convert, the maths will be very different. You will need to budget for both buying the home – which you can finance – and the renovation or conversion. It is also a good idea to have 10$ to 20% of the home’s value set aside for any issues that might arise during the project.
Planning permissions apply to both renovations and conversions because both drastically change the look and characteristics of a space, be it a family home or a flat. There are lots of considerations to think about and conditions to meet, many of them tied to the location, design, and direction of the new space, and others tied to the effect your renovation or conversion will have on the surrounding environment.
Local planning authorities require that anyone who wishes to renovate or convert a building gets the proper approval and planning permission, and this can only be done after they have completed all relevant surveys, such as ecological surveys, as well as meeting a myriad of other conditions.
Ecological surveys are meant to determine if your project will harm endangered and protected species. If there is a chance this will happen during your project or afterwards, you have to also submit papers showing the mitigation measures you will take to ensure this does not happen.
Because of how important ecological surveys can be to planning application acceptance, it is important to have the right experts do the survey for you. Ecology Surveys is an ecology survey company with ecological consultants who can cover your project to reduce frustration and delays. They are located all over the UK, and you can get in touch with them through their website for an affordable quote. They endeavour to have an ecological consultant on site as soon as possible after the initial consultation.
Obtaining planning permission and complying with the relevant building regulations are two separate matters. If you will be managing the project, you need to ensure that the contractor and subcontractor are working within these regulations, so the minimum standards are met.
Some contractors have a designer or manager who liaises with the planning department to ensure everything is being done according to set rules.
An important thing to keep in mind is party walls. These are walls and boundaries that separate two properties: yours and your neighbour’s. If there is any work being done close to the boundary, you need to notify your neighbour(s), so they know what is going on. You also need to ensure your contractor understands not to damage these boundaries. If they do, you will have to pay for the damage.
Everyone should be aiming for a sustainable home. Factor in sustainability during the planning phase because, if you do not, you will have to incur additional expenses later to make your home more sustainable.
There is a lot to consider here, but the most important is energy efficiency. Your home should consume and waste as little energy as possible. In addition to this being good for the environment, it will be good for your wallet, too.
When thinking about sustainability, consider the building’s main structure. For older homes, you might consider cavity wall insulation. Other buildings can be treated internally so they retain their outward charm.
Consider heating and cooling too as both consume a lot of energy. Any contractor who is knowledgeable of modern building trends will help you choose the right solutions for your home.
Home conversion or renovation projects can be incredibly tricky to pull off due to how many things you have to think about during the project. With proper planning, it is possible to have the home of your dreams. Just ensure everything is done right and to the right standards, in such a way that you will be happy with the work done for decades to come.
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