Happy hump day!
I don’t know about you but I am totally obsessed with right move! As a scroll through the many properties on offer I click on the floorplan and imagine what I could do to it. As a side note I’m loving their new search facility too. You can now add a keyword so it will bring up properties that mention that keyword in the listing. For me, the word ‘swimming pool’ features often!
If I were to ever do another renovation again I was thinking about my top tips. Things I could pass on to those who didn’t have a clue what they were getting themselves into. So batten down the hatches and here goes!!
- Choosing the right people. The trades you work with is THE most important thing you will ever do. You will have to deal with these people daily for months so definitely make sure you do your research. Ask for personal recommendations. Beware of using sites like trust a trader and Facebook for recommendations. I’ve heard lots of horror stories of people just recommending family members. Have your wits about you. Personally, I believe that a face to face recommendation from someone you trust is so much better and perhaps you can actually view the work this person has done too?
- Be ruthless. Once you have chosen an architect and you have your drawings and plans approved you need a builder to do the work. Always get 3 quotes from 3 different builders. I wrote notes after each one had visited so I could remember which one was which! I even made notes on whether I liked them or not, did they removed their shoes and did they offer to supply references? Allow time to receive the quotes and to schedule the work. I invited builders to quote for the extension in November 2017 and was hoping to start the work March 2018. That gave them time to do the quote, schedule their diaries and us to make a decision on who to use.
- Its all about the detail. When you receive the quotes, go through them with a fine tooth comb. I set up a spreadsheet. I put each individual job down the left hand column and the 3 builders in columns along the top. This way I could see who had quoted for what and what was omitted from certain quotes. To give you an example, for our orangery, our quotes were a shocking £70,000 difference in price. One included the windows and doors, another we needed to add those on top etc. Sometimes what you see is not what you get so detailing it in black and white helped us to differentiate between them. Go with your gut!
- Never change your mind. I say never and I understand that sometimes its necessary BUT…. It will 1) cost you more more 2) annoy everyone involved. Changing plans half way through no matter how minor you think they are have a knock on effect for everyone and could ultimately set your project back. This is why it is so important to plan everything in details before. I will give you one example. When we did our extension, we hadn’t chosen our TV which would be installed in the wall. Not a problem you might think? Thats something which can be thought about later right? Wrong. I chose a frameless option which has to be recessed into the wall. I didn’t find out our mistake until the TV installers arrived and there was no recess. How did I know?! We had already had the electrics, plastering and decorating done. Much to my disappointment the TV was returned. I didn’t want the solid stone walls chipped out, re-plastered and redecorated. We had already paid for that once. We also made a mistake in the main house in our cloakroom. The sink we purchased was too big for the room. You get the idea….
- Be honest. If you aren’t happy with something say. After all, its you paying for it and you thats got to live with it. BUT, when you say something, be nice about it. No need to go off your rocker! It will just cause a problem in the relationship moving forward. My mum always tells me with my kids, to ‘pick your battles’! If its something tiny can it be forgiven? If not, then say.
So there you have it. My top 5 tips for renovating your home. If you have something else to add, agree or disagree, leave a comment below.
Lots of love