Winter is rearing its wet and windy head, which means home building projects may need to be put on the back burner until 2015 is out. But fear not! Your time can be used wisely by sitting back, thinking ahead to the New Year and planning what needs to be done to make sure the essential building blocks are well and truly in place.
Where to begin? When it comes to home renovation, it can send you into a bit of a spin. The key is to take each step at a time, and, just like climbing a ladder, start at the bottom and work your way up.
A place to begin is to talk to a local surveyor who can let you know exactly what work is needed to give your home a revamp.
When you know just how much work your project will take, it’s worth talking it through with your local council, seeing as any renovations will need to comply with building regulations. They’re not as scary as you may think and are there to help you through the maze of necessary paperwork. If you are doing the work yourself, then you’ll be responsible for compliance, but if you are employing tradesmen, you’ll need to confirm with them that they are prepared to accept responsibility. It’s wise to do this before they start the job and make sure you’re both on the same page.
If employing someone else to do the work, get two or three quotes to make sure you’re getting a fair deal, and don’t be afraid about asking for references if you’re still unsure.
Ideally, works should be scheduled together where possible, saving time, money, and minimising disruption. As with many things in life, it’s much easier to do these things in one fell swoop. However, this will also mean you’re paying out all at once, and will depend on you having enough money available to cover the work.
If you’re not to do this, start with the most urgent projects, such as damp or structural problems, and start outside and work your way in. The last thing you want is a leaky roof causing water damage in your shiny new renovated rooms. The garden can be left until last, unless you’re a budding Alan Titchmarsh, as this will probably be used as a bit of a staging area and builder’s yard while the internal works are going ahead.
Renovating your home can be a huge task but, as always, a little preparation means that it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. You’ll be at the top of that ladder in no time!
Leah Edmunds MARLA
Maintenance Team Manager