Renovating a home can be a fun and exciting project for the budding property developer in you, but if you have limited experience, or this is your first attempt at doing up a house, then it’s important to go into your project fully prepared for all eventualities. It’s easy to have grand ideas about how you will achieve the vision that is in your head – and more often than not, you will turn this dream into a reality; but it is also important to be aware of some of the issues that will crop up on your renovation journey.
Preparation is Key
It’s a cliché for a reason, but they say that failing to prepare is preparing to fail; the theory is that by getting your head around some of the issues that you might face on your renovation project, you will be better able to prepare a contingency plan in case one should crop up.
Unexpected Structural Issues
When working on a renovation of an old house or building, there are a number of issues that are quite commonplace: damp and woodworm, outdated materials, leaks and even rodent infestations.
- Damp and Woodworm – both damp and woodworm issues are common surprises found during the renovation process. Damp is often caused by a leak, or condensation; essentially a build-up of moisture in the home. Woodworm is caused by insects that attack timber causing structural damage as well as to furniture.
- Leaks – leaks often occur in houses with older plumbing work as the materials used aren’t as compatible for longevity in the world we live in today. Changes to homes such as powerful boilers, central heating and general wear and tear can often mean that older pipes spring a leak.
- Outdated Materials – Speaking of outdated materials, many of the building materials used when older houses were originally built are now coming to the end of their natural life cycle. As a result of this, it can often be difficult to find spares and replacements if a material or part is no longer in common use.
- Infestations – Inspecting a house or building for renovation can also lead to discovering some unexpected house guests! If, on your project, you uncover what looks to be signs of an infestation – think dropping, gnaw marks or excess dirt and grime where it shouldn’t be – then it’s time to call in pest control!
Underestimating How Long the Project Takes
Another common issue that crops up during renovation is the realisation of just how long it can take to get jobs done. Many people choose to undertake tasks themselves to cut back on costs, but they can sometimes fail to factor in the time it takes to do the job to the high standard. Always allow longer than you think necessary to remove any pressure should things not go to plan.
Another common issue is the budget. Before undertaking a renovation, you will no doubt discuss the finances and finalise a budget for the project. However, if you are a first-time renovator then it can be easy to miss some of the added extras that you might not know you will need at first glance. Do your research and take inventory before you start work to ensure you are working efficiently! It’s also worth incorporating an extra 10-20% on top of your proposed budget for any unexpected costs that crop up.
For any major changes to be made to your home, such as an extension or renovation, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority. This can be a lengthy process – and costly, too. Take into consideration that any changes that need to be made to your application can incur a cost as well as adding more time onto the process.
Outsourcing to Professionals
There are some jobs on a renovation project that you simply will not be able to complete on your own. There are many traders that profess to be ‘jack of all trades’ which you may consider an option, however, it is always worth hiring a professional with their own areas of expertise to ensure the job is done correctly, the first time.
Whether you run into an issue with damp or simply don’t have time to complete the task at hand, being prepared for common problems that may occur will mean that you pre-empt any major issues and be primed to act if you come a cropper. Happy renovating!