Updated: Sep 3
Seven questions to ask yourself before starting a residential renovation project...
Can I get funding assistance for home improvements?
You may be eligible for a home improvement renovation grant. These will need to be applied for prior to starting any work, so check with local council as well as central government. If your residential property has been vacant for more than two years, you may be offered VAT concessions. More information on this can be found in VAT Notice 708. Having a clear budget for the project is essential. Before beginning the design process set out what you are able to spend, allowing a 10% contingency for anything unexpected.
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What surveys do I need for a home renovation?
If you’re looking to dramatically change your property’s layout, or add an extension which requires planning permission, you will need a measured (topographical) building survey. This will give you a precise scale drawing of the building’s existing layout, to be developed by your architect or interior designer. You can find a surveyor via the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Do I need planning permission to renovate my house?
If you are planning to extend or alter the roofline you are likely to require planning permission. If you live in a listed property or a conservation area, consent will almost certainly be needed prior to carrying out any work. If in doubt contact your local planning department before starting work.
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Do I need an architect for my renovation project?
Extensions and major alterations to the exterior of the property will generally require the involvement of an architect. However, if you are updating the layout within the building’s existing foot print, an interior designer would be best to advise on the flow of the spaces. If internal walls are to be removed to create open plan spaces, your interior designer will work with a structural engineer to ensure the best outcome.
When to hire an interior designer?
It is best to engage with an interior designer early on in the project, even if you have an architect designing your extension. An interior designers role is to consider how you will occupy the internal space, and so having them work along side your architect will result in a layout which most suits your family’s lifestyle.
Which original features should I retain?
The character of period properties is most commonly found in the windows, floors, doors, fireplaces and mouldings. If some areas have fallen into a state of disrepair, you can have features such as plaster mouldings replicated, to blend seamlessly with the originals.
Unsure which of your properties period features are original? Check out our blog post 'Know Your Georgian From Your Victorian'
How do I stick to my renovation deadline?
A schedule of works is essential when renovating a house. It keeps the project on track by outlining every step of the project and defining the order in which the work will take place. Your interior designer can organise this for you, including who should be doing what and how much it will cost, to help you stay within budget!
For help and advice with planning your renovation project book a free consultation