Moving & Removals

When it’s time to turn your house into your forever house, renovations are what make it all possible. The trick is to find a way to get the most of your home without losing the charm and character it’s always had. Because this can be a little easier said than done due to all the various steps involved, we thought we’d drop by and lend a helping hand. Here’s everything you need to know in 5 minutes or less. Enjoy! 


House renovation ideas you need to know about

Before you start breaking ground or adding up your budget, you need to think about what it is you actually want to do. This is the fun bit before you get lost in the details, so enjoy it and take your time with it. You’re not in a rush and you want to end up with a house you never want to leave at the end of the process. To help you on your way, here’s a fews ideas for changes you could make, and things you need to have in mind too: 

  • Adding a home gym is a great way to increase the amount of use you get out of your house without having to sacrifice existing floorspace 
  • Sun rooms and open plan living areas have never been as on-trend and desirable as they are right now, so why not sketch out some ideas?
  • Outdoor seating and indoor dining can meet each other effortlessly when you have a foldaway glass wall on the rear of your home
  • Try to think of changes you could make to your property that are in-keeping with the style of your home and its surroundings — just helps it all fit together that little bit better! 
  • Take your time to consider how your home renovations will look and feel right throughout the year, and how much use you’ll get out of them at various stages of your life

Now we’ve covered a few of the basics and left you to dream big, let’s get busy diving into the details so you know how to turn these incredible ideas into reality. 


House renovation costs you need to consider

Renovating your house is not a one-size-fits-all type of job because of the huge differences in the work that’s needed on two seemingly identical properties. That’s why rather than giving you an estimate for the entire project, we’re going to highlight the key steps you cannot afford to miss. 

First up, solicitors. They may not be the most fun or exciting part of house renovation to pay for, but they’re absolutely necessary if you want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. It’s all about having the peace of mind that comes from knowing your renovations are legal and in accordance with all of the rules and regulations you need to follow. 

Planning permission and building regulations approval are annoyingly two different things, and at times hard to get, depending on the nature of your plans. This is why having a solicitor or conveyancer you can trust in your corner really will make things so much easier. Subtle changes to your plans can massively speed up or slow down how long it takes to get approval, so be prepared to be patient and flexible at this stage. 

You’ll also have to look into whether or not your utilities need to be swapped out or reconnected from scratch. This will incur a one-off payment, but provided the infrastructure is safe and in working order, can be done relatively quickly by the relevant board. 

Surveys will also need to be completed and are something you really never want to skip because you want to do things cheaply. Chartered surveyors will be worth their weight in gold if they stop you from the stress of dealing with undetected damp or poor drainage — two of the most commonly overlooked issues when it comes to the world of home renovations. They can also talk you through issues like subsidence that are often only detected when a sizable extension is being considered. 

And last but not least, and by far the biggest expense, you have the builders who will do the eye-catching part of the job. That leads us onto the next section where we’re going to cover…


Questions for house renovation builders

Finding a builder you trust with such an expensive and extensive job isn’t always easy, but it can be a lot simpler when you know the key questions to ask. Here’s a few that are always worth asking when you get a builder round for an initial quote: 

  1. Will they want to be paid in installments, and if so, what are the key milestones that will trigger those payments?
  2. Have they done this type of specialist work before and can they find extra labour if they need to at short notice?
  3. Do they cover the cost of the materials and you pay them, or do they expect you to cover the cost of the materials up front?
  4. Are there particular times of the year they would recommend avoiding due to poor weather, water penetration from the ground, damp, etc 
  5. Will they come to you to discuss any potential alterations that need to be considered if they encounter unforeseen issues along the way?
  6. What’s their policy if they need to run over and will you be charged extra at a daily rate, or will they keep to an agreed fixed rate for the project?

While there are certain best practices and common habits in the building industry, the key is to find someone who will answer each of the above in a way you feel comfortable with. This is your project and it’s occurring in your home, so making sure you feel put at ease by your choice of builder is really important at this stage. 


House renovation loans that make life easier

Depending on your income and where your property is situated, you may qualify for a number of different renovation loans and grants. They’re a great way to supplement the funds you may already be considering borrowing from the bank. Speaking to your local council would be the best way to get this part of your background research moving. They should be able to redirect you to the right department, who will then be happy to talk you through your options and discuss whether or not you qualify. It may be a little time-consuming to get things moving, but it will be worth it if you can reduce the cost of the work! 


Final thoughts

Now you’ve heard us talk about the basics you need to think about, it’s time to go back to the first point and start dreaming big. Take a break from looking into the paperwork and planning side of things, watch some of the house renovation programs that are out there, and get some fresh ideas on what form you want your forever home to look like. And if you need an extra pair of hands to help with move-in day…you know who to call, we are one of the best removal companies in London. Enjoy!