7 things to consider before planning an internal renovation
You don't always need to add more space to your home, just changing the existing layout will make it work much better. Simply updating the kitchen, bathroom or living area can make a huge difference to your living space.
Check out our handy tips before you do any work!
1. Is the investment worth it?
The best way to add value to your home is by adding to the footprint, so an internal renovation may not be as good an investment as an extension or loft conversion. That's not to say you can't add value if your home is in desperate need of repair and would have originally put off buyers.
Ask a local estate agent to confirm what the value would be after you've updated your home. If you are thinking about selling on quickly, think about your style and level of finish. There is no point investing in a high end kitchen if there is a limit on the property value in your neighbourhood.
2. Have a clear budget
It might feel you are simply fitting a new kitchen but make sure you have a clear budget as the costs can escalate quickly. The costs are often underestimated with an internal renovation and even the small purchases such as new sockets and light switches can mount up.
If you are on a tight budget, the cheapest builder might not necessarily be the best so don't try and cut corners which might cost more in the long run. Look to reduce your costs by being savvy with your purchases rather than the quality of the work!
3. Think through the new layout and how you like to live
If your home has unused rooms and feels like a rabbit warren, knocking through some of the walls would maximise the space. Your home will feel so much bigger without actually increasing the footprint. But be careful not to rush into any remodel and look at various different layouts. Think about how you like to live and where you spend most of your time.
Have a play around with the existing floor plan, looking at what could work and what is important to you. If you need creative ideas then speak to an architect to help - make sure you give them a clear brief of how you like to live as a family.
4. Are there any features that you want to retain?
If you are fortunate enough to live in a property that has kept some original features then look at restoring and making them stand out in your new home. Beautiful fireplaces, original architrave, floor tiles and parquet flooring are just some of the amazing features that can be found in older homes. Not only are you restoring something original but you are potentially saving money too!
5. Are there any restricting factors placed on your home?
Before you go ahead and start knocking down the walls, check you are ok to do so. If your home is listed, there will be restrictions on what you can do and you will need listed building consent to do most small works. Similarly, if your home is in a designated area (such as a Conservation Area or Area of Natural Beauty), you may need to apply for planning permission for small works such as replacing the windows.
6. Do you need to upgrade any of the fundamentals?
Before you jump ahead and replace the bathroom or kitchen, make sure the plumbing and electrics are up to scratch. An old boiler tucked in a kitchen cupboard should be upgraded before your replace the kitchen. It's also a great time to look at either moving the boiler to a more practical location or swapping out radiators for underfloor heating. Make sure everything is up to the same standard as the decor and finishing.
It's worth looking at other external features too. Old windows or a leaking roof are best replaced before you carry out any internal changes.
7. Are there any limitations to the structure?
It's easy to say that you can just knock through a wall and create a huge kitchen area, however confirm whether the wall is supporting first. Of course you can knock down supporting walls, but the cost of making it structurally sound will be much more than if it's a partition wall.
Staircases and fireplaces can also make structural changes challenging so look at working around rather than moving them - unless you have a large budget!
Published: August 23, 2018