House renovation projects are hugely popular, with homeowners looking to restore period properties, reimagine the way they use their home to create more space or add modern, energy-efficient touches to a building to ensure it is a warm, sustainable and functional family home.
However, professional advice throughout, from the initial designs and planning consent considerations through to completing the final second fix jobs, is complex and requires a broad range of skills, equipment, knowledge and guidance to ensure your dream home renovation doesn’t become a money pit.
With so many TV series that make the home renovation process look simple, Pinnacle Works always advises clients to work with an experienced, capable construction company who can deliver the finishes, quality and structural integrity they expect.
Let’s look at some of the most compelling reasons to hire a proficient team of tradespeople for your planned house refurbishment – and why it’s a great way to keep your budget under firm control.
Choosing a Contractor for Your House Renovation Project
The first step to any home renovation is to put together your ideas, vision and priorities, thinking about the existing structure, the space you have to renovate or extend, and how you’d like your building renovations and newly renovated property to look and feel.
Although many aspiring renovators assume they won’t need any professional help until they’re ready to begin work, the opposite is true. Consulting with clients from day one is a fantastic opportunity for our teams to provide insights and advice, ensuring that your plans aren’t derailed due to having missed a practicality, such as:
- Checking whether your existing house has restrictions around the renovation work possible – this often applies to properties in conservation areas or with listed status.
- Examining options for groundworks and drainage connections if you’re thinking about creating an extension.
- Assessing the internal walls within the property to see which are load-bearing walls and where you may need structural steels and possibly an engineer to assist with technical calculations.
- Making sure the building has the capacity and stability to cope with extra storeys or adaptations, which might mean any defects such as erosion or subsidence need to be managed first to prevent further collapse before any renovations can begin.
Our advice is to pick a local home renovation team with previous experience who can showcase past projects or even allow you to review properties in your area with a similar style of renovation.
We’d also suggest checking your contractor’s compliance standards and accreditations, and their knowledge about building regulations and planning requirements relevant to your local council area alongside professional insurance coverage, including public and employer’s liability cover.
The Importance of Planning Permission Advice During House Renovation Design
Renovating a house can be incredibly exciting, from browsing treasures in your nearest salvage yard to working with an interior designer, transforming your living space to your exact tastes, and uncovering original period features.
However, planning permission is a crucial component because most house renovations will require approval, although minor renovation work may potentially fall under permitted development rules.
Proceeding with a house renovation without consulting the local planning department can create no end of problems, including legal expenses and the costs to reverse work that has been completed, and a contractor can help in several ways:
- Advising which work is likely to require approval from the local authorities.
- Guidance on party wall agreements where your renovation project will affect neighbouring properties with adjoining walls.
- Managing building regulations approval, which is necessary for any building site, in addition to planning permission.
You may also need to consult the land registry if you don’t have current property plans, which show delineated boundaries. This is important if your project requires a new extension or addition to the existing building.
Getting these aspects of your renovation project right from the beginning will save money in the long run and give you absolute confidence that all your structural work is correctly approved, certified and compliant – you may also find that local estate agents will ask for certifications if you come to sell the house in the future.
Common Reasons for a House Renovation Project to Run Over-Budget
A home renovation project necessarily requires an investment, but done correctly and with the requisite attention to detail, it can make a considerable difference to the market value of your home.
Many of the typical reasons a complicated renovation, such as a basement conversion or loft conversion, runs over budget and potentially becomes unaffordable are absolutely avoidable. Examples include:
- DIY work completed to a poor standard.
- Using the wrong building materials.
- Painting or papering newly plastered walls before they have cured.
- Failing to address first fix jobs before moving on.
- Laying timber floors before fitting underfloor heating.
- Not making the building weathertight before installing stud walls.
A professional home renovation team follows a defined pattern of work, so every stage is completed, assessed for quality and subject to a building regulations inspection where necessary before the project proceeds.
The first fix stage is also a great time for you to assess the renovation project progress, provide feedback, and have an active input, once the structural work is finished and the interior fitting has begun.
Project Managing a Complex House Renovation Project
No two renovation projects are the same, and Pinnacle Works recognises the importance of both time and money, providing advice about some of the energy efficiency measures, innovative construction methods and techniques that can add tangible value while expediting the process.
Whether you’re embarking on changes for an eco-friendly home and need a sustainable heating system, wish to open up your property to increase the natural light, or want to bring a period house back to its former glory, using a skilled contractor means your renovation work is project managed end-to-end.
Our project managers supervise all the details and liaise with the professionals your renovation project requires, from your architectural designer to inspectors conducting a building survey, giving you ongoing reports about when your dream home will be ready.
For more information about planning a house renovation, sorting out planning permission or to browse our previous renovation projects, please get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team at any time.