The Benefits of Hiring Professional Builders for Your House Renovation

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Builders for Your House Renovation

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.


What to Look for in a Reputable Construction Company

What to Look for in a Reputable Construction Company

The UK’s construction industry is vast and multi-skilled. It covers an enormous range of projects, from large-scale developments and property builds to refurbishment projects for heritage homes, commercial renovation tasks and bespoke work such as carpentry, joinery, decorating and flooring.

Embarking on a building project can be an exciting challenge and an opportunity to adapt your living space, improve your home or enhance your property to transform it into your dream residence – but the skill, quality and reliability of your construction company are paramount.

Pinnacle Works regularly hears from clients dissatisfied with the standards on their construction site or realise that the money they invested into their home has not produced the expected results. We are often approached to correct sub-par workmanship.

Before you begin your construction project, here are a few important factors to consider when hiring a building firm or short-listing quotes.

Choosing Suitably Experienced Construction Companies

Expertise is one of the obvious priorities when selecting a contractor for construction projects. Still, you should consider the type of work you require because you may need a specific skill set.

Examples include renovation work in sensitive environments, such as a refurbishment in a listed building, redecorating properties with traditional techniques, or building a new home with precise planning permission conditions and requirements.

Likewise, you might need an expert builder to work in collaboration with your architects to fill a detailed design brief, so a general construction firm may not be the ideal solution.

Here are some of the things we’d recommend you look for:

  • A construction company based in your local area – this allows you to look at past projects, review their portfolio, and assess whether they have successfully completed similar development work.
  • Access to reviews or feedback from previous customers to determine whether other clients have been pleased with the outcomes.
  • A range of skills, specialisms, and professionals within the construction team. Using one firm for the entirety of larger projects is cost-effective and highly efficient, where your builder can manage every task, from electrical to plumbing, brickwork to design.

A reputable company will be proud to share examples of their projects, explain how they operate and direct you to where other builds are located so you can get a first-hand look at the quality they deliver.

Working With a Reliable Construction Team

Watch any episode of a home improvement programme, and you’ll see that poor communication, delays, and lack of reliability are the top problems that mean projects run over budget and beyond the anticipated timescales set at the beginning.

Great building companies base their reputations on exceptional standards and focus on transparency – they’ll tell you if something is not achievable or recommend options to get to the finished outcome you’d like while remaining practical.

If your project involves creating a new building or expanding a development, it will be broken down into phases, starting with groundwork and progressing to foundations and structural engineering before the decorative stage begins.

Picking a construction firm with a strong track record of reliability will ensure the following:

  • You are always informed when something goes wrong and are given advice and support to make clear decisions about the best way forward.
  • You know in advance if there is an unavoidable delay. Specialist materials can also take time to source, and an established company may be able to recommend local organisations that can help.

Although it is natural to compare companies based on price, this differential may be less important than reliability because if your contractors regularly no-show, arrive late, or are working on other projects without informing you, the overall costs can spiral.

The Benefit of Solid Project Management

Site management is a fundamental factor that is sometimes undervalued – but outstanding communication, regular updates, and a named contact overseeing your construction can give you peace of mind that everything is under control.

It is also important to have a firm you can build a partnership with and feel comfortable explaining concerns, seeking advice, or discussing ideas.

Full-service construction firms normally have in-house designers with recognised accreditations – their role isn’t solely to construct the property, complete the refurbishment or finish your renovation but to listen to your aspirations and show you how you can achieve them.

Your chosen firm should be proactive about helping to address the potential disruption to local communities when working on a residential estate or larger construction project. For example, they can schedule delivery vehicles to avoid causing blockages to access routes during the morning and afternoon school run.

Conscientious, reliable, and professional builders will happily operate with other contractors if you have several on-site, adhering to all relevant health and safety considerations and ensuring your build is completed efficiently.

Finding the Right Construction Firm for Your Project

Construction can often bring about unexpected challenges, and a building firm with excellent reviews, project experience and a history of delivering fantastic standards will ensure everything goes to plan.

It is worth researching local contractors with an established record in the type of interiors, development, or aesthetic you have in mind, as a pre-existing sourcing network, knowledge, and ability to work around likely issues are invaluable.

Pinnacle Works always welcomes customers to arrange a convenient time to talk to us about their project ideas and discuss opportunities to inject innovation into the process, such as adding future-proof materials and smart home technology that can make buildings cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in.

As a family-run company, our dedication to unparalleled customer support, professional standards and industry-leading construction, engineering, decoration techniques, and carpentry provides a comprehensive package of services, allowing you to leave your project in capable hands.

We operate across the south of England from our base in Chichester, covering the Greater London area. We can prepare detailed quotations, organise site visits, or share examples of similar or relevant builds to help you make informed decisions.

Please get in touch if you would like any further advice about comparing pricing or browse our online service pages for more information about us.


The 6 Step Essential Checklist for Building Renovations

The 6 Step Essential Checklist for Building Renovations

Renovating a tired, rundown building and breathing life into brickwork that has been unused for many years is a labour of love and often one of the most rewarding building projects you can undertake.

However, building renovations are never fast, or straightforward, and it is all too easy to rush a part of the process or make assumptions about the stability of a structure that can be disastrous – to both the project and your budget.

This checklist from Pinnacle Works runs through some of the advice from our skilled renovation contractors to help you sidestep common mistakes.

1. Commission a Full Survey

One of the typical errors is to start building renovations without knowing precisely what you are working with.

Structural or civil engineers can inspect the integrity of the building from the ground up, determining whether the property has solid foundations or needs preparatory work before you even think about decorating.

Refurbishment is secondary to renovation, so it is vital you address issues such as subsidence, poor condition walls, supporting brickwork or rot in the eaves to create a solid structure.

2. Map Out Your Plans

It is often necessary to hire a professional team of architects for complex property building renovations or those involving period, heritage, or protected properties.

The right solution for each aspect of your project will depend on countless variables, such as:

  • The intended use of the finished structure.
  • Planning permission restrictions.
  • Space available and potential to expand.
  • The size of the exterior walls, ceiling heights and presence of an attic or cellar.
  • Groundwork required.
  • Whether or not the building has live electricity, gas, and water.

An architect will start with the bigger picture, discussing your budget, expected timescales, planned use for the property and aspirations in terms of aesthetics, appearance, and style.

From there, they will break down building renovations into stages, deferring to you to make informed choices about things such as materials, tiling, and wall coverings – ensuring you know what your project will cost, how long it will take, and what it will look like when it is finished.

3. Complete All Necessary Paperwork

While it might be tempting to embark on building renovations as quickly as you can, missing a detail, failing to apply for planning approval, or forgetting about a licence or permission can be detrimental and stall work.

In some cases, you might employ an architect, surveyor or project manager (like Pinnacle Works) to assist with your planning application. Advice from professionals with in-depth knowledge of the planning rules and specific legislation applicable to your site can be invaluable.

You will need your architectural plans to proceed with a full planning application, although the exact procedure can vary between commercial buildings and domestic renovations.

4. Think About Project Management

Project management is more than just about keeping an eye on progress. In building renovations, it means having clear oversight of budgets, phases of work, contractors, and other aspects, such as releasing development finance at key stages of each job.

Many property owners imagine they will manage their own project, but this can take a substantial amount of time and effort, as well as commanding excellent negotiating and people management skills. If you hire a business to project manage, with you as the client, you must have absolute faith in their experience, abilities, and past form. Researching previous projects and asking for client testimonials can be time well spent.

Your project manager will commit to a certain number of hours or days on-site each week or month or might pre-arrange inspections and visits to see how things are moving forward. They are responsible for the logistics, material deliveries, tracking consignments, and ensuring each item or resource purchased aligns with your budget.

Although a third-party manager isn’t mandatory, they can potentially save you money by offsetting their fees in reduced downtime, delays or inefficiencies, which they will spot quickly.

5. Select Capable Contractors

Once you have reached the stage of breaking ground, building new walls or getting started with actual physical work, it remains essential to work closely with every tradesperson, construction firm or specialist company involved.

Most property redevelopment schemes will require several contractors to work alongside each other, including:

  • Architects
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Bricklayers
  • Plasterers
  • Groundworkers
  • Electricians
  • Earth-moving firms
  • Glaziers
  • Roofers
  • Decorators

Each professional needs space to work safely and efficiently while coordinating each piece of the puzzle to avoid completing one element of your restoration, only to find that you have skipped a step and need to repeat a task.

The capabilities and professionalism of your contractors is a significant factor, so we’d recommend taking plenty of time to review past projects, compare quotations and speak with potential tradespeople before deciding who is the best fit for you.

Hiring Pinnacle Works is an excellent solution, as a full-service building firm that can provide qualified, capable crafts and tradespeople for the vast majority of work inherent in renovating a property, including specialists in renovations.

We are always happy to discuss our abilities and experiences, walk through your plans to raise any queries or make suggestions, or showcase some of our completed work to give you an idea of our exacting high standards.

6. Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Older buildings need time and money to be renovated, and routinely lack insulation, wiring and other basic resources we take for granted in modern structures. It is far better to spend longer on every phase and achieve a remarkable outcome than to focus on aesthetics – which is a little like papering over the cracks.

The fun bits, such as painting, choosing heritage wallpaper, reinstalling period fireplaces, or retrofitting door handles, cabinetry and bathrooms, always come last. It is best to regard redevelopments as a long, delicate process rather than a one-off challenge because so many things need to come together before the structure is likely to be ready to live in.

By thinking through each step, and making careful choices in terms of who you hire, the materials you use, and what you spend, you will have a well-managed, methodical redevelopment that exceeds your expectations.