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.


Eight Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Eight Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Embarking on a home renovation project can be an exciting journey – with endless opportunities to reimagine your living space or reconfigure the layout of your existing structure.

Whether you have bought a run-down building as renovation project, or want to refresh your existing building, the first step is to have detailed plans of what you’d like to achieve, and what the finished result will look like. Property renovation is one of those things where playing it by ear never works. You must have a clearly phased project to ensure you don’t skip steps or forget something that means moving back to carry out retrospective repairs, or incur additional costs.

It’s also wise to consider the interior design, the period features of your home, and how you will use spaces and rooms practically rather than focusing only on the aesthetics – because your property needs to work with you!

We’ve listed our eight top home renovation mistakes to help you form a detailed plan and avoid typical errors that can be extremely costly, before you begin working.

1. Buying Furniture and Furnishings Too Soon

Once you get stuck into renovation work, all those soft furnishings, elegant furniture, and wall coverings you see jump out as perfect for the dream home you’re creating.

However, buying décor too early is often problematic because while the project is ongoing, it’s difficult to take accurate measurements or find clarity about how and where furnishings or appliances need to go.

Think about:

  • Buying beautiful antique pieces or contemporary furniture – only to find it doesn’t fit in the allotted space or would need to be taken apart to get through the door.
  • Purchasing curtains, blinds or shutters that look great on paper but don’t match the glazing or the windows.
  • Picking appliances or electronics without realising that there are no plug sockets close by.
  • Investing in carpets or rugs that look beautiful but jar with the style or theme once the work is complete.

Our advice is never to guess at measurements or buy anything on a whim unless you are 100% certain it will be right for your home! Even smaller accessories such as light fittings, door handles or taps can be a wasted expense if they don’t fit into the sink you have chosen or are too large or small for your renovated doors.

Provided you have technical drawings or plans with the correct dimensions, you can schedule purchases of bigger ticket items strategically, taking advantage of seasonal sale periods to keep your home renovation budget under control.

2. Forgetting to Check the Natural Light

We talk a lot about natural light in a home renovation context, because the aspect of your home, the size of your windows and the position of each room dictates how the space feels and works. If you’ve ever wall-mounted a TV that is unwatchable at midday, you’ll understand the importance!

Sunlight also changes throughout the day and the seasons, so it’s worth spending time in each area at different times to gauge the light’s quality, strength and softness to help plan your room layout. This process ensures you’ll choose the right colour schemes and décor to maximise natural light without making darker or smaller rooms feel claustrophobic or gloomy.

Larger-scale glazing such as patio doors, picture windows or bi-fold doors can all benefit rooms that don’t have ample sunlight and make a space more comfortable and attractive.

3. Not Checking for Planning Permission Rules

Many aspects of home renovation do not require formal planning permission, but if you need building regulations approval and fail to apply, you could find yourself in hot water.

Adding an extension, sunroom or loft conversion to your home renovation project is a fantastic way to create more space and the saleable value of your property – but the larger the scale of the work, the more likely planning application and permission rules will apply.

In most cases, you can apply retrospectively. Still, if the local planning department rejects your plans, it could be a case of restructuring the extension or even removing the work altogether.

Homeowners with listed properties or those in a conservation area should be particularly cautious and verify whether planning applications apply before undertaking any home renovation work.

4. Taking on Too Much, Too Soon

Renovating an old property is more involved than a simple redecorating project, and those plans we have mentioned are crucial to keeping track of progress and seeing how much you have spent.

It is very common to want to jump into a home renovation project with both feet first, but this is invariably a mistake:

  • Trying to renovate multiple rooms simultaneously causes disruption and makes it impossible to focus fully on any one task or decision.
  • Monitoring a renovation budget is tricky, and if you spread yourself too thin, it is very easy to lose track and overspend on building materials and other costs.
  • Quality is crucial, so working on one space at a time gives you more capacity to concentrate on achieving the best possible finish before you move forward.

We would suggest you work first on the rooms you’ll need to live comfortably – think bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms.Once those areas are complete, you can get going with other spaces, such as hallways and living rooms.

5. Picking a Contractor Without Due Diligence

As an established renovation expert, our teams are always happy to provide quotes or pricing estimates and fully expect our clients to compare those rates, ask questions, or request advice and guidance throughout the planning process.

Picking a contractor without researching their skills, knowledge and previous projects can be a serious downfall if the building work fails to meet your expectations or you have to hire countless additional professionals for second fix jobs or to deal with structural issues.

House renovation is a big project, and you should take as much time as you need to explore budgets, construction methods, materials, layouts, techniques and finishes.

We suggest looking at previous work to verify that your contractor has an excellent track record and can back this up with customer testimonials!

6. Renovating Your Home Based on the Lowest Costs

Of course, costs are a necessary consideration, and however small or large your renovation project is, it must be affordable and well-planned. However, some perceived efficiencies will cost significantly more in the long run, and cutting corners is rarely advisable.

In some cases, the most qualified professionals can offer the most competitive pricing since they have existing material sourcing networks, knowledge about the right approaches to achieve your desired result, and efficient working methods to complete each phase faster.

We would suggest that any decisions are based on quality and expertise, not solely on the cheaper price.

7. Removing Structural Walls

You can remove load-bearing walls – but they need to have sufficient structural support verified by an accredited structural engineer to ensure that knocking through a wall doesn’t compromise the integrity of the building.

Removing walls to create open-plan living spaces has become hugely popular over the last two decades. Still, it isn’t a decorative job and requires specific calculations and an appropriate supporting beam or RSJ to bear the weight of the structure above. A structural survey may be required.

Knocking down structural and internal walls yourself can multiply the renovation project budget since the repair work required can be extensive.

8. Designing Spaces Outside of the Property’s Style

Any episode of Grand Designs is likely to mention ‘sympathetic architecture’ and décor ‘in keeping with the property’ – and for a good reason. When you start designing a house renovation, it is important to consider the original home’s age, appearance and functionality.

Disjointed architecture, clashing styles and haphazard shapes can be eclectic and interesting but invariably damage the potential to sell the property.

As an experienced renovation contractor, Pinnacle Works can steer you through the design phase and recommend materials, finishes and styles that will complement the original property aesthetic to create a harmonious, comfortable result. If you would like more advice about your home renovation project, creating a work schedule, or avoiding these common renovation mistakes, please get in touch! You can also browse the Pinnacle Works Blog for more informative guides and view our gallery for ideas and inspiration.