House Renovation Where To start?
Are you thinking of renovating? Whether you want to update a few rooms or do a full-scale house renovation, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about house renovation + where to start with your renovation project.
As an interior designer (and serial renovator myself), I've worked with people in all stages and levels of a home renovation project.
From more simple internal reconfigurations to whole house demolish and rebuild and if there is one thing I've learnt... The more you plan and prepare, the more successful your project is in terms of finish and financials.
Cliche, I know, but renovation gospel...If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
I Want To Renovate My House Where Do I Start?
In the guide, I want to give you all the things you'll need to consider before renovating a house and starting the renovation party.
We'll cover things to consider before renovating, finding the right property, what order to renovate in, what tasks need to be completed, how to budget, and lots of things to consider before you start a home renovation. So if you've ever wondered where to start with home renovation? Let's find out.
Throughout this post, you'll find some super swoon-worthy home renovation projects to inspire you. Go and follow along on Instagram and share some home renovation love!
Plus, if you stick around until the end, you can grab my home Renovation Roadmap: A detailed look at all the house renovation processes and a timeline with a list of all the jobs you might encounter and the order in which they are typically completed.
What to consider before renovating?
Before renovating a house, it's important to consider what you're hoping to achieve. Whether you want to add value to your home, make some much-needed changes, or alter it to suit your lifestyle, there are a few things you should take into account that will affect your renovation journey before getting started.
Is it an investment property? Are you doing this for profit? If you're flipping versus your forever home? Can you add value? Is there a ceiling price? Will you need planning permission? Is it permitted development?
Considering your intentions upfront will help you plan out your project and ensure everyone involved is on the same page.
Buying the right property
It is crucial to purchase the right property to restore, but working this out is not always as simple as you think it will be.
You'll need a home that will work for you once the renovation is done. If this is your forever home then the resale price is perhaps less important, but it's still a good idea to make sure that you're not spending more than you can return from a sale, it makes good financial sense to be sure that the investment will pay off in the end and you can sell for a profit.
Here are a few things to research to be sure this renovation project is the one for you:
- Take a look at the other properties on the street. Has a planning precedent been set, and do they have alterations and extensions?
- Head to google earth and look at the outdoor space. Is there enough room for your ideas and plans?
- Head to Zoopla or Rightmove to get the recent sale prices on the road. Compare the prices to the properties that have had work and those that haven't. This should help you identify if the road has a ceiling price.
- If you're getting serious about this property but want to ensure this is the perfect property to renovate, you could get a more detailed survey completed to check for any potential major problems.
Consider what funding options are available to you
There are several ways to fund a renovation project, including taking out a loan or using your savings. However, other options, such as government grants, are also worth considering.
You may be eligible for grants, so it's worth checking with your local authority if there are any initiatives, many authorities will offer grants for homes that have been inspected and found to be unfit to live in.
Let's get the planning party started
Assuming you've found your dream home, what's next? Let's get the planning party started!
The first thing you need when renovating is to do is determine what needs to be done. You may have a general idea of what you want to update, but it's important to get a realistic view of what can be accomplished in your budget and timeframe.
Sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be done - from painting the walls to replacing the roof. This is also a great time to start thinking about your "nice-to-have" and "must-have" lists to help you plan and understand the non-negotiable elements of your renovation.
If this seems like an overwhelming task, a simple way to achieve this and to cover all bases so that you don't miss anything is to create a Reno to-do list.
Make a simple list of your rooms and all the elements and features inside the room, grab your clipboards and pen (or iPad + finger) and check if it's staying, if it needs repairing, replacing, or it's leaving.
Like in my Decor + Reno Design + Budget bundle shown below. We'll show you get your renovation project off to a flying start, all the tasks you'll probably encounter, how to budget, what to budget for and the renovation process. We'll show you the plan, the shortcuts and how to save on your renovation project pot!
The Renovation Budget
When renovating, it's important to set a realistic budget and be prepared to adjust it as necessary. Renovating is a fluid process. Keeping a handle on your budget will help you plan your layouts and intended designs and know if your ideas are practical and achievable with the renovation pot you have to play with.
First, get your finger in the air and decide on your ballpark budget. This will give you a starting point to work from. From there, you can begin to break down the costs of each renovation element and create a more accurate and detailed budget.
Be prepared to make some adjustments along the way, as renovations often exceed the budget. But having a realistic budget from the start will help you avoid costly mistakes and frustration in the long run.
Schedule of Works For House Renovation
Once you have your ballpark, you can put more meat on the budget bones. Again as with all things renovation, there is no one size fits all approach.
A larger project may have a more detailed statement of work, prices and dimensions in a 'bill of quantities' (bill of quantities for house renovation). Still, for smaller renovation projects, typically, they would follow a 'schedule of works'.
A schedule of works is a plan that essentially outlines the house renovation order of works. This is the order in which tasks will be completed. You can use the schedule of works to further understand the project's scope and obtain more detailed quotations to firm up your costs.
This can help you avoid costly mistakes, like not having the right trades scheduled at the right time or having to redo work because of adjustments and changes. It will ensure that your renovation project stays on track.
Some of the most important tasks that should be included in your schedule of work are as follows:
- Demolition, Strip Out + Removal: This includes removing old materials, fixtures, and appliances from the home, demolishing structures and clearing the site. Aka, the point of no return.
- Structural Construction: erecting new structures and structural work.
- Weathertight: All works related to ensuring the building is protected from the elements. Walls, windows, doors, roof etc.
- First Fix: All electrical, plumbing, heating + joinery work before "floor to ceilings".
- Floor to Ceilings: Plastering and flooring finishes.
- Second Fix: All electrical, plumbing, heating + joinery work after "floor to ceilings".
- Finishes + Decoration: The fun part, the bit you see and live with, and the area that gets sacrificed more often than not.
- Cleaning: A builder's clean is a thing of beauty!
- Landscaping: The final part of the renovation, the exterior!
If you need some help with researching projected costs for your house renovation project, take a look at Job Prices + My Builder to understand the different types of jobs and projects.
If you want to get ahead in the renovation game, here are 9 things you need to decide early in a renovation project. If you want to save some money on your renovation, check out this post How To Save Money Renovating A House.
Find the best contractors for your renovation project
Don't just hire the first contractor you find - do your research and ensure you're hiring someone reputable. Hiring someone reputable and qualified will give you peace of mind that they know what they're doing and won't mess up any of the work in your home.
The last thing anyone wants when they're renovating their home is to have it go wrong or not be completed properly, so make sure to consider these tips before choosing.
Here are some tips for selecting the right one:
- Do your research - look for a contractor who has a good reputation and is insured.
- Ask for referrals + advice from friends and family members - they may have had a positive experience with a particular contractor.
- Meet with potential contractors and ask them questions about their experience and what they would propose doing in your home.
- Get at least three quotes before deciding to ensure you're getting a competitive + complete price.
- Make sure they're solvent and have the cash flow to undertake your project.
House renovation where to start?
Renovating your home whilst demanding, if planned properly, can be a hugely satisfying, rewarding and fun part of your life. It's such an experience, even on the down days!
If planned properly, a reno can also be hugely profitable. The amount of preparation you put in is directly linked to the amount of satisfaction you will get (and the fewer grey hairs you'll be left with).
If you're completing a house renovation + wondering where to start, enter your details below to grab your Renovation Roadmap listing out the stages of the schedule of works, and I'll send it right over.