How to make sure your property renovation dreams are realistic and achievable.

Grand or less grand designs

With summer on its way and the house buying market still very buoyant there’s lots of active interest in all types of properties, but it’s often the older more characterful homes that catch people’s eye.  

There’s a wide range of houses for sale in Holmfirth, Mirfield, Meltham Huddersfield and Honley, and many of them have distinctive features that reflect our rich history and heritage.  And they all make tempting propositions in terms of redevelopment and renovation. 

And while many people want a modern home for the instant convenience of all its modern features, older houses are particularly appealing for their bigger proportions (even with smaller terraces) and the opportunities they offer for expansion. They also retain their value more than new houses. Which is why they’re an attractive proposition for future buyers too.

Property renovation transformation
Property renovation transformation

So, if you’re eyeing up an older property, this simple guide will help ensure that you make the most of the various exciting building projects that you may need to tackle along the way. 

  • Work out your budget.  And stick to it.  TV presenter and developer Sarah Beeny is adamant about this overriding principle for property renovations.  So, when looking at an older property, do the maths around how much it is going to cost for everything - so that’s the initial house purchase cost PLUS surveys, building works, fixtures and fittings, professional services, electrics, water, gas, decoration.
  • Structure and weather proofing.  Before being seduced by your plans for a rear extension with bi-fold doors, a state of the art kitchen, loft conversion, luxury bathroom etc, focus on the core structure first.  Ensuring your property is protected from all the elements is essential, so make it a priority to look at any aspects which might need upgrading. This is why a survey (mandatory if you’re securing your property with a mortgage) is essential.  But even as a cash buyer, a full survey is critical to ensure you know the full extent of the problems (and associated costs) you might have to tackle.  Think roof, walls, windows, doors, utilities.  These need to be in good shape before you start approaching any major refit.
  • Period features, planning restrictions.  Depending on the age and historic nature of your property, there will be limitations on what you will be able to do in terms of alterations.  So, before sketching out your plans,  if it’s listed, you may want to seek advice from an architect or planner so they can give you very specific advice on your responsibilities as an owner and/or developer.
  • Take the long view.  Unless you have considerable financial reserves, you will need to look at your renovation project in terms of phases.  So, once you’ve moved in and are ready to get going, map out in detail your schedule of works, and prioritise what work needs doing first.  Get accurate costings and build in a contingency of 15%-20% for the unexpected.  
  • Kitchen first.  For many people, the kitchen, the beating heart of all homes, is the most important project to tackle first.  This is often linked, these days, to an open-plan rear extension for easy living and entertaining.  Again, for older properties check that your proposed extension is compliant with planning regulations by getting a steer from your local planning authority.
  • Think with a view to selling.  Even if this is your forever home, think about how your renovations will look to a future buyer.  Some properties become less attractive as a result of the changes and modifications that have been made, either because they are inappropriate in terms of use, because they jar visually in terms of choice of materials, or they’ve been poorly executed.
Property development
Property development

Need any help?  Why not chat to one of our team in either Holmfirth or Mirfield.
For general advice, take a look at these two links Real Homes renovations and Grand Designs 10 genius ways to modernise your period property