Renovating your home is neither easy nor cheap, so it pays to think it through before proceeding with it. Here we are listing 5 common home renovation mistakes homeowners in the UK commit with hope that you don’t become one of those. A stitch in time saves nine, eh..??
1) Hiring unqualified tradesmen:
Never hire a tradesman or a home improvement company in the UK that are not certified. Check their skill and safety credentials (CSCS, ECS, JIB, whichever card is applicable) to ensure you get quality and safety in the work done.
The next step is to ask them for details of previous clients. Please get in touch with few of the recent ones and get their feedback. If the feedback is good or satisfactory, go ahead with hiring them otherwise you know what to do. Moreover, feedbacks also help you anticipate and deal with challenges employing a particular builder poses.
2) Underestimating Costs:
It’s surprising how often homeowners make this oft-repeated blunder. Renovation work always has a habit of costing more than you expect. Chances are certain problems will be discovered at the last minute; maybe you’ve forgotten to add certain items from the budget, perhaps you had to alter certain design or specifications to suit your liking.
So what should one do? Get your home advisor to estimate the cost for you; the more experienced he is the more realistic figure he will reach. In addition, prepare your own budget by listing all tasks and the materials required. Another way of estimating the cost is to look at costs of similar projects done in the locality.
3) Flouting rules and regulations:
Don’t flout rules and regulations: intentionally or unintentionally. Law will eventually catch up with you and you may have to pay a heavy price for your defiance or ignorance.
Get “Planning Permission” together with “Building Regulations Approval” from the local authority – otherwise you may be forced to undo the construction you have spent so much on.
Check if you require notifying neighbours (Party Wall Act) or leaseholders before beginning any work on your property? Violating Party Wall Act or Restrictive Covenant or the Terms of a Lease can lead to injunction. Maybe you will have to compensate (financial settlement) your neighbour or undo the work altogether.
4) Resist the DIY temptation:
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is a great way to keep the cost down of a construction or renovation work. The pride and satisfaction one gets from it is unparalleled and this is why the cult of wannabe builders is rising in the UK.
But here is a piece of advice for you: resist your DIY temptation when it comes to a specialist job like home renovation. As an amateur builder, you are more likely to spoil the job rather than be a helping hand professionals want – for you don’t have the training and skill required to do your job properly.
Botched DIY can prove to be very costly. It may result in you wasting materials, forcing work to be redone (by professionals wasting their time and your money), and eventually devaluing the property if it is not done right. Chances are you might even fail to properly administer the project thanks to being too tied up in the DIY.
5) Using the Wrong Materials:
Do you have an old house built using traditional materials? Refrain from applying modern impermeable materials like plastics or hard cement mortar mixes as they can damp and damage the structure. In the same vein, chemical damp-proof courses can harm earth-based structures. Avoid using sealant or waterproof paint on a traditional solid-walled building and say no to hard cement renders on traditional solid-walled buildings (you can go for flexible lime-rich mix).
Have fun renovating your home!
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