Deciding to make changes to your property can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. Most of us know a thing or two about build and design work. We’ve watched enough Grand Designs and Cowboy Builders to know when things are looking right and when things are going wrong. But what most of us don’t know is where to start and who to ask. Word of mouth is great until you find out those contacts are already filed up with appointments or no longer in business. And we’re aware that reading too many blogs such as these can make your head spin as you wonder what information is worthwhile and worthless. By working with a lot of confused customers, we’ve noticed a trend in how people think and behave with their building projects. And that’s what most people seem to start in the middle and then have to work backwards in order to progress. This mainly happens as people aren’t aware of where what or whom a good starting point is. Which is why we’ve put together 7 succinct points you can follow step by step for your existing or new building project.
We can’t emphasise the importance of doing your homework enough. You research your holidays, the best restaurant to eat at, the best rucksack or walking boots to buy, but no one ever seems to research their building project. Which is madness! Especially when considering you’re probably about to spend a lot of your hard earned money. It’s okay to not know hat you want at this stage – as you can always ask the professionals. However, it’s not okay to just assume a person or business is all right at face value. You need to make sure you research a few companies and then whittle it down to three you really like the look of. Then you need to devour their websites, read customer reviews, analyse their portfolio and finally phone them for a quote. When you meet them you need to ask all the questions you can think of from their suggestions on your build, to how they would conduct the process to how much it may cost. Research, review and ask – real professionals won’t be scared to provide the answers.
2) Structural Survey
If you’re looking at adding an extension or converting a loft/garage to your property, you will need a chartered surveyor to undertake a building report. A thorough assessment of your building will enable you to determine whether you need to investigate anything further, such as; infestation, subsidence, damp or drainage problems. Depending on the severity of the problem we always recommend ensuring these problems are solved before continuing with further building work.
3) Architectural Drawings
Next, a Cad Technician or Architect can provide you with either a 2d or 3d rendering of your property with the intended extension or renovated design. A professional architectural drawing will then be submitted to the planning portal for approval. The planning portal can take anything from 2 to 8 weeks to approve a project; so don’t expect anything to happen overnight. You cannot move onto the next stage, i.e. the building phase until your application has been approved. If you go ahead without planning permission and the council find you, then expect a hefty fine and in extreme cases, you may be asked to take down whatever you have built.
4) Demolition Work
Once everything has been regulated and approved it’s time to start the demolition process. Get rid of any waste using a professional skip or a local authority tip site. Salvage anything that can be removed or stored or even sold on.
5) Start Building
After you’ve found either a construction company or freelance builder you can trust and have a reputable contract in place, the building phase can begin.
- Roof – Ensure your building is securely fastened and battened down in order to keep everything weather tight. It’s always best to match the existing roof/building exterior with the new build in order to keep aesthetic. It’s also cheaper to re-use salvaged tiles.
- Fix the Exterior – Whilst you have the scaffolding up it could pay to check the guttering, brackets, downpipes, soffits, barge boards, windows, render and timbering. Check it all and fix what needs fixing.
- External Landscaping – Once you’ve checked and/or reattached the drainage system, this stage can be used to landscape the pathways, flowerbeds and any driveways or garden work.
6) Internal Work & Tradesmen
Now it’s time to start working on getting the inside of the property ready. Work can be started internally as soon as the roof has been battened down.
- Plastering – It’s time to apply the plaster boarding/ dry lining to ceilings and walls ready for either painting or wallpapering or leaving bare – whatever you fancy. It may seem obvious but it’s always a good idea to use old bed sheets to cover the remaining furnishings and staircase.
- Flooring – It’s up to you to decide whether you want to lay the floor before or after you install units. We’re of the belief that it is easier in the long run to fit the floor – whether they be tiles, carpets or wood – before you bring in the furniture or appliances. That way if you need to make changes to your fixtures, later on, you won’t have half a floor laid, meaning you have flexibility.
- Decorating – During the second fix stage, you can begin the decorating phase. During this time it is important to keep a critical eye on your project. Make sure that all wires are in place; all walls have been plastered and painted to your standards. Check the tiles or the fitting of the carpet and everything else that has been radically changed or affected during the work.
Hooray – your work is completed! After the clean up you can sit back and relax in your newly renovated property.
Depending on the size of your project who you will need will be vastly different. For example, if your building a property from scratch you would start with an Architect firm or contractors like Renovize Homes who can do the whole thing for you. However, if you’re just after a roof renovation or plaster it may be more beneficial to find a local freelancer or again use a company like Renovize Homes.
By working with a contractor, such as Renovize Homes, you can be directed to the right people you need. If you’re unsure about where to start or what stage to do next, then get in touch for expert advice.