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When the time comes to settle down, we very often outgrow our living space. Whether we’re coupled up or adding to (or expanding) our family, as the months roll by our homes can feel smaller and smaller as we accumulate more possessions, or indeed family members!
But before we run round to the nearest estate agent, we should ask ourselves if we’re in too much of a rush to get our place on the market. After all, our home could be in an excellent location, or hold precious memories, so the more sentimental among us might not be in such a hurry to cut the ties that bind. Building extra room space onto your house might just be the answer, and can often work out cheaper than moving to a larger property, with the added bonus of getting that extra space without the hassle of relocating.
As with all major projects, there are lots of factors to consider, so before you reach for your sledgehammer and knock out any walls make sure you do some homework. Below are our top 5 ‘DOs’ before starting any major building work.
Research and Review
Have a chat to any friends, family or neighbours who’ve had renovation work done to their homes. You’ll need to know exactly what to expect when taking on a large scale job. Have clear ideas of what you want to achieve, and be realistic in your vision. If your creative juices aren’t flowing, the internet is a great place to start, using such sites as Pinterest to get you going. You could always hire a designer if you’re lacking in flair or struggling in the artistic department!
Build Your Budget
We can’t stress enough how important it is to do your sums right where your budget is concerned. Price everything up, from material costs to labour, and keep a track of what you intend to spend and where. Remember to factor in a contingency fund, as there will always be extras you haven’t thought of, or problems that will occur along the way. As we know, mistakes can happen, so best be prepared for them!
Make Your Match
Finding ‘the one’ is crucial. We are of course talking about building contractors! And although we’re not suggesting you put a ring on it, we do suggest that you don’t opt for the first smooth talker that comes along! Being left high and dry by a cowboy builder who promises you the world and delivers nothing would almost certainly be the stuff of nightmares. Ask around for recommendations of reputable builders, check out their testimonials and references, and obtain quotes from at least three different contractors.
Ensure You’re Insured!
The existing structure of your property will be the cornerstone of your renovation or extension, so it’s really important to ensure that the building costs are accurately reflected and assessed in any building renovation insurance policy that you purchase. You’ll need cover in case of accidental damage, storm or flood damage and theft or loss. There are bespoke policies on the market from specialist brokers, where experts are available to talk you through any queries you may have.
Make a Wish!
If you’re renovating then it’s to suit you and your family, so you don’t have to be swayed by your building contractor telling you what you need rather than what you want, or vice versa! You are the customer who is paying the bills, so although we recommend you listen to advice, nothing has to be set in stone. For example, there would be little point in having extra baths installed in your home, if you’re a family that only shower. So stick to your guns and produce a reasonable wish list, as you know what’s right for you. Seeing your home transformed by sound design decisions and good bespoke workmanship will certainly add value to your home, but it must add value to your life too!