Planning Structural Changes in a Domestic Home

When planning major changes to your home, there’s a whole host of things that can cause project delays and budgets to be blown.  Good planning and project management is the only way to mitigate problems when you decide to renovate your home.

Make a decision

Decide exactly what work you want carried out before you start hiring contractors.  Once you have a plan, stick to it.  Changing your mind part way through will prolong the work and cost you more money.

Before you break out the sledgehammer

If you’re planning a large extension or a complete transformation of your home, then hiring an architect or designer may be necessary.  Extensions that are larger than permitted development allows will need to be granted planning permission.  Check whether your home has any added restrictions such as having a listed status or being located in a conservation area.

Be clear what you want

When you’re looking to hire contractors to work on your home you need to make sure you’ve explained exactly what you want.  The quotes you get will only be as accurate as the information you’ve supplied.

Once you’ve decided on a reputable team to do the work, you’ll need to agree a realistic timescale and budget.  Remember a quote is not your final build cost. You’ll need to agree important elements such as the quality of finish and type of materials.

Working out a sensible budget

Be realistic when working out a budget for renovations.  For example, kitchen renovation prices will need to include any structural changes (taking out walls, extending, changing the roof, adding lanterns or windows), the kitchen units, appliances, plumbing and electrical work, tiles and paint.

There could be other costs you haven’t factored in such as floor levelling or drainage work.  It may be sensible to have contingency money set aside in case unforeseen problems arise.  Having this money available will stop a lack of funds delaying the project should the worst happen.

Help keep things on track

Many seasoned home renovators will hire professionals to carry out the work but will check on progress daily to help keep things on track.  Taking on the role of project manager will ensure you’re happy with the standard of work as it progresses and keep you informed of any issues as they arise.  This can be especially important if you’re not living in the property as work is being carried out.