Making the decision to renovate a property can be tricky. Defining the scope of the project, setting budgets and determining timelines can be a tough challenge to navigate if you have little experience in this area.

As long standing Cornwall home builders who have been handling both the restoration of historic buildings (stone cottages, longhouses etc.) as well as new build developments in Cornwall, below are some of our top insider tips for anyone thinking about undertaking a renovation project. 

1. Be Clear About Your Goals

Setting a clear goal for what you want your renovation to achieve in your life is paramount. If this is a retirement property you want to make comfortable for the foreseeable future then the decisions you make may be vastly different to if you are renovating the property to increase its value and sell later. 

There are some things that take much longer and cost more, but have little impact on the final sales value—despite adding a priceless amount of character and function to a property. Equally, there are things that you can do to increase the value of a house that are more budget friendly, if your aim is to eventually sell. 

2. Choose the Right Time

Depending on the scale of your project, your renovation could take weeks, months or even years (if you choose to stagger the project). Getting a reasonable estimate for how long it will take will help you to choose the right time to get started.

Also, if you are planning to sell the property at a certain time, you will need to work backwards from this date to ensure you meet your target. Adding a healthy buffer is always recommended too. 

3. Set A Defined Budget

The costs of renovating a property can vary depending on many factors. Everything from location, preferred building materials and timeline will all have an impact on the final cost.

It may be diligent to perform a full structural survey on the property before you set this figure to ensure that you have accounted for any possible damage that will need to be addressed before renovation commences. 

4. Perform a Risk Assessment with Experts

In addition to the above, we would always recommend working with experienced cornwall home builders like ourselves to make sure you have assessed the property for any potential roadblocks or challenges that may present themselves. Of course, this is more important for older traditional and period-based homes than new build developments in Cornwall.  

For instance, damp and subsidence are two common reasons why renovation projects can end up facing financial pitfalls. They both pose major problems to a building construction and must be factored into your budget. 

5. Factor in Additional Costs

When budgeting for future renovations, we typically recommend setting aside at least 10% of your budget for unexpected costs. 

This can include things like paying for temporary accommodation if you need to live elsewhere during the renovation, or paying legal costs that vary depending on the location of your UK property. 

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