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How to renovate a house

Home renovation is the best way to get the home you desire. You can also make a profit when you come to sell, if done right! Any house renovation project requires planning but you also need to be prepared to expect the unexpected. Here are the steps you should consider to achieve the perfect renovation…

Firstly you need to buy the right property to renovate which isn’t always easy but it is crucial. You need to have an imagination as this is a long process but you need two keep the end goal in mind and that end goal will hopefully see you make a profit when you do eventually come to sell. You can scroll through right move and Zoopla to find a property indeed of work but that doesn’t always mean value for money! Try looking out for:

  • Any work that the neighbors properties have had done eg. extensions.
  • Think about the outdoor space, is there enough room to plan an extension?
  • Find out if the road has a ceiling price – research the most recent sale price on the road and check out if the house has had any work done.
  • Get a survey done on the property – a surveyor will check for expensive problems like subsidence, damp, or drainage issues.
  • Get a measured survey, this will provide detailed drawings of the property’s layout –this will come in handy for any planning application.
  • Obtain a building report, this will tell you which construction methods were used throughout the house and now you can plan how you’ll renovate the property!


Planning permission

When you are looking for the right property to renovate, it’s really important to think about planning permission before buying because if you are denied planning consent it will be very costly for you. When you are searching for properties look for properties that have outline planning permission or full permission already. Outline permission means the local planning department are aware of proposed work to the property and have agreed to more detailed plans being submitted or you should look for properties where work can be completed under Permitted Development. Lots of work can be carried out under permitted development, including:

  • Single storey extensions
  • Loft conversions
  • Conservatories
  • Porches
  • Decking
  • Basement development
  • Parking

While this means no planning permission will be required, there are some size and scale limitations for things like extensions. You will most definitely need building regulations approval for any structural work or electrical installation.

Builders, architects and Design

Fast forward you have purchased your property and now ready to plan and design! The next step is do you want to do it yourself or hire contractors and professionals? If you would like to use an architect now is the right time to find one. You need to spend a lot of time thinking about all your options and which route you want to take. Now you will need to get the opinions of several builders to find the best one for you. Now you have your builder, you can now agree on a schedule so everyone involved knows what to expect and has a timeframe.


Most property renovations occur in older homes, however this means more often that not there are a few surprises beneath floors or in walls and these surprises could affect your budget. There are a lot of factors to the cost of a renovation, the main one being the time it takes and how much work has to be done. During the renovation normally a few surprises arise so expect to be tested within your budget. However here are some figures for your renovation:

  • Extension: £25,000-£50,000
  • Kitchen renovation: £7,000-£15,000
  • Bathroom renovation: £6,000-£10,000
  • Loft conversion: £40,000
  • New heating system: £4,000
  • New windows: £400-£600 per unit



You are going to need a clear schedule or a list (in order) of everything that needs to be done external and internal work. A schedule can also be seen as a loosely binding contract between the homeowner (you) and the builder (worker) making sure everything is on track and within your budget. Here is an example:


  • Ensure that brickwork and pointing match
  • Paint and render the exterior
  • Roof tiles should be cleaned, repaired, and replaced
  • Chimney repair
  • Repairs to the front elevation of the house
  • Replace and remove windows on the front elevation
  • Complete cleaning of side elevation render
  • Replace the frosted side window
  • Replace rear elevation windows
  • Remove sliding doors to ground floor kitchen and replace with French doors



  • The ground floors carpets should be replaced with wood flooring throughout
  • Disconnect the kitchen from the living room by removing the internal wall
  • Install new wrought iron radiators
  • Install new kitchen and appliances
  • Plaster the walls of bedrooms 2 and 3 and remove the internal wall between them
  • Remove the existing bathroom suite, tiles and flooring on the first floor
  • Fit new bathroom flooring, tiles and suite
  • Install new composite door in place of the existing one
  • Remove all rubbish and skip
  • Resurface the front driveway with rein

Work can now begin!

Your schedule comes to reality!

Now your property is stripped back and ready to be remodelled your builder or contractor will do the first fix jobs.

Which include:

  • Changing or adding internal walls
  • Lining the doors
  • Adding floors
  • Adding window units & frames
  • Fitting plumbing structures
  • Installing items behind plastered walls eg. ducts, alarms and wiring for things like heating thermostats

Once the first fix stage is complete, your property’s walls will be ready for plastering and any floor screed will be laid.

More fix jobs come next and include:

  • Fitting light fittings, sockets, TV and phone points
  • Door hanging
  • Bathroom and kitchen fitting installation
  • Fitting all radiators, boiler system and controls
  • Installation of kitchen
  • Boxing in and plastering any exposed pipework



Over time problems might occur such as leaks, walls cracking from plaster, heating issues or decorative scuffs, if this is the case your builder should honor any mistakes or issues and return to rectify the problem at no extra cost.

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