5 Important Things To Keep in Mind Before Renovating Your Home

Your house is more than just your home. It’s also an investment. It will look after your money for you as you get older, and potentially provide a fantastic nest egg for you when you choose to retire. When you own your own home, you always have collateral so you can finance anything from a new business startup to making the home of your dreams even dreamier. Renovating your home is a great way to help ensure that you’ll get a greater return on your investment if you eventually decide to sell. More than that, however, it can help you to breathe new life into the old place and ensure that you get more pleasure and enjoyment out of every moment you spend in your home.

5 Important Things To Keep in Mind Before Renovating Your Home

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However, a renovation is a major commitment, and it’s essential to go in with your eyes wide open. Here are 4 important things to keep in mind before embarking on a renovation project…

You can refinance to finance your project

When it comes to financing your project, be wary of spreading the cost across several credit cards or incurring the high interest rates of most loans. Instead, you may wish to consider refinancing your home to fund your renovation. You may benefit from a much better rate of interest and improved borrowing power.

Not everything needs planning permission

If you’re worried about the lengthy and confusing process of applying for planning permission for a major renovation, don’t let this put you off getting the most out of your home. The truth is that there are lots of renovations that can be carried out under your permitted development rights that do not require planning permission at all, from minor repairs to extensions and garden buildings. Get in touch with a local architect to advise on whether or not what you have in mine requires the granting of planning permission. However, you may well be pleasantly surprised.

Add a 10% margin onto your estimated costs

If you’ve ever watched a property show, any property show, you’ve likely seen how often even a modest renovation goes over budget. No matter how long you agonise over calculating the costs before breaking ground, there’s a chance you could go over budget. This is why it’s good practice to add a safety margin of around 10% to ensure that you don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises.

Never choose a contractor on the basis of cost

It’s not that there aren’t many, many reasonably priced and eminently capable contractors out there. It’s just that making these kinds of decisions on the basis of cost can set you up for a fall. Instead, you should choose someone who asks a lot of questions and gets excited about your project. Someone with a proven track record and reliable references who has lots of experience handling jobs just like yours. And if you hire an electrician, make sure they have the best multimeter on the market.

If you get cold feet, remember you don’t have to renovate

Finally, there are so many logistical and monetary considerations when it comes to renovations that it can make your head spin. Just remember, even if you get cold feet, there are still lots of great ways in which you can spruce up your home without the need for renovations.


Renovating an Older House

When you live in, or have recently bought, an old house it’s really tempting to completely modernise it so that none of the original features remain. This is usually the cheapest approach to renovating and gives you a clean, up-to-date feel, but removing original features and taking away the character of a property can actually decrease it’s value in the long run, so it may well be worth staying true to the original style of the house and renovating it using architectural antiques rather than modern fittings. Here’s a list of areas that you should consider “backdating”.


Getting rid of fireplaces and blocking chimneys off was a bit of a trend a decade or so ago, but these days a fireplace is probably the number one original feature that house buyers hope to see in a period property. If you live in a property where the fireplace has been blocked off, you might be REALLY lucky to find that the original antique marble fire surrounds and tiling have been left intact, but if not, replacing it with a reclaimed on is a really good idea.

Chimney Pots

If you have a fireplace, you’ll need a chimney and there’s actually a surprising amount of detail that goes in to chimney pots. They may sit at the highest point of your house, but getting the pots right is an important feature for character-loving house buyers, so finding one which fits your house, style-wise, is a must.


The plasterwork which goes around the top of the room is also an important feature which is usually in keeping with the period in which the home was built, from the highly decorative designs of the late 1800’s to the bolder, more blocky plasterwork of Deco properies. Many modern properties don’t have features like this at all, so finding it in a period property is a bit of a gem. If you already have existing plasterwork, it’s possible to have it renovated or even replaced in parts with replicas.

Light Fittings

Because of updated electrics in housing, even period properties tend to have the (rather ugly) white plastic light fittings and this can really detract from the overall look of a room if everything else is in keeping with the era. Opt for brass lighting plates and vintage switches for a look more fitting.


Using reclaimed flooring can be a MUCH cheaper way of giving your room the finishing touch. Brand new parquet flooring can be thousands of pounds, whereas using reclaimed parquet will reduce your materials costs by a LOT. If you like a soft covering for your floors, opt for rugs instead of carpet as this will allow you (or your buyers) to change the scheme of the room more easily and make it more appealing to them as a purchase option.