Top tips for avoiding property refurbishment pitfalls

Top tips for avoiding property refurbishment pitfalls

Renovating a home can be a tricky business. Whether you're looking to modernise a whole property or you simply want to update a single room, there are a number of potential pitfalls to be aware of when embarking upon a property refurbishment.

Jon Over, Owner and Managing Director at Goldstone Homes, provides his top tips for successfully planning your home makeover.

Don’t end up on the listed blacklist: before starting any work, check to make sure your property isn’t listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest.  You can find out if your building falls into this category by consulting the National Heritage database.  If your home is a listed building, you will need to get listed-building consent before undertaking any work involving demolition or partial demolition, internal and external alterations or extensions.  It is an offence to carry out any work on a listed building without the relevant consent so make sure you are certain about your property’s classification before you begin.  

Get the relevant planning permissions/check permitted development: The same goes for any relevant planning permissions or notifications required to refurbish or update a property.  If in doubt always check with the local authority.  A good builder will be able to advise you accordingly and provide an outline of which permissions you will need to apply for if applicable.

 Hire a reputable company to carry out the work: make sure you do your research on the company undertaking any renovation and refurbishment work on your behalf before you instruct them.  Be sure to get recommendations and references from their previous clients.  If possible try to view examples of similar projects they have completed previously and do not be afraid to ask questions.  Any legitimate tradesperson will be happy to demonstrate they are reliable, trustworthy and can complete your project on time, within budget and to a high standard.


Factor in a contingency budget: it’s always difficult to know precisely how much a project is going to cost you by the time it is completed so a contingency budget is essential for any refurbishment or renovation project.  Use the estimate of potential costs from your builder as a benchmark allowing for a contingency of between 10% and 15% on top of the total amount.  It’s a good idea to prepare your own budget for any other items and materials you may require.

Keep in close contact with your builder: make sure you are on hand throughout the project to answer any questions or queries the builders may have.  Remember, your choices may not always be immediately apparent to those working on site.  Make sure your requirements are clear from the outset and always update them with any changes you may make along the way as it may have a cost implication for you.  Schedule regular meetings with the project manager and ensure you get daily updates on progress.  Good builders will want to communicate with you so that you are delighted with the end result.

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Latest Comments

ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 20 Jun 2016

I don't understand why it's always a war between the two sides. Either, way the landlord is probably keeping a detailed inventory and will see the changes you've made. I just don't understand why there...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 16 Jun 2016

Seeing that the tenants are quite satisfied with their landlords and the properties is indeed great. I wonder, though, what is the situation in London alone? The tenants face sky-high rent levels in the...

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AndiMur
AndiMur 15 Jun 2016

TheGuardian published the same forecast. But on the other hand, professional brokers express different opinions. According totranio.com, an exit from the EU would not affect the demand/supply imbalance...

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Gary Holmes
Gary Holmes 14 Jun 2016

Having a professionally completed inventory at check-in and check-out is clearly (to me at least) of minor value. Tenants make un-authorised modifications and/or walk off with items that belong to the

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Violet Gibson
Violet Gibson 14 Jun 2016

Cautious people think buying off-plan is reckless, but over the past few years investors have literally made fortunes.Pre-release prices have obvious benefits for the developer, who gets instant finance...

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Kate Windleton
Kate Windleton 14 Jun 2016

An interesting research indeed. I guess that is in complete contrast with the United States where people often move from one coast to another. It will be interesting to hear the trends for people moving...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 14 Jun 2016

I think it all depends on the market conditions and how well your company is doing. You will agree that you can't demand more when you're killing yourself just to hang in there. Sometimes you need all

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ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 13 Jun 2016

What does "detecting a bad vibe" mean actually. I've had certain vibes like these and yet have always found a reason , if there's any, why I don't like a certain property. The property maintenance might...

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keybanks estates
keybanks estates 08 Jun 2016

Great News for first time buyers, about time two!

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 07 Jun 2016

I agree with #6 - you should maintain your garden according to the target buyer. One thing is universal, though - cleanliness and order. Having the yard clutter-free and clean will help people who do enjoy...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 06 Jun 2016

I will always say that London is overrated. Sure it is the capital, but it's too stuffed in there. It's more of a business city to me.

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Paul
Paul 25 May 2016

Estate agents are pathetic when it comes to fees. They have this 'I had to do it at 1% because that's what the others were quoting' mentality. We are the most expensive agents in our area, charging double...

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