Rightmove recently asked home hunters if they would consider buying a home that required renovation. The results were surprising. Over 90% of respondents said they would consider a fixer-upper.
Do you need some advice before buying a fixer-upper and starting your renovation project? We talked to two property renovation experts to share tips from their guidebooks for creating the perfect home from that fixer-upper property. Here are a few of the tips they shared from their 20 years of experience:
1. Plan Your Budget Sensibly
Martin Tucker, who has run a successful architectural consulting firm for over two decades, recommends always looking at the total price of the completed renovation and working backwards to create your budget. “Don’t start adding things up as you go along,” advises Martin.
He provides a few guidelines you can use. For an extension to the home, or renovation, estimate £1,850 per square metre. If you are just doing upgrades, minor modifications, and decorating the home, you can cut the cost down to approximately £1,000 per square metre.
He mentioned kitchens are one of the highest cost rooms to renovate, with costs ranging between £10,000 and £100,000, with an average of around £3,000 per square metre.
2. Research the Renovation Thoroughly
Miles, another of our experts, gave his thoughts on the importance of research. He points out you must get an idea of what your new house will be worth after renovations. The best way to find out is to talk to estate agents in your area. They can tell you what features home buyers are seeking. They can tell you what homes in the area are selling for. They can help guide you in doing the right renovations to increase your property value and make it more saleable.
3. Understand Property Planning – What is Possible and What is Not
Martin pointed out one of the biggest issues new home renovators must overcome is their unrealistic expectations. You create the ultimate plan in your mind, buy the property, then find out you cannot follow the plan due to local council rules and Residential Design guidelines.
One of the most commonly overlooked rules is the 45-degree rule. The rule basically means if you attached a string to your neighbour’s nearest window, and pulled it straight at a 45-degree angle onto your property, you cannot cross that line with your renovation or expansion.
This rule is not always enforced, but it is critical you check with your local council before beginning your work. Also, you must look into the history of the home. Was it previously expanded, and therefore cannot be expanded again? Is it in a greenbelt area, restricting what renovations you can do? Is it in a conservation area, where your plans must be approved?
These are important questions to ask before you buy the home and start renovations.
4. Understand What Can Be Done and What Is Not Allowed
Martin continued to explain the necessity of knowing your property first. He pointed out it is essential to find out if the property is listed as a World Heritage site. If it is, your renovation plans become harder. As an example, a Georgian house may be restricted to maintaining its original look.
5. Modify the Home’s Interior
Martin reminds us that it is important to create a kitchen space which is clean, organised, and with a touch of luxury. He suggested bathrooms should follow the same rules, and generally the interior will benefit from professional improvements, such as from commercial decorators in London. But he then goes on to remind us that you cannot forget about the exterior either. Adding inviting garden areas, beautiful patios, privacy fences, and BBQ areas makes the yard and the entire home more attractive.
6. Don’t Cut Corners on Building Work
“It’s best to cut on decorating and décor,” stated Martin when asked where are the best places to cut corners on cost. He pointed out that cutting corners on building work will cost you in the value of the home. As he pointed out, people are increasingly noticing the quality of materials and workmanship in a home and making their decisions based on quality.
7. Enjoy the Renovation Process
Are you buying a house for yourself or as a business venture? One of the biggest reasons people choose to renovate is to give a home their personal touch and feel. If you are planning to live in the home, give it a little extra time, enjoy the process, and skip the worrying. The price of the home will go up and down over the year, but there is no reason to worry about that today.
8. Focus on Your End Result
Properties with great road appeal and that appear well cared for, are the properties which grab attention and attract multiple offers, Miles reminds us. It is the exterior of the home which gets people to stop and look. Once you get them inside, a home with lots of natural light, a good layout, lots of storage will captivate them. Great looking kitchens and bathrooms, which are kept spotless and show a touch of luxury make the house highly desirable.