With house prices starting to pick up again across the UK, finding an affordable property is beginning to be a challenge. With new homes often out of the price range of many buyers for the kind of accommodation size that is sought, deciding instead to find a property in need of modernisation can allow for a more gradual investment and deliver more living space at a price that’s within reach.
Once you have your chosen property in mind, you can start to budget for upgrading it and determine how you will go about it. This is the stage at which you can make savings within your budget by making some canny decisions about how you go about upgrading the property and choosing your materials.
Do your research
When embarking on any project, it makes sense to put in the leg-work up front to understand where you’re going to have to spend your cash and where you can realistically make savings.
Seek out recommendations in the trades, look for suppliers that are reputable and reasonably priced and review the kinds of materials you can use to get the end result you want at a price that works. Once you have a clear idea of the marketplace, it is easier to determine where you are happy to save a little money and where you want to spend to get the best possible result.
Hire your labour
Depending on whether you’re going to be doing most of the work yourself or hiring a contractor, you can save money on the costs of labour. If you intend to carry out your own renovations, unless you are a registered professional electrician and plumber there are certain things where you will need to get in the experts.
Fitting a new central heating system will, for example, need a fitter who is CORGI registered. However, there may still be some things, such as installing new radiators or taps, that you can do yourself and save money on the costs of a fitter.
Work within your constraints
Properties of all ages may be in need of modernisation, but some have more constraints than others. Period properties are particularly attractive for renovators because of their charm and historic features but often these properties are listed and require renovations to be carried out in keeping with the original character of the property.
This isn’t necessarily a problem and doesn’t always have to be expensive. Everything from plaster mouldings to historically styled cast iron radiators can be obtained in reproduction to bring a period property back to its original glory.
While searching through antiques stores and reclamation yards can sometimes yield genuine yet pricey originals, reproduction fixtures and fittings can give an authentic look at a fraction of the cost. They also have the added benefit of being manufactured to modern standards, making them compliant with current building regulations and, in the case of radiators and plumbing items, able work with modern heating and plumbing systems.
Stagger the work
Once you get your project underway, there’s every chance that you might change your mind about what you want. That’s perfectly okay, provided you plan around it. Doing the works that will make the place comfortable if you plan to live in while you renovate will make all the difference in a long process of upgrading. Windows, doors and heating will keep you secure and comfortable in the home through improvements.
Make your choices in these areas the best you can afford and they will stand you in good stead. When it comes to your rooms, choosing from the increasingly wide range of cast iron radiators will be a stylish and efficient choice for heating, while hardwood or u-PVC double-glazed windows in a range of finishes to complement the property will get things looking right from the outside and keep the heat in while you get the work done.
Property renovation can make a better standard of living in a more spacious property affordable. Planning your project and carefully selecting your materials can help make project a success.
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