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By PAUL RICHARDSON Managing Director, Building Renovations Limited


The seven biggest mistakes in property renovation or refurbishment


Building Renovations Ltd specialises in the complete renovation of properties using modern techniques and guaranteed systems.


We can help you to plan, cost and deliver your renovation or refurbishment project, while protecting you from the pitfalls and saving you time and money.


7 - Underestimating the cost People frequently underestimate what it is going to cost to perform a complete renovation or refurbishment project.


Rather than getting a ballpark figure, break it right down to the number of electrical sockets required, the number of doors needed, etc. The more detailed the information you supply, the more accurate the quotations will be. Build in a contingency into your budget for unforeseen items.


6 - Not Doing Your Homework Not having a clear plan of what your renovation will involve can lead to cost and time overruns.


This can be solved by ensuring you have an appropriate plan including a written “scope of works” or, for more complex renovations, a set of drawings or plans providing a visual representation of the works required.


Renovation works involving significant alternations will often mean employing an architect to draw up designs. This might seem expensive at first but not clearly defining your goals will cost you more in the long run.


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Most of all, when hiring a contractor, make sure you have a written agreement in place that spells out exactly what your expectations are, and make sure you have checked their Insurance and Health and Safety policies. You could be exposed if something goes wrong.


5 - Confusing Fiction with Reality People love renovation TV shows, especially ones that show a room or even a whole house being magically transformed in a single weekend. That’s not reality. It's entertainment!


4 - Forgetting About Health and Safety If you are doing some or all of the work yourself, you need to make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure your own safety and that of the contractor.


As a minimum requirement you need to have had an asbestos survey undertaken to avoid the deadly consequences of exposure.


Eye protection, ear protection, gloves, boots and a hard hat are also items you need to use once building works commence.


These days any workmen on site must have health and safety training and use personal protective equipment, you should check on this prior to allowing works to commence.


3 - Failing to Anticipate the Disruption It's really important to anticipate the time and the programming of your renovation. You should do that up front to avoid any unpleasant


surprises, then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home back together.


2 - Buying Cheap or Unsuitable Materials


One of the biggest mistakes that people make in refurbishments and renovation is that they try to save money buying cheap or unsuitable materials.


It’s a cliché, but you get what you pay for. If you're going to do it, do it right and make sure the products are right and correctly installed. If you can't afford to do it, wait until you can.


1 - Hiring the Wrong Contractor You need to make sure that the contractor is right for you and your project, selecting the wrong contractor can be costly on your time and money.


Undertaking research to check the suitability of the contractor is critical to avoid disappointment.


When you send out enquiries or interview contractors check their references and suitability for the works involved. Specialist refurbishment and renovation contractors do specialist refurbishment and renovation projects so be wary of imposters.


Your selected contractor also needs to be correctly insured. Always check the small print to ensure that their insurance covers you and your home.


Remember YOU may be exposed or held liable if something goes wrong.


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