Check how long the property has been on the market.
Make sure you're fully aware of the task at hand.
In an older property, you should be prepared for more unexpected costs - which adds onto your costs.
Ask the experts
Electricians, roofers, timber and damp specialists should charge very little for estimates and could be more beneficial to you than a surveyor in the early stages.
The costs of renovation projects always go way beyond your original estimate.
So when you budget, most people recommend that you build in a contingency fund of at least 15%.
Managing the project
You can either manage your own project, or employ an independent project manager.
They will liaise with the builder to ensure that work is carried out to a specification.
Often their experience avoids unnecessary costs and saves you from having to be on site all the time.
But if you decide to manage the project yourself, make sure you:
- Get all quotes in advance, so you can calculate your expenditure
- Never expect the scheduled timescales - things probably won't go as planned
- Seek as much advice as possible from anyone with relevant experience
- Are prepared to live in a building site (or caravan) during renovations
Decide exactly what you want before you ask for any quotations and write a clear specification with full details of the work you need carried out.
Good communication and a professional relationship with your builder are crucial if you want the project to run smoothly.
Energy saving improvements
The Green Deal could help you make energy-saving improvements to your property.
Find out more about The Green Deal Government scheme.
Please note, to apply for a HSBC mortgage for renovation purposes, properties must be habitable (i.e. have an internal kitchen and bathroom both of which are fully functioning).