How to plan your next home renovation or DIY project

The housing market is not very lively at the moment and many people are choosing to stay in their current home and improve it instead. There are many ways to make a property more suitable and this article looks at how to plan your next home renovation or Do It Yourself project. It considers everything from planning permission through to obtaining the right kinds of tools for the job. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them can really save you money in the long run a result in a quality job.

First, decide what work needs to be undertaken. Typical improvements might include fitting a new kitchen or bathroom or adding a conservatory. Larger projects might include building an extension or an attic conversion. At this stage, it is worth putting together a rough cost estimates to get an idea of the overall project cost. This can be done by asking friends who have had work carried out recently or by doing some research online.

It is worth looking at the work that needs to be done and deciding whether any of it can be done on a DIY basis or whether contractors need to be brought in. For example, many people may not feel comfortable at the thought of building an extension or addition, but may have the necessary skills to fit a kitchen or do the painting and decorating. This can help to reduce the overall bill, although it may mean taking time off work, depending on the project size. A DIY approach is also likely to require an investment in time to do research on materials, techniques and tool hire aka tool rental, so these need to be included in the costs.

Once the project has been roughly costed, it is time to work out a budget. The budget can include money from savings, projected future income and loaned money. If the project requires a loan before it goes ahead, it is worth getting the application in as soon as possible, especially if the loan is going be secured against the property as it might require a survey or valuation.

Find out whether the home improvements will require planning permission or not. Unless it is a listed property, most internal work is unlikely to need planning permission. However, to be on the safe side, it is always worth calling the local council or county and checking. This is because planning rules change all the time and some properties have different rules attached to them, such as buildings that sit within a conservation area. 

If contractors are being used, contact at least three companies for estimates and try to use businesses that have been recommended by local people. If the project is large, it is worth beginning with an architect. They will draw up the plans, deal with the planning application and liaise with structural engineers and the planning department. They may also be able to recommend contractors. 

Finally, there are two vital issues to remember when renovating. The first is safety; always make sure that the site is safe and secure. The second is budget; try to come in on budget by carefully costing every potential piece of expenditure from the cost of the planning application through to the cost of any tool hire. The latter is especially important if you are going to do the work yourself. Have the right tools for the job and knowing how to use them will make a big difference. This is where your local tool hire or tool rental company can be invaluable.