Following my flat renovations this weekend (and detailed documentation of them on my Instagram Stories), I had many questions about my thoughts on house renovations and increasing the value of a property. I thought of gathering everything in one blog post, so I hope this helps!
Everything You Need to Know Before Renovating Your First Flat
Moving into your own place can be one of the most definitive moments of your life. The Guardian highlights how much the change can affect you, as it will most likely be the first time you’ll have full control of everything in your life. It’s a learning experience with its own share of growing pains, but one that’s worthwhile.
While I’ve shared in the past tips to make you feel more comfortable in your new place – How to Turn a House into a Home, that list involved minor tweaks to make your place homier. For major changes and renovations, there are a few more things that you’ll have to keep in mind. You wouldn’t want to jump right in without the proper knowledge after you’ve invested so much into buying your own place, after all! So, read on to learn about what you should know before renovating your first flat:
Secure the Permits
Aside from wanting your new home to become something that’s truly yours, renovating your flat also has its practical advantages in the long term. The Independent notes that a property’s value can increase significantly solely due to renovations. Home improvements like sprucing up a bathroom or kitchen generally adds the most value to a property and this is the main reason we keep adding and renovating parts of our flat with the hope to increase its value and sell it soon.
However, what you must keep in mind before any major renovations is that even if you own your flat, you still need to secure the proper permits before any work can be done. The permits you need will depend on how drastic your renovations will be. The most common (and necessary) one you should secure is planning permission if you’re to do anything significant, which is administered by your local council or apartment block if it is privately owned. This is often for renovations that involve changing the outside appearance or scale of your flat. Another permit you may need relates to Building Regulations, which you have to get from approved inspectors. This is required if your renovation will affect the structure of the building, drainage, or energy conservation but is usually reserved for houses. For instance, it might be necessary if you’re planning a kitchen extension in the garden, which will affect the plumbing system.
Another crucial aspect of preparing your flat for major changes is making sure that you’re covering your bases with the proper insurance. Some general advice on coverage for flats from HomeServe explains how everything from the plumbing and drainage to the electrics can be insured. This will lead to tons of savings when things start going awry – which they almost certainly will at some point. This is especially important when undergoing renovations, which is when the probability of more things going wrong increases.
As it stands, the Office of National Statistics details that 11% of annual household costs already go to maintenance and repairs. This number is certainly bound to jump up during major renovations. Spare yourself the trouble of having to shell out more than you should when something inevitably breaks down during your renovations by getting the necessary insurance policies.
Consider the Layout
Lastly, you’ll want to consider your flat’s layout when making major renovations. Remember that this is where you live – taking a form over function approach to renovation could prove a poor choice. It’s crucial to look at this from a more holistic point of view, instead of simply an aesthetic one.
A great example of this is the kitchen. Will any of the changes you make to this space affect how it’s used? Will your fridge be blocking the way if it’s open? Could open cabinets prove to be hazardous for anyone walking across the kitchen? These are questions that you’ll need to answer before you make any changes to your space. Taking the time to consider your flat’s layout could save you from major headaches (and costs) down the line. If you can, work with an interior designer who can make your vision come to life in a safe and functional way.
I hope you are all keeping well!
Let me know if you need any advice on house renovations and don’t forget to send me your house renovation updates on Instagram!