The important things to consider when renovating or extending your property.

Planning a renovation or house extension is a unique process. All projects are different and have their own criteria.You may want to enjoy more family space, build a garden studio, add an entire new storey or embrace original features. Whatever the brief, it is often a big commitment that requires a lot – financially, physically and emotionally. 

The life-changing benefits are worth it. It can significantly increase the value of your home, which makes selling the house further down the line a highly appealing prospect. The benefits on your personal wellbeing to have a home that suits your tastes and use is also of huge importance. Especially when upgrading a home in London where every square metre counts, it’s even important to get the planning, design and budgeting right.

Here are my top five tips to consider when renovating or extending your property.

The design brief 

First things first, what feeling do you want to create with the space? What value do you want to add to the property? After all, the build needs to make economic sense. Is it a worthwhile investment value and function wise for you?

As an interior designer, I can help you create the perfect space for your lifestyle with a thorough consultation. My role is not only to design the home of your dreams, but to project manage the whole event; from communicating with builders and architects as well as assisting with the bidding and negotiation process.

For example, in London where space is limited, it may be more beneficial to extend the property height wise, or with a loft conversion, to maximise space. With the rise of home working, extensions into the garden can provide a separate office space, so that work and life can be separate.

Hiring design professionals

When hiring professionals to help you realise an extension or renovation project, it’s important to research the right people for the job. You can manage your building project yourself but it does require a good understanding of contract agreements, building site knowledge and a lot of patience and problem-solving, which can be more costly in the long run. This is exactly why I offer a design-and-build service.

According to research by project management company CLPM, 90% of unmanaged building projects overspend by an average of 20%. Don’t be put off if you want to self-build, just be aware of the investment involved. Working with local professionals can be really beneficial when it comes to local planning approval. They can help find you the right builder and ensure the quality of work on site is high standard.

Always ensure you have a clear vision of your project and budget before speaking to an architect or interior designer. It’s also really important to get us interior designers on board at the beginning of your journey so that I can help you understand how to make better use of the space as well as the latest designs, products and technologies available to improve your home.

Building regulations and planning permission

One of the first questions in the property build journey is will I need to get planning permission for my project?

Permitted development rights are a type of planning permission granted by your local authority. There have been several new Permitted Development Rights in recent years. If your project sits within certain restrictions, for example an outbuilding on the property, then you may not require planning permission. Do your research as permitted development only applies to houses and outhouses, not apartments or maisonettes. Some grade listed properties are included. A Neighbour Consultation Scheme is required for larger extensions.

Building Regulations are a set of standards to ensure the health and safety of a property. Even if you don’t need planning permission, you must get Building Regulations approval for all new building works. It’s important to ensure you comply with fire regulations too. 

Always consider the cost of submitting a planning application and complying with regulations in your budget. As your team of professionals at Dauley Design, we will be able to manage everything, right down to the nitty gritty.

From the planning permission stage I’ll be checking the plans are optimal for the layout of the space and ensuring nothing is overlooked; from electrical points to lighting and so much more.

Budgeting a project and adding value

Starting a project on your own is a big undertaking and this is often why we get hired to help you manage what the final scope, budget and timeline will be. This saves you time, money and a lot of stress. Always discuss your ballpark budget from the start. Be open and honest about what is achievable.

If you’re planning to work with an interior designer, architect or project manager (or all three), understand how their fee structure works so there’s no surprises.

When planning the final costing for the house extension or renovation, designers can advise on a whole range of savings, from insurance to VAT relief, as well as the best furnishings for a project to maximise the investment. For example, a timeless Scandinavian approach might be more valuable in the long run, compared with a bold, trend-driven aesthetics. As always, form will follow function with our designs at Dauley Design, as it is of upmost importance to us that your home is as practical as it is beautiful.

In addition, always consider the extra features you would like to add in to your redesign, whether that’s smart home devices or eco-friendly materials, be clear on what you want and what they cost.

Sadly, building projects can often be hit by additional costs that weren’t possible to predict, especially in the current climate with inflation of resources. If the unexpected happens, it’s good practice to have a contingency of 5-10% of the budget for that ‘just in case’ scenario. 

I can’t stress how important taking the time to plan carefully at the beginning of a project is in order to budget well. Last-minute additions and changes can cost a premium.

Renovation work doesn’t have to be stressful. At Dauley Design we can help you transform your home into the environment you deserve, with that extra special magic touch. 

You can view my latest projects via my portfolio here.

Discover how we can help turn a vision into a reality with your home renovation or extension project. 

Contact me today to help you plan and design your project in the most effective way.