4 July 2023

Have you made a renovation checklist?

By Brooke Crisp Manager

Ready to renovate part of your home? Before you don the overalls and wield the sledgehammer, we’ve compiled a reno kit list (which includes insurance considerations), so you avoid digging into that unwanted money pit.

1. Agree on a plan and budget

Decide what exactly it is you want to change, modernise, or add. Then do the maths. And do the maths again. What are your costings and is there room in the budget for a bit extra if needed? Most renovations tend to go over by 10-15 per cent, so make sure your final breakdown includes this. What are your timescales? Is the reno so extensive that you may need to also budget to live elsewhere?

At this stage you can allow yourself to be inspired. Modernising your bathroom or kitchen? Check out websites and magazines on latest trends on tiles, showers, units, splashbacks, storage, and how to bring the dream in on a budget.

2. Check planning permission

There’s a big difference between changing your kitchen worktops and adding an extension to your home. For the latter, do your homework and communicate with your local authority. Beginning building work without paperwork is asking for trouble and can be VERY expensive. And it’s not the responsibility of your builder, decorator, or designer to tick the official boxes.

3. DIY or professional help?

For the larger work, such as a loft conversion, total room re-do, or knocking through rooms, you absolutely need a professional on the job. Share your own vision with them from day one, include every penny of their costings (don’t forget labour, materials, and VAT), and listen to their professional advice. Ask the difficult questions on what can be done if things don’t go to plan. And of course, get a few quotes and personal recommendations, including verified images of other work.

Once you’re happy with your contractor, then read any contract thoroughly before signing and ensure you ask for a copy of their own insurance.

4. Complete your kit list

For those that are more DIY then D-I-don’t, before you start any renovation job – even painting a wall – make sure you have all the tools and equipment ready. Check online resources or ask an expert in your DIY store for advice and confirmation on what you need and how much. If you’re painting, we strongly advise you to do your sample colour and texture tests first in the area you intend to paint.

If you’re working with a professional, they may ask you to order the supplies, so ensure any delivery dates match up with the dates the build team are working with you.

5. Arrange and confirm renovation insurance

Your home or builders’ insurance is a whole different product to specific renovation insurance. As exciting as a renovation is, there’s plenty that can go wrong which may derail your project. Floods, accidents, spillages, theft of materials and tools – from the smallest to the most substantial of projects, these are all considerations for cover. And a good renovation insurance policy, such as those advised by the team at Renovation Plan, will be designed to fit the size of your project. We can even talk about a short-term cover policy if your project is only going to take a few months.

6. And don’t forget…

  • Tell your neighbours. From having a skip or builder’s vans to noise and other disturbances, give those around you as much forward notice as possible
  • Clear and protect the space where work is being done. Even if your builder is doing the heavy lifting, do what you can to put your possessions in a safe place.
  • Take photos before, during and after. It’s a good memory, but may be helpful if there is an issue along the way
  • Communicate regularly with your builder, but arrange a time in advance if paying a progress visit.
  • Keep on top of payments, finances, timelines, and issues
  • Have a plan B. Something may not fit or look right. Dates may be postponed. Things change, be ready for that possibility.
  • Make sure your renovation insurance policy is in date and covers your work!

Of course, these are the absolute basics. But top, middle, and bottom of that list is having adequate renovation insurance in place. If you’d like to know about the best cover for you, get in touch with our friendly and expert team today – they’d be delighted to help.

Coming soon to a blog near you…

While these are some simple ways to cut costing corners when undertaking some simple yet significant house renovations, in forthcoming blogs, we’ll look at the bringing in those bigger jobs to under a budget, including attic rooms, garden rooms, and conservatories.

Meanwhile, if you’re considering some serious house renovation and would like to talk to Renovation Plan about how best to insure any changes to you property call us today on 01621 784840, or request a quote here.

Man and women working on sofa with renovation plans