8 August 2023

Home renovation tips for first-time buyers

By Renovation Plan

Are you thinking about taking your first step on the property ladder with a house that needs a bit of work? These home renovation tips for first-time buyers will help you get clued up before you make any final decisions.

With record-high rental prices, it’s no wonder more and more people are looking into buying; it’s one of the most sought-after milestones in the UK today. But with mortgage rates spiralling too, your budget might not stretch as far as you’d initially hoped.

So, what if you buy with plans to renovate? From securing the right renovation insurance to ensuring your plans are futureproof, here’s what you need to know.

What does a renovation involve?

A renovation can look like many different things. Some choose to get an extension, while others might transform their kitchen by switching out cabinets, changing the flooring or knocking through a wall to make an area open plan.

What are the different types of home renovation?

Typically, home renovations for first-time house buyers comprise one or multiple of the following:

  • Internal renovations
  • Structural renovations
  • Major renovations

You might plan to change your internal doors or replace your bathroom without extending the perimeters of the building, or you might opt for structural changes, such as knocking down an internal wall. Major renovations, however, include demolition work or basement excavations and often require you to move out of the property for a while. Endless risks can arise during a home renovation, which is why most opt for house or building renovation insurance.

Do I need renovation insurance?

While home renovations are hugely exciting, particularly for first-time buyers, they are also prone to risks that can leave you in a tricky situation.

Something to note about renovation projects for first-time buyers is that you’ll be handling multiple tradespeople, each with separate policies and contracts. That’s why having the right home renovation insurance in place can help to iron out potential claim disputes.

What does renovation insurance cover?

The right building renovation insurance can cover you for your existing structure, all of your new works including materials & fixtures/fittings, plus a range of optional extras such as contents and tools.

The level of cover you get is up to you, although it’s generally recommended that you choose a policy that fits the size of your project.

What are the benefits of renovating?

There are lots of benefits for first-time buyers completing a renovation, including the following:

  • It can help to maintain or increase your home’s value
  • You can make switches to improve energy efficiency
  • You can optimise the space
  • Your home may become more functional
  • You can update the look of your property
  • It can save you the cost of moving again
  • You can make your home more secure

Home renovation tips for first-time house buyers

Wondering how you can get the most out of your home renovation as a first-time buyer? Here are some things to consider.

  • Choose the right contractors: It can be wise to get recommendations from friends and neighbours to ensure you’re getting the best service possible. Look for experienced tradespeople who will keep your end goal in mind.
  • Don’t rush: While it may feel tempting to box off your list of jobs at speed, take your time and really think about your decisions. Consider whether what you’re proposing will improve the space and add value to your home. Otherwise, you could be faced with some costly regrets later down the line.
  • Be patient: Renovations can take a long time – particularly if unforeseen challenges crop up out of nowhere, from weather disturbances to structural restrictions. Always have the goal in sight.

Tips for renovating an old house

Often, older house renovations encounter slightly different issues to those down on new builds. It can be helpful to consider the following:

  • Budget for unforeseen issues: It’s a well-known fact that old houses have the potential to throw a spanner in the works, with unexpected difficulties often lying beneath the surface. Think asbestos, issues with the foundations, and more. A bigger budget may be needed to make your renovation visions a reality.
  • Be flexible: It can be helpful to have an open mind and accept that things may need to be done a little differently sometimes. Keep an open line of communication going with your contractors to facilitate this.

Eco-friendly home renovation tips

If you’re passionate about limiting the impact your home renovation has on the planet, there are a few things that can be done.

  • Insulate the property thoroughly: Think ahead to when you’re living in the property during winter, a notoriously energy-heavy time of year. Plan ahead by opting for sufficient insulation as part of your renovation.
  • Use eco-friendly materials and devices: From LED lighting to reclaimed wood, consider the choices you’re making at each stage of the renovation process. Sustainable materials are becoming increasingly common, so factor this in during the planning stages and communicate this with the contractors you’ll be employing.
  • Invest in renewable energy: Solar panels and air-source heat pumps are often chosen by those wanting to tap into the renewable energy shift. It’s also worth looking into renewable energy grants you might be eligible for, such as the ECO4 government grant.

Get your insurance sorted with Renovation Plan

When you have your plans ready to go, Renovation Plan is here to help you secure the right insurance for your project.

Get a quote online or get in touch with our expert team today by emailing us or calling on 01621 784840.