Whether you’re an aspiring landlord, or simply trying to pick up a deal on a neglected house, inspired by TV shows about auctioned properties like Homes Under the Hammer, it’s well worth researching how to renovate a house. The stakes are high, especially if you’re planning to live in the house after the renovations are complete, or even during the process! Getting it wrong could leave you saddled with a property you can’t inhabit or easily sell to recoup your costs, which makes finding your next home impossible!


The most important thing is to plan carefully: before you decide on a property what you want the end state of it to be. What does success look like for you? You need to be able to define success for any project so you know what failure looks like and can make plans to mitigate against it.

One of the most important things, almost more so than controlling your budget is setting a reasonable time scale for your project. Break down everything that needs doing as part of your renovation, from deep structural work to decoration and everything in between and ensure you’re setting a reasonable timescale for each one, in consultation with experts.

Overruns have a knock on effect for the whole project – if you’ve been over-optimistic on your estimates of when an important damp course will be completed, that means other jobs can’t start when they’re scheduled. This could simply mean a knock on delay, or it could mean needing to find other builders and specialists to complete the task, or even paying some kind of penalty clause to the ones you’d originally booked for the job.


This brings us to the next danger: an out of control budget. This can wreck your plans and mean what should have been a sound investment or even your forever home drains your finances and leaves you without a permanent place to live, or the means to put that right!

While there will always be unforeseen circumstances, it’s your responsibility to foresee everything you can. If you’ve not got much experience with home renovation then you need to speak to an expert to make your plans and set your budget. This will cost you some money, but avoiding it is the very definition of a false economy: you need a realistic understanding of what your plans will cost and how long they will take, with a cushion of at least ten percent in case of emergencies.

That means that when you commit to renovating a house you’ll know you can do so with a successful new home waiting for you at the end of the process!