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If you’ve taken on a fixer upper property, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. It can be easy to get distracted and get bogged down in choosing the details, like decor choices, when you should be focused on bigger things, like structural issues. Here’s where to start when you’re taking on a large renovation project.
Before you brought the property, you would have had a survey done, and this is where you should start with planning your renovations. Go back to your survey and see what problems were identified, like foundation issues or a roof that needs replacing.
Investigate the property for yourself too, to check for things the survey might have missed out. Get up into the loft, lift up all the carpets and knock on all the walls to listen for hollow spots. Check for any cracks in the brickwork or problems with the pointing. If you are climbing around the house checking for problems, make sure you’re safe. If you’re checking the roof, you’ll need height safety products, for example.
When you’ve made a big list of the jobs that need doing, split them up into categories. For example, divide the tasks into categories like major repairs, painting and decorating, cosmetic repairs, plumbing and electrics. With tasks split up this way, you can see what needs doing in more manageable chunks.
Go through the list and work out what should be done first. Always start with fixing any structural problems, such as roof repairs, load bearing walls that need repairs or foundations that need work. There’s no point repairing the electrics if the roof is still letting in rain.
Next, deal with any major building work, like layout changes or knocking down walls. Move on to windows, electrics and plumbing, plastering, tiling, painting and decorating, and then finish with the floors. Inevitably, there will be other jobs along the way that interrupt this order, but this works as a rough guide.
You won’t be able to take on a large scale renovation project alone, no matter how good you are at DIY. Depending on the work you might be planning, you could need professionals to help including an architect, a contractor, builders, a plumber or an electrician. Before you start work on the project, assemble your team.
Find the professionals you want to work with. Get recommendations and check reviews. Ask to look at portfolios of work and find someone who creates work that you like. When you’ve found the right people, they can give you their advice on the proper priority order for your renovation, and how long different parts of the project will take.
With the right professionals, you can create a detailed plan for the project, as no task will be able to be done without the cooperation of each member of the team. You can plan together and create a renovation project that runs smoothly.
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