House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts

Renovation Do's and Don'ts

Well here we are around 6 months into the Renovation and effectively 3 weeks behind schedule. I think it’s fair to say we have complied a nice list of Renovation Do’s and Don’ts in this time. Anyone that says a Renovation will run to budget and timeframe must be lying I’m telling you!

Over the last 6 months we have been on such a roller coaster of emotions and we have learnt so many lessons that can be applied going forward if we ever decide to undertake anything similar again, but most importantly they are valuable life skills we can use in the future and pass onto our Children. Here goes with our House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts list.

House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts

  1. One of the major things we have noticed along the way so far is don’t just trust and think highly of Tradesmen you employ. One of our downfalls initially was putting to much faith in tradesmen to do what was expected, on time, on budget and to our satisfaction. As much as it pains me to say it, sites like checkatrade and rated people being able to read 50+ reviews and knowing someone is genuine and not a cowboy goes a long way even if it means spending that little bit more on a quote
  2. If you don’t plan everything down to the minute, then expect things to go over timeframe. We initially started the renovation basically going with the flow of things. We have never taken anything on before renovation wise. Watching hundreds of hours of Homes under the Hammer or DIY: SOS can only prepare you for so much. Once you are thrown in the deep end and trying to project manage a full site with tradesmen its a whole new kettle of fish. The best piece of advice I can give, is draw up a Gantt chart to fully manage dates tradesmen are coming in and out. This leads straight onto the 3rd point relating to timings from Tradesmen.
  3. When obtaining a quote get everything in writing. Not only do you want a written quotation (ensure it says Quote and not Estimate) as it’ll give you a more legal foothold if anything does go wrong. Make sure you establish when they can start. Find out how long they expect the job to take. Also, one important thing we’ve came to realise now is find out will waste be removed. Apparently not all tradesmen tidy up after themselves
  4. Where possible I strongly advise not to live in the building whilst renovating. I know for quite a few people this may not be feasible, however you will not believe the amount of dust even the most simplest of tasks can produce. Anything involving bricks, plaster, wood can create an enormous mess in minutes and the last thing you want is your living quarters to be a big dust sheet. The advantage of living elsewhere is being able to lock up at night and go home to a nice clean, warm, well lit house and get a good nights sleep. I can’t even help but think if what we are currently doing would of been even possible had we moved in back when we got the keys last year. We went the whole hog of gutting the complete house to almost rebuilding it from scratch in theory. If we were living their we would of contracted numerous airborne dust related diseases thats for sure.
  5. Following on from point 4, if you aren’t living in the house whilst renovating then make sure you have at least one working plug socket and a large extension lead. A good set of heavy duty work lights for when the dark nights set in. The last thing you need is a kettle! Life is always good when you can make a nice dusty brew and sit back and plan the project with a hot cuppa nescafe.
  6. Enjoy yourself! As ironic as it seems, depending on the size of the Renovation its a once in a lifetime thing. I struggle to see us ever taking on something this big in our lifetime. Unless we stumble accross a pot of gold whilst finishing this renovation it’s going to be our forever home and we are making every last detail work exactly how we want it. Try to imagine yourself having parties, making memories in the house once its renovated. This will help get you through the dark days and keep you laughing rather than crying every week when tradesmen let you down.

We have been Weekly Vlogging our House Renovation. So we already have the best part of 6 months worth of stress and happiness spread over several videos. If you haven’t already feel free to catch up with us on YouTube below:

Even if one person stumbles across this list of House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts and it saves them either time or money then my job here is a success! One major piece of advice me and helen can give whilst doing a Renovation which may seem very cliche is basically Stay Positive. As hard as that phrase will seem when you’ve no electrics or heating and its the middle of winter, it’s for the best and the finish line is always in the distance. It will be hard trying to see light at the end of the tunnel, but stick at it and it’ll be perfect when its complete

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  • I can’t imagine how much planning goes into renovating a house! I’m going to have to check out your vlogs now.

  • This is such an good list. Many people seem to blindly trust tradesmen because they are the pro’s but one can never be too careful. I especially like what you mentioned about ensuring the documents say “quote” and not “estimate”. One needs to be able to defend themselves legally if something were to go wrong.

  • I think the tradesmen comment is such an important one. So easy to be ripped off these days or get a job half done badly! x

  • Some great tips there. Doing a house renovation can be so very stressful!

  • Alison Rost

    I remember the days my husband and I were renovating our house. Yikes! If there was anything that made me want to run for the hills it was sheetrock dust. It’s crazy all of the crevices it finds its way into. That being said .. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what we created!

  • Kira L Curtis

    Definitely agree with all of these! Especially getting your quote written down and then getting a signed receipt!

  • fashion-mommy

    It is so important to get everything in writing, you then have something to refer to if problems occur.