If 2020 is the year when you’ll finally transform your property Grand Designs-style, here are five tips to help you nail the home improvements process.

1 Don’t underestimate the design stage

Be methodical in your planning and, above all, take your time, then make sure your builders stick to the plan According to Wandsworth-based interior designer, Viki Lander: “Don’t design on the fly with builders on site. What seem like small changes can have a serious knock-on effect if not planned properly at the start.”

2 Find the right builder

Get recommendations from friends and family, read reviews online and take up references. It’s also worth going to see the builder’s previous projects. You should get quotes from at least three companies to make sure the prices you are quoted are reasonable.

3 Don’t always go with the cheapest

If one quote is much cheaper than the rest, proceed with caution – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure your builder doesn’t scrimp on materials either – after all this work, you want the renovations to last.

4 Know when to call in the professionals

Professional fees from architects, structural engineers and surveyors will push up your costs. But, be realistic about when you need to call in the professionals – not doing so could be a false economy.

5 Remember – it all adds up

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, make sure you factor in the small additions, such as door handles and light switches, which can add up to a substantial extra cost. Don’t forget to add in VAT too – many builders won’t include it in their quote and an extra 20% could push up the cost of a large project dramatically.

Read more renovation tips in this Evening Standard Homes & Property article.

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.


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