It’s been hectic few weeks since we had our planning permission approved for our renovation project. Initial feelings of excitement turned afterwards to feeling overwhelmed as there is just so much to do. Here is a little pre-renovation tour if you want to see how sad our mid-century split -level bungalow was looking before:
So this is what we’ve been doing with since the permission was granted:
Finalising renovation plans
Admittedly this should have been done beforehand, but we felt so unsure about getting the permission that we delayed finalising the plans post-approval. So we have been finalising layouts for various rooms in the last few weeks. There are couple of windows we want to remove/change and add more cladding. So we will have to go back and apply for planning amendment. Not ideal but worth doing!
Building regulation / technical drawings
Once we have decided on the final layouts it’s time to get building regulation drawings done. Some smaller projects don’t need Building Regulations, but most do. These are more detailed drawings to include information how things will be constructed. They include consideration of materials and workmanship requirements, fire safety, energy conservation and access to and use of buildings. These drawings can then be used to get detailed quotes from builders. We opted in for more detailed drawings, which will specify finishing materials, electrical plans, drainage plans and in general how we want the house to look like in the end! Getting these done will take 4-6 weeks, including a few back and forth emails about fine tuning the plans.
Once we have the more detailed plans we can get detailed quotes from our short-listed builders. And finally find out how much it’ll actually cost. It’s good to have several builders lined up for this as from my previous experience there are always people who say they are keen on the job but won’t ever come back.
Choosing the right builder for your project is one the most crucial parts of the whole process. In addition to the price it’s really important to get references (from people you know and trust) and see their previous projects. For me it’s also really important that our builder will be nice and easy to get on with. That cheery ‘can do’-attitude goes a long way!
We did obviously brief our architects how much we can spend on the project. But until you have the detailed drawings and builders quotes it’s impossible to say how much it really will cost. I’m guessing in 99% times it’s always more than you hoped for but hopefully not! We are supplying windows, doors, kitchen, bathrooms and most of the finishes ourselves so hopefully there won’t be too much variation in the builders quotes but we will see. In the last project we did the quotes did vary a lot.
When the price for the building costs has been agreed, we can then see how much money there is left for everything else. Most of the things that weren’t included in the builders quote are expensive and will have a massive impact how the house will look post-renovation.
We have already contacted few window suppliers as these will be one the first things we’ll need once the build is on the way and their lead time is often long. This is more to get an idea how much money we’ll be needing for the windows. We’ll need to make a decision fairly quickly once we have a start date for the project so made sense to look into these early.
We have also talked to kitchen and bath designers as wanted to get their expert advice on the layouts early on. Kitchen will be one the last things to be fitted so in theory we won’t actually need one until next summer!
Finding a rental
We are hoping to get our detailed drawings back any day now, and are still optimistic we can start the works in October- November time. We could in theory split the renovation and live through it, but having done that twice already we really don’t want to. So we’ll be frantically trying to find a little, budget friendly rental place, not sure how easy that is in Bath…