Self Build Beginner's Guides

You would like to undertake a home renovation project, but you lack clue on what exactly to do. You have some knowledge and information to self-build at hand. However, you feel that you are missing some important details. Furthermore, you do not know where to start. If that is the case, then you are probably right.

Home renovation should follow a step-by-step sequence. Thus, you are right to have misgivings in the first place. What you lack is a plan of action to estimate the budget and how long your project is going to last. Undertaking a home renovation project without a plan of action is like setting sail on a sea voyage without a compass.

If you want to see your property climb up the rung of the ladder, you should get down to serious business of renovating your run-down property. Home renovation is a rich goldmine and a minefield all the same.

This is the chief reason why I have compiled five ways to guide you through home renovation. They are as follows:

1. Survey the State of Your Property

First and foremost, conduct a thorough survey of your existing property. Look for loopholes and flaws. However, you can seek help from a chartered surveyor who will help you draft a detailed report that highlights repair areas.

Your report should give information about issues with drainage, damp, heave and subsidence. Also, the report should detail repair costs and contingency plans. Furthermore, it should highlight the types of building works for each section of the property.

Remember that your old property is falling off. So, you should be careful not to damage it when you do self-build. That is why you need to know what are the right techniques and materials for home renovation. For example, you run the danger of damaging your dilapidated property if you use techniques such as framing of oak and clom and cob.

2. Manage Your Property’s Dilapidation

Damp can speed up the rate of decay of your property. It always finds its way through broken tiles and windows of neglected property. Tendrils can worsen the damping because they widen cracks to let in more damps.

Pests and fungi are most likely to infest a damp building. For example, deathwatch beetle and woodworm find wet timber to be conducive. Invaders cannot just be pests and microbes. Humans can trespass and vandalise your property.

self build dilapidated property
Above: A property in a serious state of dilapidation

Thus, you can fence your compound to secure the site. Furthermore, you can board windows and doors up with either metal shutters or ply sheets. Such insulation will make the building weather-tight. You can also line roofs with watertight sheets.

If your budget allows, you can cover your roofs with a scaffold. Finally, ensure you have a site cover to insure against liabilities such as fire, flood, storm, and so on. You can use insurance to file a lawsuit against a trespasser has attained injury on your site.

3. Find out if Tax Grants or Concessions Exist

You never know, you could be lucky to get a grant for home renovation. So, visit your local councils and the National Heritage. There are concessions on value-added tax. For example, you could get tax relief on property that the owner has neglected for at least three years. However, you will not be eligible for the grant if you commence your project before applying.

4. Seek Legal Permission

There are some areas of your project that the law permits. Find out which parts require statutory consent and which ones do not. This is important because it can take several weeks to get approval to self-build.

Hence, you can start working on areas of “permitted development” as you await for approval of the other areas. For example, you do not need to apply for planning permission for garage conversion.

Furthermore, roof space conversions do not require statutory consent. You can also proceed with extensions, which the Permitted Development Rights allow. Factor in the time to process your application into your schedule.

Expect to wait for two months for planning decisions. You will wait for about one-and-half months for the determination of the applications of building regulation. Do not ignore the provisos of the Party Wall Act. Lastly, you can hire a solicitor to examine your lease or title deed lest someone restricts your property development.

5. Stabilise Your Property

You can commence works on site once you have attained statutory permission and your building is stable. Ensure that there are water and electricity supply. The detailed survey report highlighted repairs areas. Work on them to make your structure stable. Thus, you can underpin and pile to stabilise the foundations. Finally, erect steel ties, props, scaffolds, beams or insertions on walls and roofs.

We have seen that some aspects of home renovation require statutory consent. However, you have to wait for between one-and-half and two months for planning decisions and determinations on building regulations.

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