Preparing for a Building Project

We are very envious of a friend's lovely new loft conversion and have already poked our heads through the loft hatch to envisage what we could do with our own attic space. But what steps might you need to take from dream to reality?

Attic.Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Most people's thoughts automatically jump straight to budget but to be honest you need to find out if your planned development is even allowed.What is permissible varies depending where you live and if any alterations have already been done to your home.

There may be restrictions too on visible changes in certain developments so it's worth checking the paperwork to your property before you get too invested in your makeover.

Don't assume you know the rules - they change all the time. It's definitely worth checking with the experts to find out as much as possible about the rules in your region. For instance my husband was convinced the house he grew up in where we are raising our own children was in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which are UK classifications to protect the environment.

Further research showed that we are literally on other side of the line which means rules on what we can do are much more relaxed.

You may need an inspection before, during and/or after you have work done or require detailed drawings or a permit.  This can vary from country to country, state to state. 

Wherever you live there will be specialist help available which you should be able to access with a simple internet search. For instance search building permit Toronto for region specific advice about permit drawings and more.

So your plan is possible. Now is the time to get the job costed out whether you plan to DIY or employ builders or landscapers.

tools and paint:Photo by Sam Clarke on Unsplash

Always build in extra funds for when you hit wrinkles - and you will! My friend added time and money to her kitchen makeover when her builders discovered a vital support was missing after a previous owner skipped the addition of a vital safety joist.

Have you factored in extra money for rugs, furniture, lighting, heating, paint or wallpaper? 

Now it's time to sit down and work out what you can afford and see if you can cut costs if necessary. Maybe you could save money by doing some of the work yourself. As an example did you know removing furniture from a room yourself before carpet fitters or decorators come often brings the bill down?

Next, if you need them, start looking for professionals to bring your dream to reality. Always get at least three quotes. Use tradespeople that friends and family have actually used and are happy to recommend if possible. Otherwise ask for references and go check them. You could even ask to visit a project they have completed.

Never pay the whole cost up front - negotiate staged payments to ensure the work progresses apace and that you are happy with how its being carried out.

Finally, look forward to enjoying your newly enhanced home.