How can I renovate my home?
Whether due to a growing family, or a growing number of possessions, it’s certainly possible to outgrow your home. Even if this isn’t the problem, or you’re not planning to in the future it’s always nice to have more space.
How can I renovate my home?
Furthermore, the cost of moving home with legal fees, estate agent fees and stamp duty implications, could well get you some way towards making where you currently live the home of your dreams.
If you’re considering home improvements but don’t really know where to start, here are a few of the options available to you.
Sometimes the simple things can be most effective, and can make a big impact at a relatively low cost.
A fresh coat of paint, some new wallpaper and a newly laid carpet can completely freshen up and rejuvinate a room. Plus, if you’re able to tackle it room-by-room, you can get by with minimal disruption. This means living in throughout, and a project that can take as much or as little time as you need.
It also means that in a lot of cases, your insurance company won’t need to make any significant changes to your policy to accommodate your decoration, but it’s usually a condition you let them know about any renovation, so we recommend calling before you get started on anything.
Loft or Basement Conversion
One option available to you, either due to limited space or limited budget, is repurposing your loft space into an extra living area.
A converted loft, flooded with natural light from roof windows and skylights, can make a really unique space that could be an extra bedroom for yourself or your guests, or a working space that feels separate from the rest of the house.
Loft conversions can mean some roof work, reconfiguring of internal beams, plumbing and electrical work. Plus, the floor may need to be strengthened so you don’t fall through while walking in your new space, so even though there are no aspects of “new-build” with the conversion of an existing space, it can be involved enough for your insurance provider to suggest a more bespoke policy.
Basement extensions, or basement conversions, are particularly common in London. Where it is no longer possible to go out, due to a lack of unavailable land, or up, due to height restrictions, the next available option to add space is to go down.
This is a particularly big risk for insurers, with more than a few examples of poorly executed basement conversions causing the whole structure above it to collapse if not properly supported.
It is therefore even more important than ever that you approach insurance companies early if you are contemplating a basement conversion. You may have to provide additional information about the project, such as a copy of your building contract or schedule of works to name a couple, and the insurer will probably want to check that the company you are using are experienced in carrying out similar projects.
Ranging from something small, like adding a porch or utility room, all the way up to double-storey wraparounds, adding additional usable space to your property usually involves some kind of extension.
Generally extensions need some form of planning permission to be granted by your local authority, so it’s worth having a discussion with an architect who is either local themselves, or have good knowledge of the area, as they will probably give you a good indication of what would be possible before you get too deep into your plans.
A bigger kitchen, more storage, space to put in a bath when you only had a shower cubicle before, or adding an extra bedroom for a potential new arrival or children who are getting too old to shara a room – The reasons for adding an extension to your property is endless. Even for property investors, adding an extra bedroom or finding space for a downstairs toilet can add more to the sale price of a property than they spend on work, adding to their potential profits.
Subject to planning restrictions, extending gives you the ability to craft your home into exactly what you need it to be.
The idea of trying to live on-site while renovations are ongoing may be a little off-putting for some. Plus, having to rent another property elsewhere so you can move out is only going to push up the cost of the project.
It’s also perfect if you’re looking for your outbuilding to fulfill a different purpose from the rest of the house. For example if you have family members that come to stay, or you live in an area popular with tourists, an annex means that someone can stay with you, but have the opportunity for their own space. Subject to space and budget, you can also include kitchen and bathroom facilities, so they can cook their own meals if they prefer, and avoid the mad scramble for the bathroom in the mornings.
Also if you work from home it may be nice to have that seperation between work and family life, or have a messy/noisy hobby it might do everyone else in your household a favour if you can lock yourself away for a few hours.
Also constructing a garage could give you an additional space if parking is at a premium, and it’s also a useful storage space.
Whatever project you have in mind, GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. have a range of policies available to accommodate you. Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click “Get a Quote” to complete our online form.
Need some more information?
Why not read one of our other renovation insurance guides?
- Renovation Insurance
- What does renovation insurance cover?
- I’m redecorating – Do I need specialist insurance?
- Renovation insurance or unoccupied insurance?
- Subsidence cover during renovations
- When do I need renovations insurance?
- Tips on renovating your property
- JCT Contracts and Renovations Insurance
- Renovation Insurance Guide
- Renovation Insurance FAQs
- Case Study – Renovations in the UK in 2020