New London Architecture

Getting started on your home improvement: what to expect and how to keep your project on track

Monday 13 September 2021

Amanda Pollard

Editor
Houzz

We’ve spent a lot of time in our homes this year, and how they function has become increasingly important. In fact, Houzz research recently found that three in five homeowners were inspired to start a home renovation or design project during the pandemic (68%). Whether you’re looking to tackle the jobs that lockdown highlighted, create more space for the family or add a home office, there are plenty of things to consider. It can be hard to know how to plan financially for a home improvement project and keep a handle on the costs. Houzz.co.uk, the leading platform for home renovation and design, spoke with professionals from their community to share some tips on what you could expect and how to keep projects on track.

1. Think ahead 

If you haven’t renovated before, you may not realise that the planning phase often takes longer than the construction work itself. It’s likely that you will need to have decisions about style, layout, finishes and materials finalised before work begins to avoid costly delays during construction. The latest Houzz & Home Report found that UK homeowners took an average of five to 12 months to plan their projects, depending on the room. Kitchens, one of the most popular spaces to renovate, took an average of 10 months to plan, while construction took just over five months. It’s tempting to rush into a project, but it pays to take the time to plan thoroughly and make sure you have everything prepared!

2. Communicate with your pro

Having clear communication lines with everyone working on the project will be vital for staying on track and avoiding any delays. When you hire a pro using Houzz Pro software, all your communications are kept in one centralised place. You can return to this history whenever you want to review what’s been proposed and approved and keep on top of any outstanding questions. This way, both you and your pro have an easy-to-access, centralised record of all project decisions.
 
Pictured: Fruit Box by nimtim architects © Megan Taylor 
3. Plan in a contingency fund

Budgeting for a project can be challenging, and according to Houzz, just 51% of renovating homeowners hit their budgets in 2019. Of the 46% of homeowners who ended up over budget, the most common reasons for overspending were “deciding to buy more expensive products or materials” (44%) or ”products or services being more costly than expected” (39%). When you’re planning for a renovation project, it’s important to always account for the unexpected. Professionals on Houzz recommend setting aside at least 10% of your total budget. 

Pictured: Lydford Road by Artefact © Ivan Jones
4. Understand your estimates

When you receive a quote, it’s important to be clear on what’s included in the price. “Typically, the contractor will not include items such as windows, kitchens, bathroom fittings or finishes,” says architect on Houzz, Denise O’Connor of Optimise Home. “These are referred to as client supply items and are sometimes given what’s called a provisional cost by the contractor in their pricing document. The provisional cost, also called a PC sum, refers to the estimated cost of something that the contractor assumes the client will supply.” Remember to read estimates carefully and query anything you are unsure about. Houzz Pro software allows professionals to build accurate estimates and proposals in minutes and to send them to you to approve digitally, making this process easier for you both!



Amanda Pollard

Editor
Houzz


Don't move, Improve

#DontMoveImprove


Related

Concrete connections: House Recast

News

Concrete connections: House Recast

House Recast by Studio Ben Allen is the overall winner of Don't Move, Improve 2021, a spatially "rich and interesting" r...

Celebration of Home: Don't Move, Improve! 2021

Exhibition

Celebration of Home: Don't Move, Improve! 2021

The Don’t Move, Improve! exhibition is back to inspire and celebrate London’s best-designed and most innovative home ext...

Plaster pleasure: Council House Renovation

News

Plaster pleasure: Council House Renovation

Council House Renovation by VATRAA is the Joint Winner of this year's Compact Design of the Year Prize.

Stay in touch

Upgrade your plan

Choose the right membership for your business

Billing type:
All prices exclude VAT
View options for Personal membership