Monday, 22 October 2018

Renovation: the do's and don'ts

IN our new regular feature, Standard property correspondent Lucy Boon looks at tackling a renovation project

IN our new regular feature, Standard property correspondent Lucy Boon looks at tackling a renovation project - although, after reading this, you probably won't want to!

Thinking of buying and renovating an old house? From Medieval cottages to Edwardian townhouses, there is so much to consider when taking on the responsibility of 'guardian' of a piece of local history. Most problems with old buildings result from the inappropriate use of modern materials - all the professionals say to avoid using 'new house techniques' with old houses (breathability seems to be key).

If you're tempted by a spot of construction and chaos, here are eight things to consider before you and a partner decide to commit your lives to a house that needs more than a little work.

Whatever your relationship is like now is exactly what your project will be like.

Can you endure the extended stress of seeing about 12 times more of your partner's least-lovable self?

Sometime in the first six months, you are going to regret your decision in one way or another.

When the construction has eaten your house, your life and your sanity, there may come a time when you wonder why you ever thought you wanted to do this. (Hopefully, the regret will be temporary)

Your house project will not be a form of entertainment.

It's a second job. A job you cannot leave or go home from. There are probably only a handful of people on the planet who would define living in a construction site as fun. Chances are, you are not one of them.

You really cannot know what a house needs until you live in it.

No matter how carefully you plan, there will be complications. Even more so, the older the house.

One of you should really know what you're doing.

Beware the novice having no concept of the reality of making an idea work!

There will be one project that goes on for so long, you actually forget there was a time in your life when you weren't consumed by the quest to find the perfect tile.

In short, don't get so fixated on every detail that you stop moving forward.

Will it turn out ok? Yes. Is it worth spending every free minute researching fixtures? No.

Find something you like, buy it then get on with it. The end result will not hinge on every tiny detail.

Stress and dirt magnify all your worst qualities.

When you share the certainty that you are in it together, it also means that you can push each other that much harder.

Still up for the challenge? Best of luck and remember to keep a sense of humour!

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