Renovation projects


Essential advice for taking on a renovation property in Shropshire. 

Not everyone wants a home that is show-home standard; for some brave souls, buying a home that is not perfect is part of the excitement. You have the vision to see past dated wallpaper and unworkable layouts, and you’re not afraid to pick up a tool or two. You may be surprised to learn that a survey by the property portal Rightmove found that 90% of buyers would consider buying a ‘fixer-upper’, although the amount of work people are confident in taking on can vary.  Before you jump in we would always recommend you do your research, which is why our Samuel Wood team have put together this essential advice for taking on a renovation property in Shropshire.


Just because you don’t have a massive budget doesn’t mean you can’t transform your home with some hard work and creativity.  But you need to be realistic about the kind of property you decide to take on, which is why rigorous budgeting is essential.  As well as the pennies you have to spend you need to think about the amount of stress you are willing to endure.  You may have the energy and the patience for weeks of chaos, or you may want a property where you can do bits and bobs as and when funds allow. 

Make a spreadsheet and list everything that you need to get the jobs you want completed, make sure you go into fine detail as often it’s all the little things you forget that boost the budget way above what you imagined.  Make sure you add in labour costs as well as materials, as there may be some works that only a professional can complete, and, no matter what, always have a contingency pot.

Enjoy the design

Grand Designs, Amazing Spaces and Homes Made Perfect all show us how inventive design can take your initial idea to a whole new level.  The design process is an exciting phase so soak up any ideas, and think about how you and your family want to live in the house.  Where does the sun rise and set? This may help when you’re looking at where to place windows. Does your home need freestanding furniture, or can it all be built-in?

For renovations that involve more than a makeover one of the best investments you can make is to employ the talents of an architect.  They love a challenge and will be able to transform your ideas into a design, or deliver something you had never imagined.  They will know your budget and can aid you in building a more valuable property, adding their genius to your vision.

Planning and building regulations

Never start any works without being sure of what permissions you need – you don’t want to transform your property only to see it knocked down because you haven’t got the correct planning permissions.  If you are working with an architect they will have this in mind from the start.

Getting planning permission may mean that works for bigger projects could take longer to be approved, but get the green light from Shropshire County council before you start. Should you be looking to purchase a property that already has planning permission granted, do your research to make sure you understand any constraints.

Any works that are undertaken on your property must comply with building regulations, to protect the health and safety of you and your family.  Make sure any plans are approved before you start and that they are signed off after completion to confirm that your works are compliant.  You will need this certification for when you decide to move home to prove to your buyers that any works you have undertaken have been done properly.

The right team

Just as it’s essential to find the right architect, the same can be said for any contractors that you’re looking to use.  We have all heard the horror stories, so speak to friends and family who have undertaken similar works, and get recommendations.  Look at examples of their work and get as much information as you can; we can also put you in touch with companies that our clients have used and can recommend.  Having the right team by your side can save you an enormous amount of money and a mountain of stress.

Feeling brave

Not everyone who buys a renovation project does so with pots of cash in the bank; depending on the property, it could very much be lived in with jobs being done as and when finances allow.  This is about having the long-term vision and patience to live in something imperfect and frustrating until perfection can be reached.

If you’re feeling a little or very brave and want to take on a property that requires some work, get in touch with our team on 01743 272710 or 01584 875207 and we will show you the exciting opportunities available in Shropshire.

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