AdviceInterior design

The House Renovation Checklist

House renovation projects can be exciting and intimidating as you try to build a path towards your ideal home. Much like a path, you need to understand how many steps you’ll need and how far apart they should be placed to end up with the desired result. We’ve created a ‘before the house renovation’ checklist to give you confidence that you’ve got the steps covered.

home renovation

Put pen to paper

Whether it’s a new kitchen or a bedroom makeover, it’s important to be clear about your expectations. Everybody has an individual taste when it comes to home design, so what seems obvious to you might not be to your tradesman. Cut out photos, sketch any ideas and assemble them on a mood board. This will help your tradesman to get a clear idea of what you expect him/her to deliver.

If you can, make a list of supplies such as lighting, along with their costs and brand names. This will help your tradesman assess a room as a whole and build up an image of the desired look and give you an accurate quote/ estimate for the work.

Research space-maximising options

It may be that you’re sold on an open-plan design and wish to knock down internal walls. If you’re not, you can still make the most of space by identifying the most prominent features of your home and working with a tradesman to come up with clever space-saving solutions.

house renovation

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

Bring in a surveyor

A home survey will cost you around £600 but the detailed drawings will identify hidden space and work out where space can be added. Often, you’ll want to build upwards rather than outwards to bypass the need for building foundations.


To keep spending in check, record all of your estimated costs. Start by approaching companies such as Jewson for installation prices and ask your tradesman for a written quotation including VAT. If you can, make use of forums like our Ask an expert section to ask professional tradesmen for help. My advice is to record the costs on an Excel spreadsheet so the computer can do the tricky sums for you. If it’s a large project, you’ll probably need to budget for skip hire too.

It’s a good idea to set aside an extra 10% of the estimated cost, in case any hidden costs emerge. Depending on the work, you might need to stay elsewhere so this will help you manage any accommodation fees.

Find a tradesman

It’s important to find a tradesman who you can trust to carry out the work. Our website will allow you to post your job and browse the profiles of up to three tradesmen. You’ll be able to view their customer recommendations before choosing the right one for you. A good tradesman will be able to advise you on which ideas are achievable and come up with alternative solutions.

home renovation ideas

Agree a payment schedule

A payment schedule details the tasks that will be carried out and the amount and frequency of the payments. It’s important to have this record to protect both you and the tradesman from overcharging or misunderstandings surrounding expected payments. Ask for invoices and receipts and don’t be afraid to pay a deposit of up to 20% up front to cover the tradesman’s materials and travel.

Contact your home insurance company

Your insurance company will need to know what work you’re having done, how long you expect it to take and the expected cost. Often, your insurer will amend your policy while the work’s being carried out but he/she might not be able to cover you, in which case you’ll need to look elsewhere for a quote.

Address requirements

Smaller projects shouldn’t need planning permission but you should always check the planning portal to be sure. If you do need permission, an application should take around 8 weeks to complete and will cost from £185. Any renovation also needs to abide by building regulations so you’ll need to check these too, as it may impact on the materials that your tradesman can use.

If you need help at any stage of your house renovation you can find a qualified and vetted builder with Rated People to help you make your home interior dreams a reality.

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  1. how do i organise mortgage or ideally new build plus finances from abroad? i also don’t mind sharing property whilst the work is being completed.

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