Tips for Refurbishing a Dilapidated Property

Posted on: 29 July 2016


Many homebuyers opt to purchase a rundown house that is in need of extensive repairs; a property of this kind usually comes with an attractively-low price tag and provides the buyer with the opportunity to develop a house that is designed to their exact specifications. However, refurbishing a dilapidated house can be extremely challenging; it often requires a great deal of money, time and dedication. Read on for some tips on how to handle this type of project.

Be cautious when choosing a builder

One of the biggest errors a person can make when tackling a property refurbishment is hiring a builder that is not up to the task. Ideally, the one you choose should be experienced in the exact type of work you require them to do and should have no issue with providing you with contact details for their previous customers.

When speaking to these people, make sure to ask them if the construction work was completed to a high standard, on time and within the allotted budget. It's also worth inquiring as to whether the builder was easy to get along with and if they would consider using their services again in the future.

Be shrewd with your finances

Generally speaking, houses that are in poor condition can be bought for very little; however, the costs associated with carrying out the refurbishment tend to be much higher than buyers initially anticipate. Oftentimes, dilapidated properties require large-scale structural repairs as well as cosmetic improvements, and there may well be hidden problems which lead to you going over-budget.

This is why it is absolutely crucial to be thorough when calculating the costs for this type of project. Have a survey completed and make inquiries with local electricians, damp-proofing experts and roofers, so that you know exactly what issues the property has and how much they will cost to fix.

Even after taking every precaution, it is likely that unexpected problems will crop up over the course of the refurbishment process. You might for example, discover asbestos hidden in a wall cavity or the loft; this is a serious health hazard which of course would need to be dealt with before any further building work could be carried out.  As such, it is vital that you set up a contingency fund that is approximately 10 to 15 percent of your final estimate for the entire project so that unforeseen expenses, such as having to hire an asbestos removal expert, can be covered without having to take out an additional loan.