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  • Have you seen Sarah Beenys new show?

    Sarah BeenyDoes anyone else love the new Channel 4 series double your home for half the money with Sarah Beeny.  (Wednesdays Channel 4 8pm) I daydream of finding a house with massive potential so I can knock the walls down and have the layout of my dreams. For anyone looking at gaining space in their home and have looked at moving, it comes as a shock on how much a house move it going to cost. No doubt you have had to make a compromise along the way (smaller garden, no en suite etc..)

    That’s why I love Sarah’s programme as it shows a number of different couples who quite frankly have outgrown their homes. They don’t have the money to spend on their dream homes often costing two to three times the cost of the house they are living in. Obviously each house shown in the programme has the potential to be extended.

    The transformations are amazing which often involves making a kitchen diner and family room space which is what most families are after these days with also the addition of bedrooms and en-suites.

    Interestingly the budgets range from 30K to £200k and the value they have put into their homes once completed is amazing. I love seeing the transformations and ideas that this show brings to the viewer, cleaver storage ideas to secret doors to man caves have been my personal favourites.

    Sarah sets out 10 top tips for people thinking of attempting a renovation project

    Top Tip 1: Costing – set out a careful budget before you begin, ideally you’d add a 20 per cent contingency for anything unexpected

    Top Tip 2: Technology – think about how you can save money in the long run by installing gadgets such as solar panels, but especially by adding extra insulation into the build itself

    Top Tip 3: Recycling – try upcycling and recycling old building materials or pieces of furniture to make them work for your new property

    Top Tip 4: Future-proofing – think about how your extension will fit in with the neighbourhood. If the house doesn’t look in keeping with the street this could perhaps cause problems when selling at a later date

    Top Tip 5: Get competitive tenders – don’t be afraid to shop around for quotes. Building contractors in some areas are short of work and will offer competitive rates

    Top Tip 6: Renegotiate labour costs – lots of bricklayers are currently struggling for contracts, so may be happy to offer you a good deal. But remember to be realistic

    Top Tip 7: Use your own DIY skills – try doing your own painting and decorating, or if you feel confident, try learning some basic plumbing or carpentry. But remember not to take on too much, or it may end up costing more money if you have to re-do at a later date

    Top Tip 8: Pull in favours – where possible use any friends and relatives who have time to lend a hand

    Top Tip 9: Avoid making changes – changes later on will cost money, so make sure to have a solid plan before you begin

    Top Tip 10: Keep the neighbours happy – you may think dust and banging is fine, but to them it could be their worst nightmare!

    So if you think you could tackle a project then you must watch the shows to give you the ideas and also the problems which can occur during the build. Also I’m here to help put you in touch with recommended builders who have a wealth of knowledge and will be able to advice and guide you along the way. Personally I think it’s worth all the hassle and I’m constantly looking for a house I can put my own stamp on – watch this space!



    Thursday, 09 Oct 2014

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