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Enjoyable sustainable renovations

Renovations to avoid: Considerations that go beyond the financial

3 March 2023
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Many of us dream of transforming our homes, but it's important to consider more than just the financial implications when embarking on a renovation. Before you start ripping up carpets or tearing apart walls, take a step back and think about how your renovation will affect the environment and the potential return on investment your project is likely to have. Here are some considerations that go beyond the financial when renovating your home.

Building works that require further investigation

Major building works are likely to require the involvement of professionals services such as : structural engineers, party walls surveyors, cctv drain scanning, damp and timber specialists and architectural drawings. Whether you're looking to knock down an internal wall or add an extension, refrain from the temptation to jumpstart your project and make sure you get expert advice. This will save you money, time and energy in the long run.

Projects that are unlikely to produce a good return on investment

A worthy return on investment (ROI) isn't about capital gain in the short term (such as developing quickly and cosmetically to sell while not bothering with structural soundness). Most buyers are looking for properties that have been well maintained and are structurally sound. Homebuyers often request paperwork to demonstrate that past home improvements have been done in accordance with building regulations. So, when renovating, investing on long term supportive love for the property is much more likely to pay back that a quick developer refurb. There are improvements that are most notorious for not producing a satisfactory ROI (eg., adding a swimming pool) and researching those research before committing is helpful. However, my best advice would be to prioritise making a safe and enjoyable home over immediate financial matters. A property that has been loved is likely to be more desirable and therefore of higher value.

Methods and approaches that generate an unjustifiable carbon footprint/negative environmental impact

When undertaking renovations, you have the power and responsibility to ensure that materials that are used are sustainable and will not leave a negative environmental impact. This means much more than avoiding products like plastic-based insulation materials (which create microplastics when they break down over time). There are so many ways you can upgrade the environmental credentials of your projects : look into paint VOC, renewability, energy efficiency to start with. Ask providers and suppliers to talk you through the reasons why they claim their products and methods are environmentally friendly. Google the product, look at data sheets, ask the experts.

If your project involves changing materials purely for aesthetic reasons, consider reusing some of the existing structures. There is nothing wrong with cosmetic upgrades and they can be done responsibly. If you're uninspired with what is existing, get support from creative design experts who can help you achieve the improvement you are seeking through restoring valuable features, reusing products, reorganising existing spaces and sourcing materials that don't cost the earth. Getting an energy efficiency review done on your home before making any decisions about replacing appliances or components in your home heating system is another worthy investment.

Beware of ambitious projects

You want to be enthusiastic and feed on that energy. So that you can fully embrace the process of transforming your home, it is key that you spend time foreseeing how it is likely to impact your life and assessing how you will adjust during the transition. Do you need to move out? Can you go away on holiday while builders are in your home?

It's important not only consider financial costs when renovating but also other factors such as energy expenditure (both mental and physical) as well as life disruptions due to construction noise, dust, etc… Be enthusiastic about creating the home of your dreams but also realistic about what this entails - both financially and otherwise - so that you can prepare yourself mentally for what lies ahead! Ensuring you have access to trusted design and build professionals who can provide advice an support throughout this process is important. It takes a village to complete a full house refurb!

In conclusion, renovations are incredibly exciting but they require careful consideration beyond just financial costings ; from getting structural engineers involved through sustainable material choices and ensuring you have support systems in place (not just financially but mentally too) during the process. By taking into account these considerations before embarking on your project you are much more likely to enjoy and succeed! Good luck!