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Top tips for when calculating the cost of property refurbishment!

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17 Jul 2017

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Whether you are a landlord or a home owner, refurbishing a property is a much quicker investment than a ‘ground up’ development.

It might end up costing you considerably less to buy a property, which needs a lot of work.

Even if it is only cosmetic refurbishment, which is normally quite easy and cheap, having a clear idea of what you will be spending will ensure you do not go over budget.

Of course, there are some obvious costs which you already consider and calculate when deciding to spruce up a property, but below we have put together a list of hidden costs, which can affect the total cost of your refurbishment, that you might not have considered.

  1. Ensure the materials you need are readily available

    If you are putting a deadline of six months on completing the project, then while purchasing materials you find out there is a six weeks wait, this can greatly delay the work and add to the costs. So either purchase in advance or ensure the things you need are readily available.

  2. Budget for unforeseen costs

    Even if you have lived in the property for the last 10 years, there is no way to know that you won’t need extensive re-wiring or if there is other faults that will need sorting like plumbing until you have a property surveyed. This is especially true when buying a new property, you can even do this before completing the purchase.

  3. Budget for professional fees

    This is especially important when you’re purchasing a new property; ensure you have the budget for professional fees such as solicitors, valuers and architects. These account for 10-15% of the total refurbishment costs and normally come as standard with any development you choose to do.

  4. Check if structural work is needed

    Failure to have a property properly surveyed can lead to unplanned and unbudgeted structural changes or damages. This can be a very pricey error to have to deal with, so ensure this gets done along with any other surveying work!

  5. Factor in the cost of contractors

    If you are purchasing a house and have a budget for a refurbishment, do not forget to include extra money you will have to spend on contractors. Ensure you use websites like checkatrade or mybuilder to ensure the people you are using are genuine. It might be tempting to go with someone cheaper, but if you happen to use cowboy builder you will have to spend more in the end.

  6. Establish clear access to the property

    As most refurbishments happen in residential streets, make sure that when any materials get delivered there clear access to the property. Neglecting this can cause lengthy delays and delays are costly.

  7. Allow for contingency time

    Ensure you have spare time, you might think you have the whole project planned perfectly, but things can happen! Majority of refurbishments in fact run over time and anticipating for this is often overlooked. This can amount for 5-10% of the overall cost of refurbishment.


At Discount Insurance we offer home insurance policies from a range of leading UK insurers, allowing you to find the right cover to meet your needs. Call 0800 294 4522 to get a quote!


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