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Renovate and Redecorate – Part I

It is easy to fall in love with an old building full of character and heritage, telling you its story via its many flaws and features. Many people find they fall hard and fast into a renovation project in a bid to save it. Restoring a building is a monumental task in most cases, and is a work of passion for returning it to its original state.

Here at Relko, we love a renovation project to get stuck into. However, we also realise the pitfalls of inadequate planning, and owners struggling to maintain work on their project, due to not understanding all that it requires. In the first part of this series, we are looking at renovating buildings and offer some handy advice from seasoned pro’s like George Clarke, to ensure that your project is a success.

The Renovation Game

The Top 5 Tips for restoration work from The Restoration Man himself:

  1. Remember why you fell in love with a building and retain this authenticity when you come to start your renovation works
  2. Show off the original features of the building. Exposed beams, original fireplaces and windows, stone wall detailing and so much more; can help retain character that captivates and inspires
  3. Create a balance between old and new work. Ensure your architectural design plans fit with the heritage of the original building, along with building regulations
  4. Think outside the box when it comes to architectural design and be brave when it comes to your plans. Understand the original building and its purpose to draw inspiration
  5. Thoroughly evaluate the building and project before committing to it. Projects can take years to complete and will cost more than you may initially realise

Before You Start

There are many things you need to be aware of, and what not to do when it comes to the renovation process.

  • Always plan your project thoroughly so that you don’t get caught out with any unexpected issues, or costs you haven’t budgeted for
  • Come to terms with the amount of work to do and the time it will take, along with the relative costs
  • Set yourself a realistic budget. Get some quotes for each task and element of your project, and be sure to seek advice on any costs you wouldn’t necessarily have considered
  • If you have time to be a project manager on this renovation, then take the lead and direct your contractors to work on the same page. Co-ordination of various teams is essential for a job well done and to ensure mistakes aren’t made
  • Know how to handle environmental issues before they come up, to avoid risking unnecessary illness and injury
  • Don’t always replace when you can amend and repair. Look into research and talk to professionals for advice and alternative solutions
  • Don’t gut a building if you don’t need it. Stripping the history and culture from a building can devalue it immensely, making the entire project redundant. Retain character and the extraordinary wherever you can

The road to renovation is, of course, a long one with many challenges along the way, but it is also one of the most rewarding projects one can undertake. For information about any of our restoration services, please contact us on 0800 014 2792.