Deciding whether your property is worth renovating is a tricky decision. It is often a good idea to consider whether you are planning on selling/renting or making the property your home. If you are planning on selling/renting the house, you should focus on gaining the maximum return and plan to minimise any unexpected costs that will impede your future profits. If you are planning on staying in your home for years to come, you may not be able to put a price on your investment.

is The property worth renovating?

1. Do you require planning permission?

2. Is there space to extend at the side or rear, or can you convert the garage or cellar to increase the properties valuation.

3. Is the property in the ideal location? If so, the renovating may be worth the hassle if the location is associated with optimal sales and or rental yields. If you are planning to stay renovating can often be an excellent way to buy an affordable property in an otherwise unaffordable area.

4. What type of work do you need to carry out? Is the work structural or cosmetic? If it is structural, be sure to check you have enough funds, including contingencies.

5. What is the ceiling price of the area in which the property is located? If the renovation costs exceed the ceiling price and you are planning to sell, you may end up making a loss on the property.

Top Tips
  1. Get auction ready by attending some auctions before buying to observe how they work. Also carry out extensive research on your potential properties before the auction, to minimise the risk of extra costs.
  2. Get the building surveyed to highlight significant issues. You will want to avoid structural and damp problems or alternatively incorporate them into your budget. Building surveys typically cost in the region of £500 to £1000, but in the long run, it could save you a lot more money.
  3. Check for subsidence as it could make insuring your property problematic and potentially leave you to pay for the work yourself. However, most cracks are not serious, but it is still a good idea to get your property surveyed anyway.
  4. Check for rot and damp which are often a problems in older houses, but easily fixable. It is, therefore, best to get your building surveyed before so that you can budget accordingly.
  5. Can you live in the property? Some lenders will not offer mortgages on inhabitable properties, so make sure you check this out beforehand.
  6. You don’t always need planning permission if the renovation or extension does not affect the external look of the building. Alternatively, if you are looking for more space, a detached garden EcoGreenCabin could be cost-effective and avoid planning permission.

Your Schedule

It is a good idea to have a schedule so that your project is organised and runs efficiently. It is best to schedule your renovation logically, starting with the work that must be completed before other work can occur, for example, stopping further decay first.

Take a look at this example schedule from home buildings to give you an idea of how you might plan your project.

- Current condition assessment

- Stop further decay

- Grants/Tax concessions

- Statutory consents

- Structural stability

- Demolition work

- Dealing with damp

- Drains

- Site access

- Major building work

- Weathertight

- Exterior

- External works

- First fix

- Plastering

- Drying out

- Fixed flooring

- Second fix

- Decorating

- Final clean

- Move in

- Snagging


Obtaining insurance is a necessity once you have exchanged contracts, as the property is legally your responsibility. To get adequate cover for a property that is under construction, you should acquire renovation insurance. Be aware of proof of insurance; your lender may refuse to release your money until you do. Your renovation insurance should typically cost from £500-£2000 and cover:

- Employees and the public

- Personal accidents

- Plant

- Tools

- Building material and work

- Temporary buildings

- Surveying your property

If you’re buying a property to renovate, surveys can reassure you that the property you are purchasing does not have any serious issues that may cost you thousands of pounds in the future. Subsidence, for example, may prevent you from being able to resell the property in future. One type of survey is a building survey that will inspect your property in-depth to assess its current condition. A building survey will note any areas that require immediate repair, including how much the repairs may cost. Building surveys are often required when applying for planning permission. To ensure that the surveyor provides you with independent advice, check that the RICS regulates them.

Similarly, drain surveys thoroughly inspect your drains to check for blockages, breaches, fractures, and collapse. Drain surveys are relatively inexpensive, typically costing less than £500. As a result, you will be able to decide whether the house is worth renovating. If the home is worth renovating, you may wish to negotiate a lower price on the house, considering the repairs you will need to carry out.

Planning permission 

If you are renovating a listed property, you will most likely require planning permission. If you are modifying the exterior of your property, for example, you should check if you need permission. Additionally, if you are extending near your neighbours’ boundary, ensure that you are not affected by the party wall act.