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Top tips for planning your renovation

Tuesday, 7th July 2020

Has being stuck in your house during the lockdown made you think about a refurb? Has it given you a greater appreciation of your home with more time to look at the things you want to improve? If so, you’re not alone. We at can give you all you need to know about what you can do to prepare your home for a refurbishment, ahead of your decision to employ a tradesperson to make those much-wanted and much-needed improvements. 

Make a list

Start by listing all the things you’d want from your renovation if money was no object. Then split this down the middle into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. Ensure you cover the must-haves first and then you can consider the non-essentials if budget allows. Having it all down in front of you means you won’t miss anything, but equally, helps you work within your budget.

Work out your timeline

On this point, we’d always recommend starting at the end. Ask yourself if the work you need to be done has to be carried out by a certain deadline. For example, does the job need to be complete before the cold weather hits? Or maybe you need to have a room finished before a baby joins the family?

By starting at the end and working backwards, giving yourself a few weeks leeway for any delays you think you might run into, you can ensure you give yourself enough time. Remember sometimes things tend to take longer than you perhaps envisaged and sometimes little things crop up that you didn’t account for. And bear in mind that it could take longer to find a tradesperson or company over the summer months as they catch up on jobs following the lockdown.

Plan your budgets

On the surface sometimes working out the money side of things can appear a bit mundane, especially when there are product colours, styles and designs to discuss. It can be easy to get carried away with a renovation and before you know it you’ve crept over what you originally planned to spend. So, ensure you have a budget tracker and regularly update it. It’s also wise to ask those that will be carrying out the job about any additional costs they foresee occurring in the project.

Get creative has a section full of inspirational images and ideas to help you get creative. You can visit it here.

Alternatively, Pinterest and Instagram are great visual social media platforms for working out what colour schemes, styles and finishes you like. It can sometimes be a good idea to put your ideas down onto mood boards to help you visualise and provide some much-needed inspiration after months of lockdown.

There are also some great TV programmes (such as Grand Designs and The Great Interior Design Challenge), that can be truly inspirational for renovations and property makeovers. 

Engage your company, architect or project manager remotely

After months of working remotely, companies, architects and project managers will be well versed with the video call. The first things they’ll likely want to know is your address so they can check planning policies and the general type of building you live in. They will also need a good idea of your timelines and the budget.

Now for the exciting bit! You should come prepared with information on what you’re wanting to achieve design-wise with the glazing renovation. Are you planning a refurb so you could be working in a healthier home with more natural light and moderate temperatures? Or maybe you’re needing more space and have a conservatory or garden room in mind.  

It’s likely that on your call to the company, the architect of project manager you contact, will ask you to walk them around the property (via a video meeting software like Zoom or Skype or just via your phone camera on face time, so they can get a feel for it. Worth noting, to ensure the space is easy to get around and records and that you use a device with a good camera.

Vet the company or tradesperson that will be doing the work

Once you know what the actual work will look like, you’ll need to appoint a professional company with skilled tradespeople to do the work. In these times, it’s more important than ever to vet them properly, so it’s advised that you select a company that is registered with a professional trade body that promotes the highest industry standards, such as the Glass and Glazing Federation.

This way, you’ll know they adhere to the international, European and British standards required as well as complying with the GGF Consumer Code of Best Practice. Once you’ve done this, shortlist three or four GGF Members to quote for the job – you can find them on the find a company directory.

During the decision-making process, you should ensure that they can prove that they’ll take health and safety seriously as they should be following the GGF Safe Guide for Companies working during COVID-19. You can check out our article on things to consider before letting a tradesperson safely into your home, here.

We hope this article has provided you with a good starting point for planning the initial stages of your renovation remotely. Now the fun starts; happy renovating!

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