With property prices still on the rise, many clued up homeowners are looking to utilise the stable interest rates and use mortgages to boost the value of their properties by renovating and/or extending them. For some, it’s a question of move or improve? For the ‘improvers’, adding rooms and space to their existing home can boost its value quite dramatically, whilst saving on the cost of moving and stamp duty.

The very nature of renovations mean that no two builds will ever be the same. If you are thinking of embarking on a large scale renovation project, you’ll already know that there a quite a few hoops to jump through with regards to planning. Protecting your asset, and the investment you’re putting into it is critical, so remember to secure specialist renovation insurance before you break ground on your project.

Building Regs

If you live in a terraced, or semi-detached property there may not be space to extend outwards. It may be that the only way is up! Loft conversions offer additional space in the roof, but like any new build, or major home alterations, they require Building Regulations approval to ensure that all safety measures have been adhered to and practicalities met.

Planning Permission

Although planning permission is not always necessary (check with your local planning department for clarification), depending on the size of your extension, it is worth noting that you will need planning permission if you live in a listed building or even a Conservation Area.

Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act (1996) makes the homeowner responsible (in England and Wales) for any damage incurred to your neighbour’s property as a direct result of any renovations carried out to yours. It is prudent to check this out thoroughly, so that you understand your obligations in respect of any damage that may accidentally occur. Talking to your neighbour, and making them aware of your impending build, could help avoid a costly court settlement, should the worst happen.

Liability and Insurance

Building sites are dangerous places, no matter how small, and so it’s important that you understand your liability to everyone involved, from casual visitors to your Building Contractor and their employees. You should make sure that you have property owner’s liability (a minimum of £2m is recommended) but if you are unsure then you should seek the advice of a professional Renovation Insurance broker who will guide you through the restrictions of the insurance in relation to your particular and bespoke renovation project.

Know your stuff

It’s worth remembering that most building projects take longer than we’d like, and sometimes longer than originally planned for. You need to cater for every eventuality as more often than not there will be the odd set back or two, so if you’re unsure about anything then seek the advice of the relevant professionals. Most companies, whichever sector they specialise in will offer free advice, so it’s worth taking advantage of their knowledge before embarking on your renovation. But just so long as you have the fundamentals in place, everything else should fit in!

Author's Bio: 

Becky writes for Renovation Insurance. When carrying out her own renovation, their services were imperative to her peace of mind.